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 people 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.
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 daypacks 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 the west coast.
Westport (1 Night)
We will arrive in Westport late afternoon and there is time to explore the town and its pub and restaurant scene.
Today we head north up to Karamea one of the most isolated settlements in New Zealand, we arrive in time for lunch and then in the afternoon do a spectacular walk in the Kahurangi National Park.
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.
Punakaike (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 /Fox (1 night)
Continuing south we head down to Franz Josef with hikes up the valley to see the glacier.
Makarora (1 night)
In the morning we will hike around lake Lake Matheson before we continue south crossing the Southern Alps at the Haast Pass, then on to Makarora and our night at a ranch house on a southern farm. Here we will all muck in to cook a traditional meal for the evening, a true "Kiwi" experience.
Milford Sound (2 nights in the National Park subject to availability)
Alternative accommodation at Te Anau
We will spend 2 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.
Queenstown (1 night)
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the south, with its great bars and restaurants. We will spend our last night 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.
On our final day it's free time before a transfer to the airport for your flight home. Flights generally leave mid afternoon connecting to international flights from Auckland to your home base.
Queenstown is a great place to extend your holiday if you have the time.
Accommodation on this trip is an eclectic mixture, of lodges, motels, 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. 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. Breakfast is rarely included in New Zealand accomodation and mostly we will make our own continental style or visit a cafe.
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 6-8 people travelling together, we'll create our own environment.
New Zealand South Island a 14 day adventure.
(Register now for our future date release)
Min of 4, Max 8 walkers looking to explore New Zealand.
Best hiking months in NZ are November to March
Arrive Christchurch and depart Queenstown.
(Min 4 people max 8)
Costing is based on availability of the accomodation and this trip needs to booked a long way in advance to secure the walks.