New Zealand Vacation Itinerary - Guided Milford Track & The South Island - by New Zealand Encounters and Travel
We've put together a collection of unique and exciting itinerary ideas for you based on what our clients have wanted over the past 12 years. These itineraries can form the base for your New Zealand experience.

New Zealand Vacation Itinerary - Guided Milford Track & The South Island

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Guided Milford Track & The South Island


The Milford Sound Hiking Trail is considered one of the best treks in the world. Walkers on the Milford Sound Trail encounter Fiordland at its finest - deep lakes, silent fiords, moss curtain forests and sheer canyons dressed in waterfalls.

As if this is not enough spectacular scenery, we have added a self drive tour down the west coast with its glaciers and rain forests and the Abel Tasman National Park with its golden sand beaches and picturesque walking track. Mother Nature's finest creations wrapped together on this one tour!

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Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival - Nelson Private transfer
Upon arrival at the Nelson Airport, you will be privately transferred to your charming accommodation.

Depending on your time of arrival you may or may not have time to explore Nelson and the region.
   
Accommodation:
This charming B&B is set amongst lovely grounds located only one block from Trafalgar Square and the city centre. Your large room is adorned with fabulous NZ artwork.

One night stay.

Region:
Nelson

Day 2 - Abel Tasman National Park 1 hour drive
You will be picked up at 7am from your Nelson accommodation to begin your Abel Tasman National Park encounter. Your first day is a relaxing kayak trip discovering the golden sands and lagoons of the Park.

Once you have had your kayaking introduction, you depart Marahau to begin your trip. Travel by water taxi from Marahau to Anchorage (here you drop off your luggage too). From Anchorage, kayak north exploring the magnificent beaches and peaceful lagoons. After a fabulous barbecue lunch on the beach you hoist the sail on your kayak to sail back to Anchorage on the afternoon breeze. Hidden away in the bush and overlooking the bay is your Lodge. This is a small Lodge and one of only two private dwellings in the bay.
   
Accommodation:
This unique Lodge is situated upon a small area of private land within the park, with views over Anchorage and the Abel Tasman coastline. The Lodge is open plan but private. Guest numbers are limited, and so you can expect personal and friendly interaction and service from staff.

One night stay.

Region:
Nelson

Day 3 - Abel Tasman National Park
Following breakfast, your luggage will be transferred via water taxi to your new home while you don a daypack with your picnic lunch and head out on the Abel Tasman National Park trail. You may choose from a 3-7 hour hike through native bush, along golden beaches and past lagoons. Mid to late afternoon arrival at your next Lodge.
   
Accommodation:
Your Lodge is set in a remote location with sea or walking access only. A bit more rustic than your previous night's stay, but the charm and character of the place makes up for any loss in luxuries. Rooms are double with ensuite facilities. Sauna is available. Within the lodge complex is a restaurant and bar.

One night stay.

Region:
Nelson

Day 4 - Abel Tasman - Punakaiki 4 hour drive
Should weather allow, you can take an optional magical scenic 30-minute Cessna flight from the Lodge over the Park to Nelson Airport where you will collect your Budget Rental Car. If Mother Nature is not co-operative, then a water taxi will transport you back to Marahau where a coach will complete the journey to Nelson Airport.
Time to head to the Wild West Coast via Murchison and then along the Buller River. The gorges, vast unpopulated landscapes and deep forests, offer much to enjoy while heading to the coast.

Your day ends at the spectacular Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. These strange rock formations resemble stacks of pancakes and at high tide become rocket launchers offering a watery fireworks display.
   
Accommodation:
Your Hotel takes full advantage of its dramatic West Coast coastline position offering unparalleled views along the beach, over the Tasman Sea and inland as far as Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain.

One night stay.

Region:
West Coast

Day 5 - Punakaiki - Franz Josef 3 hour drive
Time to begin exploring the Wild West Coast. The rugged West Coast is strewn with thick green rain forests and a dramatic coastline carved by the Tasman Sea. There are many wonderful little old gold rush towns with very colourful local characters adding to the charm of the region. The pottery, carved Greenstone (jade from the area) and hand-blown glass is wonderful.

Small hidden lakes, lagoons and trails abound along this drive. Details in your vacation packet.

Final destination of the day is the village at Franz Josef.
   
Accommodation:
Your Lodge is raised into the forest canopy where the flora and fauna are your constant companion. You will be surrounded by beautiful and primeval native rain forest.

One night stay.

Region:
West Coast

Day 6 - Franz Josef - Lake Moeraki 2 hour drive
You have the morning to enjoy the wonders of Franz Josef before heading further south today. We recommend a helicopter flight over the glaciers to see the mighty ice rivers from above or enjoy a helicopter hike. On the hike excursion you land on the glacier and go on a guided two hour hike through ice arches, crevasses and into caves.

It is a short drive to nearby Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson. A walk around Lake Matheson is a must! On a clear day, the reflection of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps onto the lake is quite simply one of the most breathtaking sights. Further south is your next home at Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge.
   
