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The Wild Walking Tour - South Island 2020

2 - 10 November 2020

Double or twin share $3,970.00

Deposit to confirm booking $480.00

Balance payable by: 18 Sep 2020
Click here to register your interest

The Wild Walking Tour

Every day is an adventure, but a good level of fitness is required together with a flexible attitude, to take full advantage of the tramps, special features and natural attractions that take a ‘little time and effort’ to reach. Please carefully read the full itinerary for further details.

Day 1

Monday 02 November - Travelling to Christchurch

A very early start today as we are transferred to Wellington Interislander Ferry Terminal to board our morning sailing to Picton.

Lunch today (at your own cost) will either be on the ferry or in Picton. Our coach will depart Picton at 1.15pm heading south to our first stop - Kaikoura. Arriving at Kaikoura we break for a comfort stop and a short leg stretch, a chance to sample the Kaikoura Peninsula walk, where we can see the recovery of the foreshore after the devasting Kaikoura earthquake. We leave Kaikoura to head to our evening’s accommodation in Christchurch. With a late arrival at our hotel we have dinner awaiting us and we can then head off to polish our tramping boots for our eight days of walking and exploring some of the South Islands greatest walks.

Day 2

Tuesday 03 November - Arthur’s Pass Adventure

Our first day of tramping sees us making our way to the West coast via Arthur’s Pass.

In the heart of the Southern Alps at Arthur’s Pass National Park, we are met by our guides from Canterbury Trails. The experienced guides have designed a few walking options for us as a group to choose from on the day. We can split into two groups to accommodate different fitness levels. Option one: the Dobson Valley Nature Track (30min return) is an easy hike through a rich variety of sub-alpine and alpine plants, including herbs, tussocks, shrubs and flowers and the Mt Cook buttercup Ranunculus lyallii. Option two follows a short section of the Arthur’s Pass walking track before branching off to cross Bealey Chasm (1 hour return), a narrow channel where the river cascades over huge boulders. For stunning views of Mt Rolleston, we can continue on, climbing a hill to a snowgrass clearing. The track then re-enters the beech forest and ends when you reach the Bealey River. For the hard-core trampers option three: The Devils Punchbowl Walking Track (1.5 hour return) gives us the chance to feel the full force and sound of fresh mountain water falling 131 metres down one of New Zealand’s most stunning waterfalls. The Department of Conservation describes it as one of our best short walks. This track is a known kea spotting place. They seem to love this walk as much as humans do! Whatever your level of walking fitness today there is something for everyone. We stay in Hokitika this evening, dining at our Beachfront hotel.

Day 3

Wednesday 04 November - West Coast Walking

A leisurely start this morning sees us depart the hotel for the famous Hokitika Gorge.

Here we can make the short walk down to view the spectacular turquoise waters of the gorge. After a Tranzit style morning tea we head back to town and enjoy a few hours off to explore the boutique shops or do a bit of beachcombing. Be sure to grab your lunch (own cost) before we depart for Franz Josef Glacier. Here there are a range of walks, from the Glacier Valley Walk (1hour return) to the Douglas Walk (45min return) to Peters Pool (20min return), you can choose your own. We stay in Franz Josef Village tonight. After dinner out at the local’s favourite, The Monsoon, we have a few choices for some night-time adventure or you can just relax back at the hotel. Please note - These night adventure options need to be pre-booked.
Option One: A kiwi night walk adventure with Okarito Kiwi Night Adventures (at your own cost). We meet our experienced kiwi guide at the start of the Okarito track. As you know, kiwi only come out at night, so this adventure is for those of you with good fitness, great night eyes and a good level of patience. Due to the nature of this option we cannot guarantee a kiwi viewing or how long you could be out in the bush. Our guide does however boast a 95% success rate for kiwi spotting, and you can be sure that seeing a kiwi in the wild is something you will remember for ever.
Option two: For those of you who are ready to relax your walking legs,the Franz Josef hot pools are awaiting you (also at your own cost). For those pre-booked for the relaxing hot pools, we will arrange transport to and from the pools.
Once back at our hotel we all get some rest for our amazing walks scheduled for tomorrow.

Day 4

Thursday 05 November - Haast Hiking

A scenic wonderland awaits us today with walks at Lake Matheson, Thunder Creek Falls, the Blue Pools and a beautiful vantage point of Fox Glacier.

All our walks today are self-guided, with detailed maps provided, clear tracks at all our tramping spots and clear departure times. You know your level of fitness the best, so you can decide which walks will suit our departure schedules at each stop. Our lunch stop today is in the village of Haast (at your own cost). Continuing south, our final destination today is the beautiful resort town of Wanaka. Tonight we dine out in style with a set menu at Bistro Gentil, one of Wanaka’s finest.
A well-earned night of great food and amazing local wines.

