New Zealand South Pacific
Day 1: Queenstown – Te Anau – Glade House
The adventure begins at our Queenstown office where you will board a coach to Te Anau, arriving in time for lunch. From Te Anau Downs Harbour, a launch will take you up to the head of Lake Te Anau. From the wharf it's a short walk to the historic Glade House for afternoon tea and a group photo.
Afterwards, your guides will take you on a short nature walk to explore the area. After a hot shower and three-course meal it's time to get some rest in the snug beds in the multi-share bunk rooms.
Day 2: Glade House – Pompolona Lodge
After crossing the emerald green Clinton River you walk up the valley to the Hirere Falls lunch shelter. The beech forest gets more luxuriant the farther you go, until it releases you on to the Prairie. From this meadow you can capture the true nature of the ice-carved Clinton Canyon. It is a short climb to Pompolona Lodge from here.
Day 3: Pompolona Lodge – Quintin Lodge via Mackinnon Pass
This is the most demanding day, especially in inclement weather. The track leads to Lake Mintaro at the head of the Clinton Valley, before climbing the Mackinnon Pass in a series of zigzags. Take your time and enjoy the views. At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular panorama and lunch in Pass Hut. After the rocky descent into the Arthur Valley you will welcome a drink at Quintin Lodge. Once refreshed you can't miss the optional 90-minute round trip to the Sutherland Falls, the world's fifth-highest waterfall.
Day 4: Quintin Lodge – Mitre Peak Lodge via Sandfly Point
You walk down the Arthur Valley to the historic Boatshed; after a short break you will continue on past Mackay Falls and Bell Rock (which was carved out of the river during a particularly violent flood) and on to the lunch spot at Giant's Gate waterfall. The final stretch of track follows tranquil Lake Ada to Sandfly Point.
From here it is a short launch trip to the renowned Mitre Peak Lodge, the only accommodation at Milford Sound offering superb views of Mitre Peak, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. Here you will enjoy a celebratory dinner while relaxing with the knowledge that the hard part is now behind you while the magnificence of Milford Sound is right in front of you.
Day 5: Mitre Peak Lodge – Milford Sound – Te Anau
Wake to the tranquillity of Fiordland and after breakfast experience a magical cruise on Milford Sound. Watch for the dolphins and fur seals and pray for rain, as you've only seen Fiordland at its most incredible when the waterfalls are in full flow.
Following the cruise, it's time to head back to Te Anau. Spend the rest of the day exploring the town that is the gateway to Fiordland and stay overnight at a Te Anau hotel. (Please note that accommodation in Te Anau is included but not dinner or breakfast.)
Day 6: Te Anau – the Divide – Lake Mackenzie
The second part of your adventure begins with a coach ride from Te Anau to The Divide on the scenic Milford Road. You will climb the wide and well-formed track from The Divide to the optional ascent to Key Summit. Here you can sit among the alpine plants and gaze down three valleys from which water flows to three different coasts.
You then descend to Lake Howden Hut for a hot drink and picnic lunch, before gradually climbing through lush silver beech forest to the base of Earland Falls, quite a sight in wet weather! You will look over the Hollyford Valley to the ice-capped Darran Mountains before descending to the splendid lodge at Lake Mackenzie where refreshments, a hot shower, three-course meal, and comfortable beds are waiting.
Day 7: Lake Mackenzie – Routeburn Falls
You leave the ancient forest draped in moss and lichen and enter the world of daisies, buttercups, gentians and edelweiss. Here you have a full vista of the Darran Mountains across the Hollyford Valley, which slices through Fiordland to the distant Tasman Sea at Martin's Bay. After lunch at the Harris Saddle, you can ascend Conical Hill for a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks. After walking around Lake Harris, you descend into the upper basins of the Routeburn Valley, with the towering mountains above. Spend your final night of luxury at the beautifully located Routeburn Falls Lodge, where you will be treated to a special dinner.
Day 8: Routeburn Falls – Routeburn Road
Take time to enjoy the dramatic landscape before descending to the alpine pastures of the Routeburn Flats. Your guides will take the scenic route through the meadows and find the deepest green pool for you to picnic beside. The track shadows the river as it roars through a magnificent gorge before plunging beneath the unyielding rocks at the Sump. From here it is a gentle walk through the beech forest to the road end. A coach will take you back to Queenstown, stopping at the small town of Glenorchy on the way.