New Zealand: Secret South FJ1

11 Days From £0 (1,841 USD)

Take a journey to secret locations where rare wildlife play and exquisite scenery takes over. Your small group can enjoy the serenity of beautiful mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes and calm fiords while hiking, kayaking, cycling and camping through the south.

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Key Information

Travel Style: Small Group
Start Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
End Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Accommodation: Hotel, Camping
Period: Fixed Departures
Difficulty: You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic

About The Operator

Accreditations: Section coming soon
Years In Business: 1

Visit iconic New Zealand landmarks and classic kiwi locations – knowing that your experience of them will be truly unique.

Hiking & Fitness;
Grade: D
Average 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 7 hours on longer days.
Pack weights of 10-12kgs (22-26lbs) on some days.
Altitude gains of up to 800 metres, (2600ft).
Terrain mostly tracks. Some slippery, rough or uneven track surfaces and river crossings.
Some off-track hiking.
No multi-day hiking experience necessary.
Agility and fitness required. You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic.

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
- Meals that are included in the trip price are detailed as B (Breakfast), L (Lunch) and D (Dinner).

Excludes
- International flights

Prices per person, based on 2 people traveling - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Join Tour in Queenstown. 6km/3 hours hiking. Meet at the Queenstown Visitor Centre at 8:00am and after a briefing by our guide head south into Fiordland National Park. This amazing World Heritage Site is the largest national park in the country and one of the largest in the world. The huge glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri border the spectacular inland coastline that is Fiordland. The area is dominated by water, either in the form of lakes or as falling rain, which has enabled the establishment of temperate rainforest. Prepare for our first hike to Key Summit on the renowned Routeburn Track – a great hike of around three hours. From here there are fantastic views across to the Darran Mountains. Make our way to the historic “Gunns Camp” in the Hollyford Valley. LD
Day 02. Milford Sound. 8km/4 hours kayaking. Rise early and drive through the Homer Tunnel and down to Milford Sound. You can hire kayaks (optional - NZ$145*) and be guided out into the fiord with its cascading waterfalls and views of Mitre Peak (1722 metres straight out of the sea). Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals often play near our kayaks. This is the ideal way to experience the fiord. While kayaking there are lots of stops to view the wildlife and take photos. After returning to shore there is a drive back over the divide to our campsite on the shores of Lake Monowai. BLD
Day 03. Fiordland National Park. 12km/7 hours hiking. Morning drive to Borland Saddle (at 1000 metres) in Fiordland National Park for lunch and to organise food for our first overnight hike. The visual impact of this park is stunning; during the Ice Age, the glaciers gouged the fiords and lakes, hollowed out the rounded valleys, and shaped the granite mountain peaks. There are different forest types all over the park: on the eastern side red, silver and mountain beech fill the valleys, and in the northern sections, podocarp forests of matai, rimu, and totara can be found. From Borland Saddle the trail goes above the bush line onto the Hunter Range with great views over Fiordland. Traverse along the tops to Mt Burns (1634 metres – optional climb) and descend to Green Lake to a backcountry hut, or to a camp nearby. BLD
Day 04. Catlins Coast. 7km/3 hours hiking. Have a leisurely breakfast in this idyllic site, before hiking out through beech forest and across tussock basins to the road. Have lunch and then drive through to Invercargill for a food shop. This is the southernmost city in New Zealand and its roots, as reflected by its name, are from Scottish settlers who came here in the late 1800’s. Many of the city’s tree-lined streets bear the names of Scottish rivers. Carry on to Curio Bay in the Catlins, an unspoiled scenic region of coast, rivers and podocarp forest – once an area inhabited by the giant moa (largest bird in the world - now extinct). Relax here and stay in a cosy crib* (a New Zealand summer house). *in peak season summer season we may camp at local beach camp ground. There is a chance to enjoy a swim in the sea and then a hot shower to complete our day. BLD
