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South Island Great Walks

5 Days | South Island | AU$3899 | Hiking Focused

Queenstown to Queenstown

If you're short on time and you'd like to experience some of New Zealand's Great Walks, this is the trip for you.

Five days. Three New Zealand 'Great Walks'

All of these walks are located in the Fiordland National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage area with mystical coves and dense temperate rainforest.

This is a bucket list hiking trip where you need not forgo any creature comforts.

Contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email bookings@taswalkingco.com.au

Trip Notes  

Here's What's Included; We've Got You Covered.

✓  All guiding services
    Two experienced New Zealand guides per trip. Having two guides allows for much greater flexibility, meaning you're able to go at your own pace.

✓  All accommodations
    A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts. The only tour company to overnight at the Milford Lodge in Milford Sound!

✓  All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary 

✓  All activities
    Thinking you can't fit much into 5 days? Think again! Of course you'll hike, but you'll also cruise, ride a gondola and view native wildlife.

✓  All transport
    Airport transfers on the first & last days. When you're not travelling under your own steam, there will be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.

Doutbful Sound 2

DAY 1

Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

For the first day of your trip we’ll meet you in Queenstown and head to Lake Manapouri where our journey into Doubtful Sound begins. We’ll board a boat for the cruise across Lake Manapouri, before a drive over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise. Doubtful Sound is a large and remote wilderness area, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight, you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you prefer.
Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Routeburn Track

DAY 2 

Cruise in Doubtful Sound, hike Routeburn Track

You’ll wake in the middle of Doubtful Sound and after breakfast we’ll retrace our journey back to Manapouri. From there we’ll drive to the Divide, where we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub land and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!) Rudyard Kipling rated Milford the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Hiking Distance: 3.4 kilometres (2 miles), 3-4 hours
Elevation Gain: 
380 metres (1,246 feet)
Elevation Loss: 
380 metres (1,246 feet)

 

Milford Sound Hiking 2

DAY 3

Hike Milford Track, cruise Milford Sound

It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak, quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand, but your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
Te Anau lodgings, Te Anau (All meals)

Hiking Distance: 10 kilometres (6 miles), 3-4 hours
Elevation Gain: 
300 metres (985 feet)
Elevation Loss: 
300 metres (985 feet)

Kepler Hike 1

DAY 4

Takahe Bird Park, hike Kepler Track

This morning we’re heading for a Department of Conservation birdlife park in Te Anau. The centre takes care of injured or ageing birds which would struggle to survive in the wild - it’s a great opportunity to see some of our rarest birds up close, so don’t forget your camera! Afterwards we’ll tick off our third Great Walk in three days - the Kepler Track. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford Tracks in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. The section we’ll hike today passes over the control gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau and meanders through ancient beech and podocarp forest.
Te Anau lodgings, Te Anau (All meals)

Hiking Distance: 9.5 kilometres (6 miles), 2-3 hours
Elevation Gain: 
50 metres (165 feet)
Elevation Loss: 
50 metres (165 feet)

 

Ben Lomond Hike Looking Over Lake Wakatipu

DAY 5

Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond

Today we’ll drive back along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, and take a ride on the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki/Mt Cook on a clear day. We’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you’ll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day North Island Adventure’.
(Breakfast, Lunch)

Ben Lomond Hiking Distance (Full): 13 kilometres (8 miles), 6-7 hours
Elevation Gain: 
1,450 metres (4,755 feet)
Elevation Loss: 
1,450 metres (4,755 feet)
OR
Ben Lomond Hiking Distance (From the gondola): 
8 kilometres (5 miles), 4-5 hours
Elevation Gain: 
978 metres (3,208 feet)
Elevation Loss: 
978 metres (3,208 feet)

Useful Information

Departure Dates

Find the perfect date for your trip. And not to worry, we can always move your trip if something unexpected comes up.

Trip Date Status
Nov 01, 2020  Open
Nov 15, 2020  Open
Nov 29, 2020  Filling up
Dec 13, 2020  Filling up
Dec 20, 2020  Open
Dec 27, 2020  Filling up
2021
Jan 03, 2021  Open
Jan 10, 2021  Open
Jan 17, 2021  Filling up
Jan 24, 2021  Open
Jan 31, 2021  Open
Feb 07, 2021  Open
Feb 14, 2021  Filling up
Feb 21, 2021  Almost full
Feb 28, 2021  Open
Mar 07, 2021  Open
Mar 21, 2021  Open
Oct 31, 2021  Open
Nov 14, 2021  Open
Nov 28, 2021  Open
Dec 12, 2021  Open
Dec 19, 2021  Open
Dec 26, 2021  Open
2022
Jan 02, 2022  Open
Jan 09, 2022  Open
Jan 16, 2022  Open
Jan 23, 2022  Open
Jan 30, 2022  Open
Feb 06, 2022  Open
Feb 13, 2022  Open
Feb 20, 2022  Open
Feb 27, 2022  Open
Mar 06, 2022  Open
Mar 20, 2022  Open
 

Direct bookings only

No Forced Single Supplement

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum of 14 guests, plus two experienced naturalist guides.

Trip Start

On the first day of the trip, we will meet you at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queenstown at 7:30am for breakfast and a trip briefing.

Trip End

On the last day of the trip, we can drop you off at the Queenstown airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Queenstown at about 5pm.

Recommended flights

Arrival: We recommend arriving into Queenstown the night before the trip starts. If that isn't possible please contact us to arrange an alternative arrival time. 

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Queenstown after 6pm. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us. 

Accommodation

'South Island Walks' is a wilderness hiking trip. While it’s not designed to be a scenic tour of the South Island’s luxury hotels, it features more creature comforts than some of our other trips and you’ll certainly feel like you’re hiking in style! You’ll stay in some wonderful places in the remote locations we take you.

Fitness

'Great Walks' is an active hiking trip, and has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more. Typically, hikes on the trip range between three and six hours to complete.

Peace of Mind Booking Assurance

After the minimum number of bookings has been achieved, the trip is guaranteed to depart.  If for any reason, the trip cannot go ahead due to restrictions placed upon travel due to Covid-19,  guests will be permitted to reschedule their walk to a new date with no additional fee within 24 months. Cancellations for other reasons will incur our standard cancellation fees.

Peace of Mind Booking Assurance

Enquire

Need help deciding? Talk to an expert

We're here to help 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, otherwise, email us anytime and we'll be in touch.