Expeditions
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Te Wahipounamu: A World Heritage Adventure

Background

When travelling to New Zealand it is difficult to decide on what exactly one should do. There is so much on offer. Should I trek one of the more famous trails or maybe get remote and try something a little more off the beaten track? Should I try something new such as sea kayaking? Well, why not combine all of these into one incredible trip that will have you sea kayaking Doubtful Sound and trekking the Kepler and into the heart of Mt Aspiring terrain. We love this trip and there is good reason for it. We are sure you will love it too!

Who is this trip for?

Hikers who love mountain treks and mountain landscapes.

If you love switching off from the modern world and staying in remote mountain cabins.

Trekkers who are used to, and enjoy, carrying their own pack (total weight 10-13kg) for a few days and some food provisions for the group.

People who love the great outdoors and who enjoy pushing themselves to gain access to wonderful landscapes and views.

Those who are comfortable sea kayaking.

Who might this trip not be for?

Those who do not like roughing it (if you need a hot shower every night this trip probably isn't for you).

Those who don't have an above-average fitness (have a chat to us about your fitness if you are unsure)

Those who don't really enjoy being in the outdoors for too long.

If this trip is not for you we have plenty of other adventures to suit you.

As part of our risk mitigation plan, all domestic Australian group sizes have been capped at 8 guests, and New Zealand at 10.  

If you'd prefer a private group with family or friends, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss

Highlights

  • Experience one of the most stunning areas in all of the South Island of New Zealand
  • Trek into New Zealand's Te Wahipounamu World Heritage southern region
  • Sea kayak Doubtful Sound and possibly spot dolphins
  • Switch off from the world and stay in cozy, remote mountain huts within the Mt Aspiring World Heritage region 
  • Trek part of the famous Kepler trail

Overview

There are some trips that are beautiful because of the places you visit and there are others are beautiful because they flow so seamlessly from one aspect of the trip to the next. Our Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Adventure is a combination of both beautiful landscapes and beautiful design, created to ensure you have the best New Zealand experience possible.

Our trip starts in the gorgeous Queenstown before heading to Te Anau for a day trek on the Kepler Track. From there we head to the rarely visited Doubtful Sound to sea kayak this incredible waterway and the possibility of seeing dolphins frolic nearby. Our second short trek is an overnight stay at Green Lake in a cosy mountain hut, which is just a taste of things to come.

The final few days will be spent deep in the World Heritage Fiordlands of New Zealand and in the shadow of the resplendent and picturesque Mt Aspiring. We will spend 2 nights at Mt Aspiring Hut exploring the area including a walk up to Cascade Saddle (wow) and Liverpool Hut (yes, another wow). This is sublime alpine landscapes at their best. All this before we head back to Queenstown for a celebration dinner.

This is master craftsmanship at its best, combining the best New Zealand has to offer, to places few know about that are simply jaw-dropping gorgeous. We cannot wait to show you this incredible adventure. Let's go!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Queenstown and transfer to hotel. (D)
Day 2: Queenstown and Kepler Trail 14 km hike. (B, L)
Day 3: Kayak Doubtful Sound for 4 hours (B, L)
Day 4: Hike to Green Lake Hut 10 km or 6-8 hours (B, L, D)
Day 5: Hike from Green Lake and transfer back to Wanaka 6 km or 3 hours walk (B, L)
Day 6: Hike to Mt Aspiring Hut - Cascade Saddle 18km or 6 hours (B, L, D)
Day 7: Hike to Liverpool Hut 14km or 6-8 hours (B, L, D)
Day 8: Hike back to the trailhead and transfer to Queenstown (B)
Day 9: Homeward bound. (B)

Guides and Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. The guide will ensure that your trip is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun, and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Routes

Day 1 Arrive Queenstown - Transfer to Hotel and then briefing and dinner in the evening. 

