Day 1: Arrive Auckland
This morning you will arrive in Auckland and transfer by shuttle to your centrally located hotel accommodation. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: 1 night
Day 2: Auckland - Rotorua
This morning you will collect your rental car and drive to Rotorua. On the way, you may like to consider visiting Waitomo Caves whre you can experience glow worms glistening in the darkness (or try the famous blackwater rafting) or a visit to Hobbiton. Alternatively you may like to arrive in Rotorua to visit one of the many geothermal areas.
Accommodation: 2 nights
Day 3: Rotorua
Today you have the choice of one of the following activities:
Whirinaki Rainforest Guided Day Hike
Rotorua hiking at its best. Whirinaki is an icon of NZ ecology. It is simply the best example of lowland podocarp forest left on earth. These forests are renowned for ancient trees, rich biodiversity and stunning scenery
. Lunch is included. This walk follows well formed trails of gentle to moderate grade and takes approx 4-5 hours.
Mountain Bike, Kayak, Rafting (or Scenic Walk) & Hot Pools
Today your adventure is in the Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest, one of Rotorua's most spectacular natural assets, famous for its magnificent stands of towering redwood trees. You'll enjoy 2-3 hours of scenic mountain biking, followed by some extreme Kaituna Waterfall Rafting (grade 5+ / grade 3 rafting is also an option), then a delicious local cafe lunch and a beautiful hour-long kayak on Lake Rotoiti, to thermal hot pools that are only accessible by boat. If you'd prefer a more leisurely adventure, you may choose to do a mellow version of the mountain biking followed by a peaceful paddle on the lake, skipping the waterfall rafting. With over 54 miles of mountain biking trails, there is something for everyone. This can be tailored to your preference!
Rotorua Adventure Day: Mountain Bike, Grade 3 (or 5+ with waterfall) Rafting, Lunch, 1 hr Kayak, Hot Pools
Day 4: Rotorua to Queenstown (By Air) / Drive Queenstown to Te Anau
This morning you will return your rental car to Rotorua Airport and fly to Queenstown. Upon arrival, you will collect another rental car and head south to the lovely lakeside town of Te Anau (approx 2 ¼ hrs drive) located in the region of Fiordland. With New Zealand's largest National Park and a World Heritage area, Fiordland has in excess of 600km's (360miles) of formed track for vistiors to explore that traverses valley and alpine environments, earning this area a reputation as the 'Walking Capital of the World'. Along with the renown multi-day walks such as Milford, Kepler and Routeburn Tracks, there is a multitude of short walks available too. You should arrive mid afternoon, in time to enjoy a walk along the lake or possibly take the cruise across the lake to visit the famous Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
Accommodation: 2 nights
Day 5: Te Anau / Milford Sound
Today you will journey along NZ's most spectacular alpine road, the Milford Road, a World Heritage highway with highlights such as the famous Homer Tunnel wedged into a world of slab-sided mountainous rock faces, icy-clear streams, avalanche scars plus the Cleddau Valley, and the rocky gorge of the chasm to Milford Sound. Choose one of the following activities:
Kayak Milford Sound or Hike & Cruise Milford Sound or Cruise & Kayak
Today you have a choice of ways to experience one of New Zealand's icon's, Milford Sound.
Kayak Milford Sound
Kayaking Milford Sound is a wonderful way to experience the sheer beauty of the fiord in a non-instrusive manner. You will paddle beneath towering cliffs clothed in primeval rainforest, by waterfalls and glacial fiords which are home to dolphins, fur seals and crested penguins. Medium level of fitness and some water confidence required, but no previous experience necessary. Kayaking time on fiords: 4-5hrs. Note: kayaking on Milford Sound does not operate during June, July, August, Sept and 25 Dec.
Hike and Cruise Milford Sound
Today you can choose to embark on an unguided walk ascending up through lush beech rainforest into an alpine environment with panoramic views of the surrounding Fiordland Mountains, alpine lakes and deep bush-clad valleys. Alternatively, a second option offers a guided nature exploration of the secluded lower Hollyford Valley. After a wilderness tea break, you'll join a nature cruise for a leisurely exploration of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. Operates all year.
Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound
Trip includes a Milford Sound Cruise, entry to the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory and one hour of kayaking around serene Harrison Cove. Enjoy excellent up close viewing opportunity of wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins when in season. Following the cruise, disembark at the Milford Discovery Centre and descend 10 metres down 64 steps underwater into a spacious viewing chamber with uninterrupted 360 degree views of the undersea world to view rare black coral and colourful sea creatures such as blue cod and butterfly perch. Afterwards kayak the crystal waters around Harrison Cove with a specialist kayak and nature guide in an intimate, up close nature experience. No previous kayaking experience is necessary and there's an automated lift for easy entry and exit from the kayaks. Board a vessel for the return cruise to the Milford wharf. Lunch options are available for purchase on the cruise (must be pre-ordered) and complimentary tea and coffee is provided. Milford is approx 2hrs drive from Te Anau. You have two trip times departing from Milford: 9:45am returns 2:30pm or 12:15pm returns 5:00pm. Operates all year.
