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“Probably the best route offered by a travel company in New Zealand’s South Island.”

Mackinnon Pass comes into view, and a side track takes you to Hidden Lake and a towering waterfall. The next day you stash your pack at the hut and head up to the pass to take in the spectacular views at sunset. You’re trekking the Millford Track, New Zealand’s premier Great Walk, and its unimaginable beauty has to be seen to be believed.


New Zealand’s South Island is a true walker’s paradise, offering spectacular and varied landscapes. It can feel like you have crossed several continents in one day. A cataclysmic explosion of rock and water has led to its dramatic scenery from the Fjordland with its crystalline lakes and spectacular waterfalls, to Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand or the fascinating Remarkables which stand proud overlooking their reflection in Lake Wakatipu.

We start in Christchurch before heading west to explore the Franz Josef Glacier area. Carrying on through the Haast Pass we arrive at Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park to walk on the park’s challenging trails. Continuing south to Queenstown you walk in the hills and along part of the Routeburn Track, before reaching the magnificent Milford Track.

You spend two days in even more remote Fjordland. Crossing Lake Manapouri and the pass on the other side you reach Deep Cove, the end of the road. Two days are spent in this wonderful area including nearly twenty-four hours on a small cruise boat through Doubtful Sound amongst some of the finest scenery imaginable – this is world heritage country.

Joining the real world again you travel on to Omarama to walk in Mount Cook country. Recrossing the Canterbury Plains, you overnight in Christchurch before our homeward flight.

You stay three nights in shared multibedded bunkrooms on the Milford Track. If you would rather not participate in the Milford Track walk, you can stay at Te Anau and rejoin the group when they arrive after the trek. 


Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent. These walks are in more remote areas such as the Alps or northern Portugal. Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.

  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    The Great South Island Adventure - Including the Milford Track (Grade 6)
    05 Nov 2017
    GRADE 6
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
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  • Itinerary
    05 Nov 2017 - 26 Nov 2017

    Day 1 - In flight
    Depart London Heathrow on a Singapore Airlines flight to Christchurch, via Singapore.

    Day 3 - Christchurch
    Morning arrival into Christchurch (two nights). Christchurch is the country’s second largest city and known as the Garden City of New Zealand. Founded in 1850 as a model church settlement, the founders envisaged recreating an English town – echoed in the Gothic Architecture of its early buildings and the hundreds of acres of parkland surrounding the city. Depending on the arrival time we may have time to visit the city centre (under active restoration since the earthquake), the Cardboard Cathedral and Botanic Gardens in the afternoon.

    Day 4 - Christchurch
    Today we take a scenic walk around Taylors Mistake and Godley Head, overlooking Lyttleton Harbour. There may be time for further exploration in Christchurch in the late afternoon.

    Day 5 - Franz Josef
    We travel by road over Arthurs Pass to Franz Josef,where we stay for two nights. Weather permitting, we will have time to walk up to the snout of the Franz Josef glacier. The following day we walk in the Fox Glacier region. Tucked away in the forested foothills of the Southern Alps, the Fox Glacier is New Zealand’s largest and most explored glacier. In the morning we visit Gillespies Beach to see the remains of an old gold mining settlement. We also walk around Lake Matheson, hopefully to see the reflections of Mount Cook in the still water. After lunch we will walk up to Chalet Lookout followed by a trip up to the edge of the glacier.

    Day 7 - Wanaka
    From Franz Josef we continue by road to Wanaka (where we stay for the following two nights), we travel via the Haast Pass and Lake Hawea. We will stop on the way to take in scenic viewpoints or take a short walk. The following day we will walk in the Mount Aspiring National Park. Our walks may include The Minaret Burn Track (14km ascent 310m / descent 400m), Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain (7km, Ascent / descent 500m) and the Iron Mountain loop.

    Day 9 - Queenstown
    Today we travel from Wanaka to Queenstown, for the following 3 nights. En route we will stop in the old mining town of Arrowtown, and walk in the surrounding hills. The following two days will be spent walking & sightseeing in the Queenstown area. Our programme includes some superb walking in the backcountry surrounding Lake Wakatipu. A hike on the Routeburn Track, which gives a taste of what is in store on the Milford Track hike, and a hike up Ben Lomond (optionally via the gondola) is recommended for those wanting a classic mountain climb.

    Day 12 - Milford Track
    From Queenstown we continue via Te Anau to the start of the Milford Track (three nights), famed the world over as the finest way to walk to Milford Sound. (Anyone who does not want to do the Milford Track walk can stay in Te Anau and then rejoin the group when they return from Milford Sound). The first day begins with a boat journey from Te Anau Downs and a 1.6 km walk followed by a short nature walk. The following day we walk up the Clinton valley around 16 km with 200m of ascent. And the next day we reach the head of the Clinton valley and walk over the Mackinnon pass around 15 km but with 720m of ascent. We have a chance to visit the Sutherland Falls, the world’s fifth highest waterfall at 580m.

