Great Walks Of The South Island – From £3,195

18 Days | Grade: Moderate | Departures November – April
Including the Routeburn Track

Day 1 Christchurch

After arrival in Christchurch, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

This most English of New Zealand cities suffered a succession of terrible earthquakes in early 2011. Christchurch is re-inventing itself with typical Kiwi spirit and exciting new sights include the ‘cardboard’ cathedral and Re:START shopping mall in re-purposed shipping containers.

Orari Bed & Breakfast

Day 2 Christchurch / Godley Head Walkway

This scenic walkway, located twenty km from Christchurch, provides stunning coastal views and the opportunity to find your walking legs. The headland was probably the first New Zealand landmark seen by the original English settlers after their lengthy voyage. Nesting sites for spotted shags and the white-flippered little blue penguin can be found along the coastal cliffs.

Orari Bed & Breakfast

Day 3 Christchurch / Arthur’s Pass / Hokitika to Bay of Islands

Board your Tranzalpine train for a marvellous alpine crossing of the Southern Alps. In the afternoon collect your rental vehicle in Greymouth and drive south to Hokitika , the centre of the West Coast gold mining rush in the 1870’s.

Teichelmanns B&B

Day 4 Hokitika / Fox Glacier

South along the coast to ‘Glacier Country’. Travel through the small settlements of Ross and Hari Hari to the Franz Josef and Fox townships. You can walk up to the glaciers , take a guided trek or fly over them (weather permitting).

Fox Mountain View

Day 5 Fox Glacier / Wanaka

Along wild coastlines you’ll climb steeply via the Haast Pass into Mount Aspiring National Park. En route stop to enjoy short walks to Thunder Falls and the Blue Pool.

Lake Matheson Forest Walk: A board walk through a forest of Kakikatea, Korimiku and Lacewood which cover gentle slopes down to the lake edge. The dark lake water produces brilliant reflections of the Southern Alps in the early mornings.
Distance: 2km / 1 mile return.

Criffel Peak View

Day 6 & 7 Mount Aspiring National Park

Enjoy walks in the beautiful Mount Aspiring National Park.
Walk through the Matukituki valley with spectacular views of the Rob Roy Glacier.

Matukituki Valley: Walking across open river terraces you can see magnificent strands of totara on either side of the river. Between the towering bluffs, across the river, you can see the Rob Roy Glacier, perched high above a narrow gorge. Continue to Aspiring Hut.
Distance: 19km / 12 miles
Ascent/descent: 150 m / 500ft

Shorter version of the above: Return from Cascade Hut.
Distance: 14km / 9 miles
Ascent/descent: 90 m / 300ft

Diamond Lake and Rocky Hill: This track is now promoted as the finest half-day walk in New Zealand. Views from the summit are spectacular and give an idea of how the Ice Age glaciers carved and shaped the landscape.
Distance: 8km / 5 miles
Ascent/descent: 500 m / 1,670ft

Eely Point: This is a pleasant short walk beside Lake Wanaka, through to Brenner Bay and Beacon Point.
Distance: 5km / 3 miles

Criffel Peak View

Day8 & 9 Queenstown

Drive to Queenstown, Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere” for walks and activities in this scenic resort situated on Lake Wakatipu. Return your rental vehicle to the Queenstown depot

Walk possibilities include:
Lake Dispute and Moke Lake: These trails offer fine views of the Wakatipu shoreline and surrounding peaks.
Distance: 9km / 6 miles return
Ascent/descent: 220 m / 720ft

Bob’s Cove: A sheltered, secluded bay, 14km (8 miles) from Queenstown. An enjoyable lakeshore walk through beech forest, home to a variety of wildlife.
Distance: 4½km / 3 miles

The Moonlight Trail: An excellent full day walk over the Ben Lomond Saddle to follow the trail of the early gold diggers who sought their fortunes in the Moonlight and Moke Creek gold fields. In good weather there are magnificent views of the Wakatipu region.
Distance: 14½km / 9 miles
Ascent: 645 m / 2120ft
Descent: 1,060 m / 3,465ft

Copthorne Lakefront

Day 10 & 11 Fiordland National Park

Travel by coach to Te Anau, your base for exploration of the Fiordland National Park.

Walk Possibilities include:

Kepler Track: Transfer by boat to Brod Bay for a walk along the lakeside track through mountain and red beech with some scattered rimu and miro.
Distance: 5½km / 3½ miles.

Milford Track Day Walk: Cruise to the top of Lake Te Anau from Te Anau Downs for a day walk on the Milford Track. You will be accompanied by Milford Track Guides, who will explain points of interest including scenic highlights, flora and fauna, and the history of this famous walk.

This is a level walk through ancient beech forest to the Neale Burn, an idyllic setting for a relaxing lunch and maybe a quick swim.
Distance: 8 km / 5 miles

Distinction Villas

Day 12 - 14 Routeburn Track

Spend three days walking the Routeburn Track (2 nights), one of New Zealand’s classic walks, and one of this holiday’s many highlights.

This well-graded route takes you to Key Summit and Lake Howden, and beyond to Lake Mackenzie and Routeburn Falls, before descending through alpine pastures to Queenstown

*The popularity of the Routeburn Track means that early booking is essential. If you prefer not to undertake this walk we can suggest other options including an overnight trip on Doubtful Sound

Copthorne Lakefront

Day 15 Queenstown / Twizel

A morning to relax in Queenstown, prior to collecting your rental vehicle and driving via the picturesque goldrush village of Arrowtown to Cromwell. Continue through the Lindis Pass into the legendary Mackenzie Country.

Mackenzie Country Inn

Day 16 Te Anau

A short drive alongside the glacial blue waters of Lake Pukakaiki will take you to the Hermatige hotel complex and National Park visitor centre from where you can commence your walk on the Hooker Valley Trail.This is a spectacular route with views to Mount Wakefield, Footstool and the south face of Mount Cook.

At 3,755m, Mount Cook is known to the Maoris as ‘Aoraki’ – the ‘cloud piercer’, and dominates a National Park where there are some 20 peaks over 3,050m.

Hooker Valley: One of the most popular walks in the park, the route leads up the Hooker Valley towards Mount Cook, crossing two swing bridges, and continuing to the terminal of the Hooker Glacier.
Distance: 14 km / 9 miles return. (shorter options available)
Ascent: 135 m / 440ft

Mackenzie Country Inn

Day 17 Twizel / Christchurch

The final journey of your holiday , via Tekapo to Christchurch. At Tekapo ascend Mt John for superb viewsof the area. Cross Burke’s Pass and drive across the Canterbury Plains to the Garden city.

Orari Bed & Breakfast

Day 18 Depart New Zealand

The morning is free for sightseeing and last minute shopping prior to your flight home.

Day 1 & 2

Orari B&B

Day 3

Teichelmans B&B

Day 4

Chateau Tongariro

Day 5 - 7

Criffel Peak B&B

Day 8 & 9

Copthorne Lakefront

Day 10 & 11

Distinction Te Anau

Day 12 - 14

Copthorne Lakefront

Day 15 & 16

MacKenzie Country Inn

Day 17

Orari B&B

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