South Island Great Walks
5 Days | South Island | From AU$5,399 | 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 and chalets. 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 day. When you're not travelling under your own steam, there will be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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, you can combine this trip with our 11-day ‘North Island Adventure’ (5-day ‘North Island Adventure’ options available).
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)
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)
Trips depart regularly between November and April each year.
Direct bookings only
- Phone: (03) 6392 2211
- Email: email@example.com
- or complete the enquiry form below
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.
All accommodation is twin share. Single travellers may be required to share a twin room with another walker of the same gender if the departure fills to capacity. To guarantee a single room for the duration of the walk a supplementary fee will apply. Please request this at the time of booking.
This trip has a maximum of 14 guests, plus two experienced naturalist guides.
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.
On the last day of the trip, we can drop you off anywhere in central Queenstown at about 5pm.
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, and you'll need to make your own way to the airport. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us.
'South Island Great 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.
'South Island 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.