Active Fiordland Adventure

Duration: 6 days

Highlights: - Majestic landscapes, deep fjords, ancient forests and glacier-carved valleys
- A cycling trip from Arrowtown along the Gibbston River Trail
- Hiking the Kepler Track, summit Mou Waho and a day walk on the Milford Track

With a well-known reputation as New Zealand’s adventure capital and scenic surrounds like no other, Queenstown is the perfect start to this unique active experience in the South Island.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Queenstown

Afternoon arrival into New Zealand’s adventure capital where you are met and transferred to your accommodation with a city tour en route. Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the dramatic Remarkables Range, Queenstown offers a plethora of adventure activities as well as a happening art scene, cosmopolitan eateries, great shopping plus vineyards and golf courses nearby. A highlight today is meeting a prominent local artist in his studio-gallery converted from a historic Cheese Factory before reaching Azur Lodge which is just five minutes’ drive from the centre of town with breathtaking vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. A welcome dinner is included tonight in town at Pier 19 on Steamer Wharf. With a spectacular waterfront setting the restaurant dishes up simple, fresh fare with an impressive wine list to match.

Overnight: Azur Lodge

Meal Plan: D

 

Day 2 - Queenstown

Fuel up on breakfast this morning before heading out with your host Judy on a three hour bike tour of Queenstown and surrounds. Start off from the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, where your mountain bike will be tailored to your requirements. After an extensive briefing covering trail navigation and bike safety, head along the beautiful Arrow River Trail downstream to the Kawarau River and onward to the Kawarau Suspension Bridge, home of the world-famous Bungy jump. Continue along the Gibbston River Trail to Gibbston Valley Winery, one of the pioneers of the Central Otago wine industry. Enjoy a two-course lunch with pairing of Gibbston Valley wines. Afterwards tour the vineyard with a senior staff member before an exclusive wine tasting of current releases and past classics in the wine cave. You’re transferred back to the lodge later this afternoon by private vehicle and tonight you meet a local chef for dinner in their home.

Overnight: Azur Lodge

Meal Plan: B,L,D

 

Day 3 - Cromwell & Lake Wanaka

This morning you are driven from Queenstown through the beautiful Kawarau Gorge and on to the fruit growing region of Cromwell, stopping along the way at the celebrated Mrs Jones Orchard and Fruit Stall. In Cromwell there’s time to explore the old historic precinct with its galleries, artisan studios, specialist shops and cafés. Continue the journey to Lake Wanaka, a pristine lake with breathtaking mountain views and gateway to the World Heritage-listed Mt Aspiring National Park. Board your private boat for the cruise to Mou Waho Island, a unique glacial remnant of the last ice age. Hike to the summit through verdant vegetation alive with the calls of native birds. On the way, explore the “island’s secret” – a lake cradling a cluster of smaller islands. At the top enjoy sweeping 360° degree views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding World Heritage Southern Alps with the opportunity to plant a native tree on the island before travelling back to Queenstown via the Crown Range on the highest sealed road in New Zealand, and taking in the glorious views discovered by early farmers in the 1860s.

Overnight: Azur Lodge

Meal Plan: B,L

 

Day 4 - Queenstown – Te Anau

Today we take the legendary road trip to Fiordland, following the shores of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. Fiordland, one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand, has achieved World Heritage status and is renowned as the home of the famous fiords of Milford. A stop for morning tea is included before arriving at Fiordland Lodge which is situated on a hill on the edge of magnificent Lake Te Anau and surrounded by almost 1.2 million hectares of mountains, lake, fiord and rainforest. After time to settle in we set off with Judy on a half-day guided walk along the Kepler Track (approx. 3 hours), taking in mountains, native forest, waterfalls and glacier-carved valleys along the way. A picnic lunch is included in the wilderness and this afternoon the hike is on a gentle, well-maintained track along the edge of Lake Te Anau through ancient beech forest. Stop for tea on a pretty beach and soak up the view. From here the track opens out and winds through open grassland to a wildlife park where there is a good opportunity of seeing the rare flightless takahe as well as native waterfowl, parakeets, weka, tui, kea and pigeon. Dinner tonight is at the lodge.

Overnight: Fiordland Lodge

Meal Plan: B,L,D

 

Day 5 - Fiordland

After breakfast today, head out on a private guided walk (approx. 4 hours) along the world-famous Milford Track to Giant’s Gate Falls on spectacular Milford Sound. With ancient trees towering above emerald-green ferns and birdsong echoing through the canopy, this is a unique World Heritage area best explored on foot. The track, which is flat and well-maintained, leads through superb forest, river and lake scenery. After lunch, cruise the calm waters of Milford Sound between sheer cliffs carved by centuries of ice erosion, and catch sight of majestic Mitre Peak and the many cascading waterfalls that thunder into the depths below.

Overnight: Fiordland Lodge

Meal Plan: B,L,D

 

Day 6 - Fiordland - Queenstown

After breakfast, we drive back to Queenstown (approx. 2 ¼ hours) stopping en route for morning tea. Or take a helicopter back (additional cost) with bird’s-eye views of secluded alpine lakes, lush rainforest and rugged alpine peaks.

Meal Plan: B

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