Day 05. Cannibal Bay. 6km/2 hours hiking. This morning explore Curio Bay and try to spot Hector’s dolphins, which sometimes surf on the waves. Walk to a nearby tidal platform that contains tree stumps from a fossilised forest 180 million years old – it is one of the most extensive fossil forests in the world. The platforms are a palaeontologist’s dream. The fossils are evidence of New Zealand’s location in the ancient Gondwanaland; plant species identified here are similar to those found in South America. Drive along the coast to reach our next destination of Cannibal Bay. The bay takes its name from human bones discovered here last century that were possibly part of a Maori feast. You have a chance to see New Zealand sea-lions and yellow-eyed penguins, the rarest breeds of sea-lions and penguins in the world. Camp near the beach and prepare a hangi feast (Maori earth oven). BLD
Day 06. Central Otago. Rest day/optional cycling. Today is an optional rest day in the picturesque town of Alexandra in the heart of Central Otago. If you are feeling energetic, you can join a cycle tour (optional - $90*) on the historic rail trail that winds its way through the vast and mountainous landscape of Central Otago, through tunnels and across many viaducts. Alternatively you can relax in Alexandra and visit the local cafes or vineyards. No cooking tonight, as there are some excellent local restaurants to choose from. BLD
Day 07. Ohau Range. 7km/3 hours hiking. After a leisurely breakfast drive through the high country. This part of the South Island is home to some of New Zealand’s largest sheep stations, many measuring tens of thousands of hectares. Cross Lindis Pass into Mackenzie Country to arrive at Lake Ohau. There is time to relax and have a swim in this spectacular setting before packing for our next overnight hike. Head up through beech forest to a camp beside Freehold Creek, just below the bush line. BLD
Day 08. Ohau Range. 14km/7 hours hiking. Up early, leave our camp and head off with day packs to explore a beautiful basin filled with tarns (small alpine lakes). The basin contains an incredible variety of alpine plants, including Spaniards (prickly), and the world’s largest buttercup, named the Mount Cook Lily (Ranunculus lyalli), because of its large round lily-like leaves. The fit can climb up onto the Ohau range (1915 metres) to enjoy views of the Southern Alps, including Mount Cook, and the Mackenzie Basin. Return to pack up camp, and hike back to the vehicle. Tonight’s lodging is Buscot Station, a high country sheep station. There is the option of camping or staying in the homestead. BLD
Day 09. Mt Cook National Park. 8km/5 hours hiking. After a short drive set off with day packs to hike up to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut in Mount Cook National Park. There are impressive views of the Hooker and Mueller glaciers, Mount Sefton icefall and New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook – 3754 metres (the Maori name translates to ‘Cloud Piercer’). On our walk learn about glaciers, mountain building and the New Zealand climate. Descend back down to our vehicle and drive to the southern end of Lake Pukaki – artificially raised 30 metres for hydroelectric power generation. This lake is an exquisite turquoise colour caused by the fine glacial silt suspended in the water. Camp on the shores of Lake Pukaki and enjoy beautiful views across to New Zealand’s highest peaks. BLD
Day 10. Mt Somers. 5km/4 hours hiking. Continue through the Mackenzie Basin (an area named after a legendary sheep rustler) and pass Lake Tekapo before reaching our destination, Mt Somers. Hike up a river canyon and climb out to a Trig Point with great views into the Rakaia Basin. There are several altitudinal plant sequences during our hike, along with regenerating beech forest. The New Zealand falcon is frequently seen flying in this area. Stay in a grand backcountry hut tonight. BLD
Day 11. Tour Ends in Christchurch. 5km/4 hours hiking. Spend our final day together exploring water caves (you get a bit wet!), Tri-Falls Stream and swimming in Emerald Pool or under a pounding waterfall known as the ‘Spa’. Hike back along the canyon rim to an abandoned coal mine to explore some relics. It’s then a short drop back to the car park. Have lunch before leaving this beautiful park. After cleaning up the vehicle and sorting our gear, drive across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, arriving in the early evening. BL