Day 2 Depart Queenstown – Day hike on the Kepler Track at Te Anau 6 hours return /14km

It’s a stunning drive south towards Te Anau. We begin our first hike of the trip as a day walk on the first section of the Kepler Track. Passing beneath towering limestone bluffs and through mountain and silver beech forests. From the tree line you will get tremendous views of lakes Te Anau and Manapouri. Return via the same track back down to the lake and our night’s accommodation at Distinction Hotel and Villas. (B,L)

Day 3 Kayaking in Doubtful Sound 4 hours kayaking

It is an early start from our accommodation, after a short drive we travel across the beautiful Lake Manapouri by boat before climbing aboard a bus to drive over Wilmot Pass and into Deep Cove at the head of Doubtful Sound. Here we get into double sea kayaks and set off for 4 incredible hours of exploring this pristine, peaceful and hidden corner of the South Island. Three times longer than Milford Sound and with its with twisting arms and hidden coves, it has a surface area ten times larger. Along the way, we may see dolphins, NZ fur seals and the rare Fiordland Crested Penguins. We return by the same route to Te Anau and spend a second night at our accommodation. (B,L)

Day 4 Hike to Green Lake Hut – or camp (weather depending) 10km/ 6-8 hours hiking

We prepare for our first overnight hike at the cabins this morning, before driving through to Lake Monowai and up to Borland Saddle. This road takes us deep into Fiordland National park. Beech forest aligns the track before we ascend onto the gentle tussock peaks of the Hunter Range, where we gradually climb to a pass near Mt Burns. From here we navigate along the tops, enjoying striking views of the granite peaks of Southern Fiordland across the dark colours of Green Lake. Tarns (small mountain lakes) are dotted along the route. Eventually, we drop down into beech forest from the tops and link up with the southern shore of Green Lake, which leads us to a cosy mountain hut. Feel free to take a dip in the frigid waters of the lake before settling down in front of the hut fire for the night. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Hike Out of Green Lake Hut – Drive to Wanaka 6km / 3 hours hiking

We wake up early this morning and enjoy the remote setting while having breakfast before we hike along the lake through beech forest and alpine meadows before arriving back at the road. If you still have some energy join the guide for a bush bash back up to the saddle to get the bus! After lunch, sit back this afternoon and enjoy the drive to Wanaka. (B,L)

Day 6 Start hike in Mt Aspiring National Park – Aspiring hut 6 hours /18km hiking

This morning we re-pack our bags for our next hike into Mt Aspiring National park. We begin with a beautiful drive up the glacially carved Matukituki Valley. Our hike begins from Raspberry flat and it’s a relatively gentle hike into the large stone Aspiring Hut. After reaching the hut we can drop our packs and continue on our hike up towards the Cascade Saddle. This is a moderately challenging hike that will get the heart pumping and well worth the effort with super rewarding views! We push out through the bush line to get commanding views of Mt Aspiring. Tonight’s accommodation is at the Aspiring Hut which has 360-degree views of the stunning valley. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Day trip to Aspiring hut to Liverpool hut return 6-8 hours/14kms

Today’s hike, if there is still energy in the legs, takes us further up the Matukituki Valley to Peal Flat. From Pearl flat we start climbing the track to Liverpool Hut (1,100 m). It is a steep and often slippery climb to the bush line. Above the bush, the track initially leads across steep exposed shingle, rock and tussock terrain before bearing left up an easier tussock slope to reach a knoll overlooking the hut. Liverpool Hut is beautifully located in a small alpine basin on the north side of the hanging valley of Liverpool Stream. High above the Matukituki River West Branch, it has great views of Mount Aspiring, Mount Avalanche and Rob Roy Peak. We soak up the views here before carefully descending the way we came and returning for a second night in Aspiring Hut. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Hike Out from Aspiring Hut - Drive Back to Queenstown For Trip Departure.

After breakfast, we head back out the valley to the bus at Raspberry Flat. We stop for a celebratory drink and some lunch at the historic and charming Cardrona Hotel before continuing to Queenstown. (B)

Day 9 Depart for next destination (B)

Inclusions

  • Seven days guided trek with an experienced guide
  • Kayaking on Doubtful Sound
  • All accommodation including nights before and after the expedition in Queenstown
  • All breakfast, lunches and dinners as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transfers

 

Exclusions

  • Beverages
  • Personal souvenirs
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary
  • International Flights

Maps

Extensions