Day 5

Friday 06 November - Walking at Wanaka

One of our trip highlights today is to enjoy a cruise on Lake Wanaka to experience a guided walk on the remote and magical Mou Waho Island.

This predator-free island is home to the rare flightless buff weka, giant weta and other native New Zealand wildlife. The island also holds a unique geological secret, a lake right at the top of the island! We have “high-tea” by the lake where we can soak in the panorama of the Southern Alps spread before us.
Upon arrival back at the hotel we once again reward our hard day’s tramping with a 5-star lunch at the beautiful Edgewater Resort. Those of us that are feeling refreshed after lunch might like to wander back to town along the Waterfall Creek Track; this gentle walking track takes you past the famous vista of the Wanaka tree. If you decide to hitch a ride on the coach, transfers are available back to our accommodation or into town, to enjoy an afternoon at your own leisure. Tonight, we meet for a casual dinner at the Bullock Bar and Grill where local brews and lakefront views help us unwind.

Day 6

Saturday 07 November - Rest and Recovery

Our legs get a day off today as we enjoy a leisurely day of amazing views, wine tasting and exploring Arrowtown and Queenstown.

We start our day with a photo opportunity at the famous Cardrona Hotel before we make our way over the Crown Range, with a stop at the best vantage point - the top! We then continue on to the beautiful village of Arrowtown, known for its boutique, bespoke shops and historic buildings. If a leg stretch is needed, then there are a couple of interesting short walks we can point you towards. We find lunch here (at your own cost) before enjoying an afternoon wine tasting at the award-winning Akarua Vineyard.
If time permits we will make a short stop in Queenstown before we carry on to our night’s accommodation at Camp Glenorchy. Don’t be fooled by its name, our accommodation this evening is more than camp tents, Camp Glenorchy is one of New Zealand’s best eco-lodges. Built on the principles of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), which is recognised as the most stringent environmental building design certification in the world, and registered under the Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Certification™, we experience true eco-luxury. This brings us to the start of tomorrow’s tramp on one of New Zealand’s world-famous great walks.

Day 7

Sunday 08 November - The Routeburn

We enjoy a glimpse of one of New Zealand’s Great Walks today, The Routeburn Track.

Met by our guides
from Glenorchy Journeys, we head to the Routeburn shelter start of the track and take off on a half day
fully guided excursion that follows the main track for a distance. We enjoy beautiful red beech dominated
forest, the blue-green waters of the Routeburn river and stunning examples of native plants and birdlife
all surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. A truly awe-inspiring walk.
Upon our return we head to the lake front Glenorchy settlement, where we grab some lunch (own cost)
before we head deeper south again, following Lake Wakatipu as we pass some of New Zealand’s most
amazing mountain vistas. Arriving at our evening’s accommodation in Te Anau, we settle in for the final
nights of our tour.

Day 8

Monday 09 November - The Milford

Another one of our tour highlights, we walk a section of the world-famous Milford Track today.

Departing
from the Te Anau Downs jetty we journey across Lake Te Anau to Glade Wharf, the start of the track. From
here we cross a suspension bridge and enter the beautiful beech forested landscapes of Fiordland. This
is an exclusively guided experience again today, and with a packed picnic lunch we can tailor the day to
take in as much of the track as the day and our fitness allows.
Back at our accommodation, there is time to relax and unwind before enjoying a quiet drink and our last
dinner together.

Day 9

Tuesday 10 November - Homeward Bound

We are homeward bound today, but with time for a short walk along the lakeshore to the peaceful surrounds of the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary - Punanga Manu o Te Anau.

Takahe are the stars of the show here but look out for cheeky kaka and other species. We then head off on the final leg of our journey. With one last stop in Kingston for lunch at the iconic Kingston Flyer Railway Station Café, we then make our way to Queenstown Airport where we start to say our goodbyes before departing for Wellington Airport and our transfers home.

The cost of the tour includes

  • 2 course or buffet dinners, including fine dining at Bistro Gentil, Wanaka
  • All Breakfasts
  • Morning teas on most travelling days
  • All coach travel
  • Interislander Ferry transfers
  • Air New Zealand flight Queenstown to Wellington
  • Arthur’s Pass guided walk
  • Lake Wanaka cruise and walk on Mou Waho Island
  • Lunch at Edgewater Resort
  • Wine tasting at Akarua Winery
  • Routeburn Track guided walk
  • Milford Track Cruise and guided walk

Departure Detail

The door to door transfers on the Tranzit Travel Club tours are such a bonus. Being picked up at my door and dropped back after our travels made things so easy! - Liz Black