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Credit: Rob Suisted
Credit: Julian Apse
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Your clients will begin their trip in the alpine resort town of Queenstown. They will then travel north to The Routeburn Shelter, the start of The Routeburn Track. This challenging 32km walk passes through the incredible landscapes of Mt Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park.
Your clients will finish The Routeburn Track with a transfer to Te Anau, the gateway to the fiords. After a relaxing couple of days exploring Fiordland your clients will begin the stunning Milford Track. This 53.5km track is known to many as the finest walk in the world. After completing the Milford Track your clients will head back to Te Anau before travelling on to Wanaka. Here your clients will enjoy a couple of relaxing days before travelling back to Queenstown the end point on this itinerary.
To ensure your clients are well rested after their flight, we recommend they stay a night or two in their arrival city before collecting a rental vehicle. Driving in a new country can be challenging and will be even worse if the driver is tired. The driver should always be well rested, take regular breaks during the journey and plan to drive for only 1-2 hours at a time.
New Zealand has unique road rules and driving conditions that your clients may not be used to. For a safe and enjoyable journey make sure your clients know where to find information on New Zealand’s road rules before they depart for their holiday.
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Arrive at Queenstown International Airport. Queenstown services international flights to/from the eastern seaboard of Australia. Alternatively fly into Auckland or Christchurch and take a short domestic flight to Queenstown.
Spend the day exploring Queenstown.
The alpine resort town of Queenstown is situated in the Southern Lakes region of the South Island. There are a multitude of attractions and activities on offer from cruising Lake Wakatipu to teeing off on championship golf courses. Queenstown offers world-class dining and a vibrant nightlife scene.
Today your clients will start The Routeburn Track. The 32km track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and although it may be a shorter multi-day hike it has some of the biggest scenery.
Transport is required at both ends of the track and this can be booked through a number of reputable operators. Self-drive is an option however the track is not a loop track and the use of car relocators is required.
The Routeburn Track may be hiked independently or undertaken as a guided walk. The Department of Conservation (DOC) offers independent walkers 4 huts and two campsites all of which must be pre-booked. The itinerary for guided hikers will differ slightly to days 2-4 of this itinerary as guided hikers stay in private lodges.
Your clients will begin The Routeburn Track from Routeburn Shelter and hike to Routeburn Falls Hut, approximately 8.8km. Allow approximately 2.5 – 3.5 hours to complete this section of the track.
This is the last day of the Routeburn Track (12km), approximately 4 - 5.5 hours. In the morning your clients will depart Lake Mackenzie Hut and follow the track to the spectacular Earland Falls (174m). The track then continues on a gradual descent to the Lake Howden Hut, a great place to stop for lunch. From here, the track climbs steadily to the Key Summit Track turnoff. Walkers then head gradually downhill to The Divide on Milford Road.
Pre-arranged shuttle transport will collect your clients from The Divide and transfer them to Te Anau, approximately 1 hour (85km). Alternatively your clients can arrange for their rental vehicle to be relocated from the Routeburn Shelter to The Divide, then self-drive to Te Anau.
Give tired legs a rest and spend the day relaxing in Te Anau.
The attractive town of Te Anau lies nestled on the edge of beautiful Lake Te Anau, with a spectacular backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison mountains. Te Anau is the ‘gateway to the fiords’ being the closest town to Milford Sound.
Today your clients will begin the Milford Track. Arguably New Zealand’s most famous walk, the 53km journey passes pristine lakes, sky-scraping mountain peaks and will give your clients enormous valley views.
Your clients have the option to hike the track independently or join a guided tour. Independent hikers must pre-book huts between late October and late April, space is limited to a maximum of 40 people per day. Guided tours will differ somewhat to this itinerary as clients will stay in separate huts offering a slightly more ‘luxurious’ experience, and again should be booked well in advance.
In the morning your clients will take a pre-arranged shuttle from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs, approximately 27km along the road to Milford Sound. There is a car parking area if your clients wish to self-drive and leave their vehicle.
From Te Anau Downs your clients will take a pre-booked boat service to Glade Wharf, the start of the Milford Track. The twice daily boat service takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.
Today your clients will hike 5km from Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut. Allow approximately 1 – 1.5 hours to complete this section of the track. Your clients will cross over several suspension bridges, through attractive beech forest and along the banks of the beautiful Clinton River on this well graded track. There are good swimming holes near the hut.
Today your clients will hike to the highest point on the track, over MacKinnon Pass at 1154 metres. From the summit there are amazing views back towards Clinton Valley and north towards Arthur Valley and Milford Sound.
Further along the track your clients will get a great view of stunning Sutherland Falls – the highest in New Zealand. The 580 metre fall drops directly out of Lake Quill, which is fed by several glaciers and plummets to the ground in three steps. There is an option to take a side trip (approximately 1.5 hours return) to Sutherland Falls that is highly recommended and well worth the effort.
From here a short walk will see your clients arrive at Dumpling Hut.
This is the last day of the Milford Track. Today’s hike to the end of the track includes a number of pretty waterfalls, suspension bridges and crystal-clear creeks.
Your clients should aim to depart Dumpling Hut between 8am and 9am to connect with the boats departing Sandfly Point at 2pm and 3pm, heading for Milford Sound/Piopiotahi.
From Milford Sound village your clients have the option to take a pre-arranged shuttle back to Te Anau Downs to collect their rental vehicle, approximately 2 hours. Or continue by shuttle a further 30 minutes to Te Anau.
Enjoy a well-deserved relaxing morning in Te Anau. In the afternoon take a pre-arranged shuttle or self-drive from Te Anau to Wanaka, approximately 3 hours 30 minutes.
Many attractions and adventure sports are within reach of Wanaka. Take a scenic cruise on the Lake, sample locally made exquisite wines, or fish at one of the many easily accessible spots. Wanaka has four distinct seasons so no matter what time of year your clients visit, Wanaka is sure to please.
In the morning take a shuttle bus or self-drive from Wanaka to Queenstown, approximately 1 hour. If your clients are travelling by rental vehicle they may wish to stop for lunch in Arrowtown – a quaint historic gold mining village.
A short drive from Arrowtown is spectacular Lake Hayes. Your clients may wish to enjoy an easy walk around the lake, the 10km track takes approximately 2 hours return.
Spend the afternoon exploring Queenstown.
In the morning hike the Queenstown Hill Time Walk, approximately 3 hours return.
The 500 metre climb through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness) is well rewarded by the views. The track starts and ends on Belfast Street.
Note: Parts of the track cross private land, please respect landowner’s rights and keep to the formed track to avoid stock disturbance and farm hazards.
In the afternoon spend more time enjoying Queenstown’s attractions and activities.
Spend another day exploring Queenstown or fly home.
From Queenstown your clients can fly directly to Sydney or Melbourne. Alternatively take a domestic flight to Auckland or Christchurch and depart New Zealand from one of these international gateways.
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