    Day 15 - Milford Sound
    On the final day we walk down the Arthur River to Sandfly Point, where we get the boat to Milford Sound for an overnight (21 km with no ascent but on an undulating path).

    Day 16 - Te Anau
    In the morning we take a boat cruise out to the Tasman Sea along the stunning Milford Sound, between the towering spires of rock surrounding the narrow inlet and sail beneath the waterfalls cascading down the vertical fjord walls. From Milford Sound we head for Te Anau (one night).Te Anau, is in the heart of the Southern Lakes region; we have an afternoon here to walk alongside Lake, visit the Fjordland National Park Visitor Centre or explore the town.

    Day 17 - Doubtful Sound
    After a free morning in Te Anau we travel by coach to Pearl Harbour on Lake Manapouri, We travel by boat and coach across Lake Manapouri and the Willmot Pass to Doubtful Sound (overnight boat trip). Our relaxing journey takes us into some of the arms of Doubtful Sound and out to the start of the Tasman Sea. We have a chance (weather permitting) to kayak or go on a launch with a nature guide. We may spot some dolphins, penguins and seals if we are lucky.

    Day 18 - Omarama
    After arriving back at Pearl Harbour at lunch-time we travel by road to Omarama for two nights. From here on the second day we travel to the Mount Cook National Park, where we will do a couple of the trails that given fantastic glacier views (e.g. Hooker Valley & Kea Point Walks (14km, ascent / descent 360m), With luck, weather permitting, we will get great views of Mount Cook.

    Day 20 - Christchurch
    Travel from Omarama to Christchurch (one night). En route we will walk to a viewpoint over one of the bluest lakes on the tour, Lake Tekapo, and lunch in the adjacent village. We will also stop later for refreshments, probably at Geraldine, home or the world’s largest knitted jumper!

    Day 21 - In flight
    Leave Christchurch for the return flight to London Heathrow via Singapore.

    Day 22 - In flight
    Arrival in London.

  • Accommodation
    Chateau on the Park

    A unique escape nestled in five acres of beautiful, tranquil gardens, the Chateau on the Park offers hotel accommodation in Christchurch a world away from the stresses of daily life - located just minutes away from the Horncastle Arena, Westfield Riccarton and the Addington business district.

    Rooms offer flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and minifridges, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. Room service is available 24/7. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

    There’s a relaxed restaurant with open-air seating and a bar. Other amenities include a gym, an outdoor pool and a golf putting area.


    Copthorne Lakefront Resort

    The upscale Copthorne Lakefront Resort has amazing views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, from its restaurant and many of the rooms. Despite being set in this tranquil spot it is within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area.

    Spacious warmly decorated rooms come with Wi-Fi (fee), flat-screens, tea and coffee making facilities, plus minibars and views of the mountains and the garden; some include balconies. There's 24/7 room service.

    A cosy restaurant has a terrace with panoramic views of the dramatic scenery, where you can sample the excellent wines of New Zealand. Or take a drink in the cosmopolitan Impressions Cocktail Bar with both indoor and alfresco sitting.


    Various on Milford Track

    The lodges here include more comfort than you might imagine, despite being in a remote location. They include comfortable beds with duvets and pillows, hot water showers, shampoo, conditioner and hair dryers, flushing toilets, generated electricity until 10pm, fabric powder and facilities for hand-washing, drying rooms, full kitchen and lodge staff, selection of New Zealand wines, beers and soft drinks for purchase. We stay in single sex multi-bedded bunk rooms. 

    Three course dinners and full cooked or non cooked breakfasts are provided and a picnic lunch is laid out for you to gather and take with you on the trail


  • What's Included
    • Flights and return airport transfers.
    • Transport for all walking and excursions.
    • B&B accommodation.
    • Dinners on 11 evenings in hotels or local restaurants.
    • Lunches on the Milford Track.
    • Tour leaders licensed by New Zealand Department of Conservation.

    Supplement for single room £575

  • Holiday Highlights
    • The Milford Track – one of the world’s best walking trails.
    • Milford and Doubtful Sound cruises.
    • Mount Cook, the highest point in New Zealand and most beautiful.
    • Specially selected three and four star hotels throughout. 

  • View More Details
    If you would rather not participate in the Milford Track walk, you can stay at Te Anau for four nights and rejoin the group when they return to Te Anau from the Milford Sound but you must advise us at least 120 days in advance otherwise cancellation charges would apply.

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Flights Heathrow-Auckland-Christchurch via Singapore both ways (c24hrs + stop), Singapore Airlines or Qantas via Dubai. Manchester flights may be available. Please ask for details.        
    • UK add-on flights from £150 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades Business Class available, please ask for details.
    • Stopover package: If you would like to break your journey in Singapore please contact us for details on the stopover packages available when flying Singapore Airlines.
    • Visa required if stopping over in Los Angeles.

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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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