South Island Hiking
Medium (some alpine hiking and uneven terrain.)
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South Island hiking at its best, this great hike combines New Zealand's famous Greenstone and Routeburn Tracks. Starting on the shores of Lake Wakitipu and stretching the length of the Greenstone and Routeburn Valleys, this hike crosses the South Island's main divide twice.
This is an all-inclusive, 6 day trip where at the end of each fantastic day you get to relax in comfortable lodges in scenic locations, and enjoy hot showers and delicious meals. You will pass through two national parks, Fiordland and Mount Aspiring, which are part of Te Wahipounamu, South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.
The pristine bush is home to a myriad of native birdlife: the Robin; Kea; Fantail; Parakeet; Bellbird; and Yellowhead, just to name a few. The sheer isolation and raw beauty of the Greenstone provide the perfect stage for the breathtaking scenery of the Routeburn. An unsurpassable combination to make a memorable walking experience.
Day 1: Take a coach ride around the shores of Lake Wakitipu to the mouth of the Greenstone River. Hike through Beech forests and open grasslands enjoying the mountainous panorama to reach Steele Creek lodge situated in the South Island high country. 5-7 hours hiking.
Day 2: Walk the open plains and the Beech forests of the Greenstone Valley with 2000m mountains towering above to McKellar Lodge. 4-5 hours hiking.
Day 3: Today you can stay in the lodge taking it easy or do any number of walks from a 15 minute lakeside stroll to a challenging 900m climb up to the tops of the Livingstone Mountains.
Day 4: Cross the Greenstone Saddle, part of the South Island's main divide and on to the head of Lake Howden. Follow your guides on a diversion to Key Summit for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Hollyford, Greenstone and Eglington Valleys. Then join the Routeburn Track as you head over to Earland Falls. Traverse around mountainsides before descending into the Mackenzie basin and reaching Lake Mackenzie lodge. 5-6 hours hiking.
Day 5: Hike above the bush line with stunning views to Harris Saddle then descend to Routeburn Falls. 5-7 hours hiking.
Day 6: Descend to Routeburn Flats and follow the river out to the road. Return to Queenstown. 3-4 hours hiking
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