Accommodation:
You are remote! Set in the World Heritage Rain Forest, your accomodation is powered by a generator driven by the river and telephone service by satellite phone. Two guided nature activities a day and one at night offers you an indepth insight into this unique region. Guided hikes, optional self guided hikes and privately guided hikes (additional cost) are abundant. Canoeing opportunities, fly fishing (catch and release only), glow worms and phenomenal night skies. Dinner and breakfast included.

One night stay.

Region:
West Coast

Day 7 - Lake Moeraki - Queenstown 5 hour drive
After breakfast and your guided nature trip, your travel today is over the Haast Pass that offers seemingly endless interesting stops. We will highlight in the tour itinerary; swing bridges to walk over, waterfalls to hike to, crystal blue pools to swim in, caves to explore - great wilderness area! It is invigorating to walk through forests with curtains of moss and singing birds. The Haast Pass gives way to Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Then it's along the Kawarau River and Gorge as you approach Queenstown.
   
Accommodation:
Your small intimate Hotel is only three minutes walk to the centre of town and features stunning views of the Remarkables mountain range from every room.

Two night stay.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 8 - Queenstown
Full day at Queenstown. Your daily planner will outline endless Queenstown opportunities to have lots of fun!

Your rental car will be dropped off late this afternoon. Tonight you will attend a Milford Track briefing so you are well prepared for your next journey!
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 9 - Queenstown - Milford Track 3 hour coach + 20 min walk
Your adventure begins at the Queenstown Office at 9.00am (after dropping your car at Budget Central Queenstown), where you board a coach to Te Anau arriving in time for a light lunch and a group photo. After lunch you drive to Te Anau Downs boat harbour, where a boat waits to take you up to the spectacular northern end of Lake Te Anau. From the wharf it is a short 20 minute walk to historic Glade House, your first Lodge, for a hot shower, a filling meal and a comfortable bed.
   
Accommodation:
One night stay.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 10 - Milford Track 5-7 hour walk
After crossing the emerald green Clinton River you follow it up the valley to the Hirere Falls lunch shelter. The beech forest gets more luxurient the further you go, until it releases you onto 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.

5 - 7 hours walking on this day.
   
Accommodation:
One night stay.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 11 - Milford Track 6-8 hour walk
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 zig-zags. Take your time. At the top you will be rewarded with endless views and lunch in Pass Hut. After the rocky descent into Arthur Valley you will welcome a hot cup of tea at Quintin Lodge. It should be enough to refresh you for the 90 minute round trip to the Sutherland Falls, the world's fifth highest cascade.
   
Accommodation:
One night stay.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 12 - Milford Track 6-8 hour walk
Your final day on the track. You walk down the Arthur Valley to Boatshed for a cup of tea; on past MacKay Falls and Bell Rock, which was turned out of the river during a particularly violent flood, to the lunch spot at Giant's Gate waterfall. The final stretch of the track follows tranquil Lake Ada to Sandfly Point, where according to Maori legend the goddess Te Hine-nui-te-po released the sandfly to stop men lingering too long in the beauty of Fiordland. From here it is a short launch trip to Mitre Peak Lodge where you will enjoy a celebratory dinner.

6 - 8 hours walking on this day.
   
Accommodation:
One night stay.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 13 - Milford Track - Queenstown Milford Sound Cruise + 4 hour coach
After breakfast you will board one of the famous Red Boats for a cruise on Milford Sound. Watch for dolphins and fur seals and pray for rain. (No-one believes us, but the waterfalls are absolutely incredible!) Following the cruise you start your spectacular journey through the heart of Fiordland National Park to the Homer Tunnel and on to Te Anau. After a light lunch you continue to Queenstown, via Queenstown Airport, arriving at approximately 3.30pm.
   
Accommodation:
Back to your previous Queenstown accommodation.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 14 - Departure 2 hour flight + international departure
A flight will transport you from Queenstown back to Auckland or Christchurch in order to connect with your International Departure.
   
Accommodation:


Region:
Auckland



Pricing and Inclusions


From $5,750 NZD per person (based on twin share)
Single traveller prices available upon request.

Inclusions


    • 8 nights accommodation as described.
    • 5 day / 4 night guided Milford Sound Track.
    • All meals while on the trek.
    • Guided kayaking.
    • Budget Rental Car - Mid Size, automatic transmission with airconditioning. Unlimited kms.
    • Exclusive travel pack with highlighted map(s) with your route, area guides for each region you visit and your comprehensive daily planner with sightseeing & activity options and suggestions.

    Optional:

    • Upgrade to Full Size Rental Car (additional cost)
    • Nelson accommodation upgrade to waterfront villa or exclusive spa retreat.
    • Queenstown accommodation upgrade to exclusive lodge.
    • 6 breakfasts included
    • Private transfer Airport/Accommodation

Exclusions


    • International Airfares
    • Internal Domestic Airfares
    • Meals not specified
    • Optional activities not specified

Departures


Arrivals into New Zealand are best suited to Sunday and Tuesday for this tour.

Accommodation and Meals



Guided Milford
Simple hiking lodges are offered with hot showers, hand laundry facilities, drying rooms and a private Queen or Twin Room with en-suite & bathroom. All meals are included.

Self-Drive Portion
7 breakfasts and 3 dinners included if described accommodations are available.

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