Day 6: Te Anau - Queenstown
This morning you will travel back to Queenstown and have the afternoon at leisure.
Accommodation: 3 nights
Day 7: Queenstown
Station 2 Station Cycle Trail or Bike to the Vines or Hike Routeburn Track
Today you have the choice of either the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail, Bike to the Vines or Hike Routeburn Track. Bike to the vines is fully supported,the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail is self guided and the Hike Routeburn Track is fully guided.
Station 2 Station Cycle Trail with BBQ Lunch
The perfect half day, independent cycling trip experiencing the best that Queenstown has to offer. Enjoy a cruise to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu on a modern, spacious, purpose-built catamaran. Enjoy spectacular views towards Glenorchy, Mt Earnslaw, the Southern Alps and Remarkables mountain range. Disembark the vessel and journey between Mt Nicholas and Walter Peak Stations (high country farms) as you cycle along a quiet country road through open farm land at your own pace. There is a small climb as you leave the Mt Nicholas woolshed; then the remote, but public, shingle road levels out and continues over easy terrain alongside the lake. Watch the landscape unfold and take in the panoramic alpine views while cycling to the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak where you will enjoy a BBQ Lunch. Afterwards you will board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw for the return cruise to Queenstown. Moderate fitness required. 1.5 hours leisurely biking, gentle rolling terrain. Bike distance: 9 miles. Operates 1 Nov-mid April.
Bike to the Vines
This full day adventure lets you really experience the magnificent scenery of the Wakatipu Basin. We will deliver you to Frankton Track where you follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu, after a morning tea stop you are driven to the Old Shotover Bridge to begin the second leg of your trip biking toward Gibbston Valley, stop at one of the many stunning points along the way and enjoy your packed lunch. This trip and distances can be catered to any level with vehicle support points along the way allowing you to hitch a ride. Your cycling finishes at the Historic Kawarau Bridge where you will be taken to the Gibbston Valley Winery for a relaxing cave tour and wine tasting being delivered back to your accommodation. Distance: 30kms/ 18 miles. Estimated ride time (one way) 4 hours at a slow pace / 3 hours at a fast pace. Operates: 1 Oct – 30 April.
Hike Routeburn Track
This morning you will be collected from your accommodation by your guide. This full day walk in the ancient beech forest of the Mount Aspiring National Park starts with a scenic drive to the northern end of Lake Wakatipu and into the Routeburn Valley and the world-famous Routeburn Track. We begin among towering ancient beech forest, through an 130 million year old magical world, blanketed by forest mosses and ferns and cloud-scraping mountains, some so high they have permafrost and small glaciers. We enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by the grandeur of alpine meadows, meandering streams and majestic snow capped mountains. On our return we explore the old forgotten paths of the Maori, as we travel along the original Greenstone trails, finding new enchantment around each corner and where native birds abound. Walking: easy to moderate. Time: 3-5 hours (optional).
Day 8: Queenstown
Free day to explore.
Day 9: Queenstown - Wanaka
Today you will drive over the Crown Range (New Zealand's highest mountain road) to the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka. Lake Wanaka offers some of the best hiking in New Zealand, from short local walks along the lake and rivers to multi-day guided adventures in Mt Aspiring National Park. From Mt Iron near to the centre of town, you’ll see 360 degree views from the Clutha River Basin stretching to the majestic Southern Alps. For locals’ favourites, try the picturesque Outlet Track or visit one of the outlying communities of Lake Hawea or Luggate along the linking riverside tracks.
Native golden tussock, dark manuka trees and beech forest with all its native birdlife feature on many tracks including the popular Rob Roy Glacier track. Spectacular in its serene beauty, the sight of waterfalls and icefalls cascading down the top of the valley will leave you speechless.
Accommodation: 2 nights
Day 10: Wanaka
Wanaka is the perfect place to take off on your own and discover one of the many hiking tracks or biking trails. Alternatively, if you prefer we can arrange a 'guided' day of hiking or biking.
Check out this great Wanaka trail guide.
Be sure to visit Rippon Vineyard - easily accessed by walking or biking along the lake. Wanaka is also a fabulous spot to get up in a helicopter to view Mt Aspiring and glaciers.
Day 11: Wanaka - Queenstown / Depart New Zealand
Today your Hike Bike Kayak New Zealand adventure ends. You will travel back to Queenstown airport and return your rental car.