South Island Hiking Adventure

13 DAYS

700 km

Puntos destacados

  • Awe-inspiring scenery
  • Two Great Walks
  • Milford Sound

Proximidad

CAR-FREE TRAVEL OPTIONS

Hike some of New Zealand's most breathtaking trails on this epic loop through the South Island. Begin in the Southern Lakes region and trek two of New Zealand's Great Walks - the mountainous Routeburn Track and idyllic Milford Track. Then spend some time relaxing in Wanaka and Queenstown.

Day 1: Spend the day in Queenstown

Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Trail, Queenstown

By Miles Holden

Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN

Home of the ultimate adventure bucket list

Puntos destacados

  • Bungy, jet boating and rafting
  • Winery tours and marquee golf courses
  • Spectacular hiking & cycling trails

TOP EXPERIENCES IN QUEENSTOWN

Wineries, epic film locations, adventure activities and luxury.

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Step straight into a little piece of alpine paradise. Queenstown lies on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, with the picture-ready Remarkables mountain ranges as a backdrop.

This town has no problem living up to its reputation as the adventure capital of the world - experience skydiving, bungy, or rafting. There's plenty of opportunity for some relaxation too, with world-class dining, health spas, wine tours and a lively nightlife scene.

Day 2 - 4: Walk the Routeburn Track

Fiordland
Routeburn Track, Fiordland

By Miles Holden

Puntos destacados

  • Explore two National Parks
  • Beautiful Lake Harris
  • Lush moss-draped forests

Proximidad

  • By car: 45 min | via Glenorchy Road to starting point
  • By bus: Visit local DOC centre for transport options

ROUTEBURN TRACK

From Mount Aspiring National Park to Fiordland.

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The walk begins at Routeburn Shelter, near Glenorchy and 68 km from Queenstown.

Packed with soaring mountain peaks, huge valleys, waterfalls and jewel-like lakes, the 32 km Routeburn track links Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park. With the highest point 1,255 metres above sea level, the views on this hike are simply spectacular. Along the way Department of Conservation huts, provide basic accommodation and for those who prefer to walk with a guide, guided tours are available.

Visit the Routeburn Track page for detailed track information. If you're walking independently you may want to check our Safety in the Outdoors page to make sure you have all the essentials covered.

Day 5: Explore Te Anau

Fiordland
Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Fiordland

By twointowdotcom

Fiordland

FIORDLAND

One of New Zealand's most breathtaking regions.

Puntos destacados

  • Te Anau glowworm caves
  • Gateway to Milford Sound
  • Kayaking and boat cruises

TOP EXPERIENCES IN FIORDLAND

Discover must-do experiences in Fiordland.

Find out more

After three days of walking, give your tired legs a well-earned rest and spend the day relaxing in Te Anau. As the closest town to Milford Sound, Te Anau is the ‘gateway to the fiords’. Fit in a visit to one of the local restaurants, where you’ll be tempted by fresh seafood, venison and other local fare.

Other attractions here include the glowworm caves, local museum, and wildlife park. Cruise Lake Manapouri or Lake Te Anau, or take in Dusky Sound or Milford Sound via a scenic flight before embarking on the Milford Track tomorrow.

Day 6 - 9: Walk the Milford Track

Fiordland
Milford Track, Fiordland

By Daniel Deans

Puntos destacados

  • Spectacular valleys & rivers
  • New Zealand's tallest waterfall
  • Glacier-carved fiords

Proximidad

  • By car: 25 min | 30 km via SH94 to the starting point
  • By bus: Visit local DOC centre for transport options

MILFORD TRACK

New Zealand's most famous walk, thrilling hikers for more than 150 years.

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Milford Track is arguably New Zealand’s most famous walk. The 53 km journey begins at the head of Lake Te Anau and leads you across suspension bridges, boardwalks and a mountain pass. You'll pass pristine lakes, towering mountains, enormous valleys and feel the misty breath of New Zealand's tallest waterfall. If you're walking independently, be sure to pre-book DOC huts as space is limited in peak season. Guided tours offer separate accommodation, but should also be booked well in advance. 

From Te Anau take a shuttle or drive to Te Anau Downs, from there you’ll take a pre-booked boat to Glade Wharf and the start of the track. The walk ends in Milford Sound village, where you can hop on a pre-arranged shuttle back to Te Anau Downs or Te Anau.

Day 10 - 11: Te Anau to Wanaka

Wanaka
Wild Wire, Wanaka

By Tourism New Zealand

Wanaka

WANAKA

An outdoor playground surrounds this lakeside town

Proximidad

  • By car: 3 h 30 min | 271 km via SH6
  • By bus: No direct bus route - see car-free options

TOP EXPERIENCES IN WANAKA

Enjoy water activities, cycling, hiking and delicious food & wine.

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Catch your breath and enjoy a sleep in before setting off for Wanaka

With hundreds of fun activities on offer, Wanaka is a great place to relax and unwind. Try a scenic lake cruise, 4WD Safari, wine tour, or simply walk around and take in the alpine town vibe. Wildwire offer an exciting climbing experience up twin waterfalls. For quirkiness at every turn you can’t go past Puzzling World. Filled with optical illusions, a great 3D maze, eccentric architecture and the intriguing Psychic challenge, this is definitely a brain-teaser of an attraction.

Car-free option

Spend a night in Queenstown before continuing to Wanaka.

Day 12 - 13: Wanaka to Queenstown

Queenstown
Onsen Hotpools, Queenstown

By Destination Queenstown

Puntos destacados

  • Hot pools and spas
  • Explore Arrowtown and Glenorchy
  • Marquee golf courses

Proximidad

  • By car: 1 h 30 min | 112 km via SH6
  • By bus: 1 h 30 min | by Intercity

DISCOVER ARROWTOWN

One of New Zealand's most picturesque settlements.

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From Wanaka, travel to Queenstown, stopping in at Arrowtown along the way. This charming little village has a rich gold mining history and is particularly beautiful in autumn.

Make the most of your last day in Queenstown. The Queenstown Hill Time Walk – approximately 3 hours return – makes a great morning outing. It climbs through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapu-Nui (mountain of intense sacredness) offering stunning views on the way. If you're in the mood for some cycling, try riding part of the Queenstown Trail, which connects Queenstown, Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley. In the afternoon, catch up on the quintessential Queenstown attractions or simply relax and unwind.

Driving in New Zealand

Important things you need to know about driving in New Zealand.

View the route below

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