South Island New Zealand is an outdoor adventurer's dream, snow capped mountains, golden sand beaches, majestic fjords, and wonderful food and wine. There are few places on earth that pack as much punch per square km.
Although you really need a month to do the South Island justice you can see the very best at a nice pace in 2 weeks, New Zealand is ''Outside the Squares - adventure holidays'' home base and there is nothing more satisfying than showing others our adventure playground.
This is a trip for those who love getting outdoors, rather than the cities, and it will suit people who love walking in nature, but who don't fancy the hiking with big packs on their backs (which our ''Great Walk'' trips entails). So demographic 45 - 70, Gay guys who enjoy hiking and for whom a 5-6 hours walk a day is manageable, terrain is modest but not flat. We will do about 4 full day walks 5-6hr, and the rest will be short walks of 2-3hr to see a valley or glacier etc. This is an active trip, no sitting in a coach seeing the sights!
Arrive Christchurch - Depart Queenstown
Daily Itineraries can change but here is a overview. Kaikoura had a lot of damage in the 2016 earthquake and what we do here will be dependant on access and repairs.
Christchurch (1 Night)
Our trip will start in the garden city of Christchurch, (still being rebuilt after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011) with a drive and walk in the port hills, overlooking the city followed by an evening welcome meal out at a local restaurant as we get to know each other.
The next day we will head north to Kaikoura with time enough for the 2 hour spectacular coastal walk around the headland, (we will see seals and if we are lucky dolphins at play) before heading on to Picton for the night, ready for our morning boat transfer to the start of the Queen Charlotte coastal walk.
Picton (1 Night) and the Queen Charlotte coastal track (2 nights)
We have 2 full days walking, and 2 nights on this wonderful walk, hiking with just day packs carrying our lunch and drinks, whilst our luggage is transported by boat between the lodges. (anyone not up to walking for the day can take the boat as a option) The coastal scenery is spectacular with the walk passing through many types of native vegetation, birds are everywhere and don't worry, we have no snakes in New Zealand. After breakfast on our second night we will catch the boat back to Picton and drive on to Nelson and this towns vibrant centre of arts.
Nelson (1 Night)
We will arrive in Nelson by mid afternoon and there is time to explore the town and its pub and restaurant scene.
From Nelson we head south through the Nelson lakes district for a few hours until we meet the west coast of the island, where we turn north heading up to Karamea one of the most isolated settlements in New Zealand.
Karamea (2 Nights)
After breakfast we pack some lunch and head off do another spectacular day's walking north of Karamea on our favourite section of the Heaphy track. This is a full day's walk through some of the most spectacular and unusual coastal scenery in the world. Few people ever get to do this walk but you will know why we have chosen it for you.
Greymouth (1 night)
Leaving Karamea we head down the west coast, stopping at the many sights on the way including the pancake rocks of Punakaiki and a walk in the Paparoa national park.
Franz Josef (1 night)
From Greymouth we head down to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers visiting both with hikes up the valley. Here we stay in Gay managed accomodation, and rest up in the hot pools under the stars at night.
Queenstown (2 nights)
We continue south crossing the Southern Alps at the Haast Pass, then on to Wanaka where we stop to see the lake, before heading on to Queenstown the adventure capital of the south, with its great bars and restaurants. We will have 2 nights here, and it sure is a highlight, often called the ''dude'' capital of the world, with eye candy everywhere. Unfortunately there is no Gay bar, but the international crowd is friendly and welcoming.
Milford Sound (1 night in the National Park subject to availability)
Alternative accommodation at Te Anau
We will spend 2 full days exploring the wonders of Fiordland with an overnight in the national park and a cruise on Milford sound being a highlight, plus weather permitting some spectacular walks in the Alpine region.
On our final morning we plan our departure time to your flight time aiming to arrive in Queenstown around lunchtime. Flights leave mid afternoon connecting from Auckland to your home base.
Accommodation on this trip is an eclectic mixture, of lodges, gay homestay and B&B, guest houses, and hotels, all twin share, and mostly with en-suite (if solo we will buddy you up with a mate or pay a small single supplement to have a room of your own guaranteed) Wherever possible we stay in gay owned or managed accommodation, and as always on our trips we choose character value places over ''Glam'', around 3* with a central location. Depending on numbers we use Gay adventure travel home or farm stays, and our lodge in the national park at Milford sound is shared bathrooms. All are clean and comfortable and give you a real Kiwi feel. No chain hotels here, so again think adventure rather than tour group bland hotels. Some places will include breakfast and sometimes we will make our own continental style.
On this trip you will need a pair of good walking boots, a light day pack, and a rain jacket for or walking days and a swimming costume for when the sea looks too tempting to resist.
The south island has little commercial gay life in the places we visit. Mostly, with 6-10 people travelling together, we'll create our own environment and we will stay in gay owned places where possible.
New Zealand South Island a 14 day adventure.
March 10th to 23rd 2018
(Closed to new bookings)
Yes its the weekend after the 40th Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, time to get fit and hit the country side after the party.
(Min 4 people max 8)