11
days

Contrasts: Two Strikingly Different – Comfortable Hikes

We are often asked to create walking itineraries that cover a diverse spectrum of New Zealand's unique and natural environments, within a manageable time-frame. This tour has been very popular with guests and for good reason. Experience the magical Hollyford Valley in Fiordland and the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound in the Marlborough Sounds, these are both considered 'A'-list New Zealand hiking experiences.

Fully Guided & Supporting Walks on the Hollyford and Queen Charlotte Tracks with Comfortable Accommodation and Great Food.

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Itinerary

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1
Queenstown

HOLLYFORD TRACK PRE DEPARTURE BRIEFING 

Your pre departure briefing begins at 6 pm on the night before your walk begins. This is a chance for you to meet your guide and fellow walkers. Your guide will "walk" you through the next three unforgettable days, on the Hollyford Track. Backpacks will be provided at this briefing to those who require them. The pre departure briefing takes place at R & R Sports Queenstown (corner of Camp & Shotover streets) or at The Luxmore Hotel if staying in Te Anau.

Accommodation Queenstown - 1 night

2
PYKE RIVER LODGE, GLOW WORMS AND WATERFALLS

DAY 1) The Hollyford Track - Walking Distance 17 km (12 mi)

Depart Queenstown by 7am, travel along side the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and on to Te Anau. Those starting in Te Anau join the trip at 9 am. After a brief stop, depart for the Hollyford Valley and travel through the majestic Eglington Valley to the start of the Track in the Hollyford Valley visiting Gunn's Camp museum on the way. Then re-trace the footsteps of early explorers along the Hollyford River to Pyke River Lodge. As the Track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside tumbling waterfalls enjoy interesting historical tales and interpretation of the forest and bird life. In the evening you can visit our nearby glow-worm colony.

Meals Provided: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Hollyford Track - Pyke River Lodge - 1 night

3
LAKES, JET BOATING, 1000 YEAR OLD TREES AND WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE

DAY 2) The Hollyford Track - Walking Distance 12 km (7 mi)

Begin your day with a short walk to Lake Alabaster and learn of the history and geology of the area whilst in the midst of stunning surroundings. Cross Fiordland's longest swing bridge and then enjoy a captivating jet boat journey down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow to the historic site of Jamestown, the intended capital of the South Island in the late 19th century. Walk through the ancient Podocarp forest (New Zealand native pines) with huge Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea trees wrapped in massive Rata vines. Then visit the fur seal colony at Long Reef on the wild West Coast. You may see the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin. Spend the night at Martins Bay Lodge.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Hollyford Track - Martins Bay Lodge - 1 night

4
MARTINS BAY BEACH AND COASTLINE/SCENIC FLIGHT TO MILFORD SOUND

DAY 3) The Hollyford Track - Walking Distance 8km (5 mi)

Travel by jet boat to the beach and explore the seven kilometre Martins Bay Beach, sand dunes and lagoon. Learn about its history and its plant, sea and bird life. Return to Martins Bay Lodge and then enjoy a scenic flight to Milford Sound, with views of the Track route, Hollyford Valley and Mt Tutoko, Fiordland's highest peak. Board your coach for your return journey to Queenstown or Te Anau with stops of interest along the way. Arrive back in Te Anau by 5 pm and Queenstown by approximately 7.30 pm.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

5
Queenstown a Day of leisure

You could wake every day in Queenstown for a year and not repeat the same activity. Queenstown is the centre of adventure in New Zealand, there truly is something here for everyone. Every possible mode of transport and adventure is available to explore Central Otagos lakes (Wakatipu & Hawea), rivers (Shotover, Kawerau, Dart) and mountains (Coronet Peak, Remarkables, Ben Lomond) Today relax and enjoy the stunning lakes & rivers - there is a bounty of vineyards, cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the wider district of Queenstown, including Arrowtown and Gibbston Valley.

Recommended Excursions in Queenstown:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 
6
Flight Queenstown to Blenheim - Transfer to Picton

Picton is a waterfront village snuggled between the hills and the sea at the top of the South Island New Zealand's gateway to the glorious Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park. It is in the sunny Marlborough region, famous for its visits from Captain Cook in the 1700s, its fine wines, green-lipped mussels, sandy beaches, popular boating centre and the Queen Charlotte Sounds.

Accommodation Picton - 1 night

7
Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet via Motuara Island

DAY 1 ) Queen Charlotte Track (5-6 hours walking, 14 km 8.8 mi)

Your trip begins with personalised eco-tour with our guides on board a Cougar Line catamaran. During the morning your guide will share their knowledge of the sea birds and marine mammals as you travel to Motuara Island in the outer-Queen Charlotte Sound. Here you may have the opportunity to see the rare South Island Saddleback and South Island Robin who have been re-colonised on to this island sanctuary.

From Motuara Island you will cross the Sound to be dropped off at Ship Cove where you will begin your walk on the Queen Charlotte Track. Ship Cove is one of the most historic areas in the Sounds as it was one of James Cook's most popular destinations on his many world travels. The area is surrounded by bountiful virgin bush and the walk to the top of the ridge provides spectacular views. As you make your way down into Endeavour Inlet, you will spy Furneaux Lodge, your first night’s accommodation.

Dinner: will be served in the restaurant with a glass of wine.

Accommodation Queen Charlotte Track - Furneaux Lodge - Studio Suites.
 

8
FURNEAUX LODGE - PUNGA COVE RESORT

DAY 2 ) Queen Charlotte Track (4 hours walking, 12.5 km 7.4 mi)

After a leisurely breakfast at Furneaux Lodge you may like to take a walk up to the waterfall and see the magnificent stands of virgin native bush. Re-join the track as it winds its way around the coastline to the other side of Endeavour Inlet. Prolific birdsong dominate the day as you walk through some regenerating and virgin native bush.

Dinner is served in the restaurant with a glass of wine.

Accommodation Queen Charlotte Track - Furneaux Lodge -  Chalets.

9
PUNGA COVE - PORTAGE RESORT HOTEL

DAY 3 ) Queen Charlotte Track (8 hours walking, 24.5 km 15 mi)

Today you walk from Punga Cove to the Portage Resort Hotel along the ridge between Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sound. Spectacular views dominate the day as you negotiate the very undulating ridge between the two sounds. This section is considered the most difficult on the track and clients do need to have a good level of fitness to enjoy this walk.

Dinner will be served in the restaurant with a glass of wine.

Accommodation Queen Charlotte Track - The Portage Resort - Hillside Suites

10
RIDGELINE TRACK - PICTON

DAY 4 ) Queen Charlotte Track (7 hours walking, 20km)

Your final day on the Queen Charlotte Track. Today you will ascend to a ridgeline track which provides wonderful vistas of the Sounds as you walk along. After Misteltoe Bay, the track sidles along the hill and drops down into Davies Bay before the last half hour through mature beech forest ending at Anakiwa where our van will collect you for your return to Picton. Approximate walking time is 6-7 hours.

Accommodation Picton - 1 night

11
Interisland Cruise to Wellington

A three-hour cruise from Picton, across Cook Strait, connects New Zealand’s North and South Islands. This challenging stretch of water connects the Tasman Sea to the Southern Pacific Ocean, for one third of the crossing the ferry navigates through the majestic Marlborough Sounds, a haven of sheltered inlets, coves and crystal clear waters.

On arrival into Wellington, this capital city is set between a magnificent harbor and rolling green hills situated at the southern tip of the North Island. It is also a compact city where funky shops, exciting galleries and great restaurants are within easy walking distance - not to mention the National Museum, National Theater and Gallery.

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy the Ultimate New Zealand Adventure Tour and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.