Over five days you'll hike on three of New Zealand's nine 'Great Walks', all located in the Fiordland National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage area with mystical coves and dense temperate rainforest. This is a bucket list hiking trip where you need not forgo any creature comforts.
Activity level: The 'Takahe' is a hiking-focused trip, with options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the 'Takahe' trip range between three and six hours to complete.
Ben Lomond for views over Queenstown
Parts of the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler Tracks
Milford Sound during the day
Overnight on Doubtful Sound
What's included in our NZ trips?
All guiding services
- Two experienced guides per trip. In New Zealand you'll have a lead guide and a co guide.
- A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts, depending on which trip you choose.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary (usually 1 day per trip is a free day, allowing you to choose your own dining location).
- Hiking, kayaking, biking, rafting, scenic flights, jet boating and more!
- Airport transfers.
- When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
Interactive Trip Map
For the first day of your trip we’ll meet you in Queenstown and head to Lake Manapouri where our journey into Doubtful Sound begins. We’ll board a boat for the cruise across Lake Manapouri, before a drive over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise. Doubtful Sound is a large and remote wilderness area, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight, you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you prefer.
Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)
You’ll wake in the middle of Doubtful Sound and after breakfast we’ll retrace our journey back to Manapouri. From there we’ll drive to the Divide, where we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub land and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!) Rudyard Kipling rated Milford the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)
It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak, quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand, but your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)
This morning we’re heading for a Department of Conservation birdlife park in Te Anau. The centre takes care of injured or ageing birds which would struggle to survive in the wild - it’s a great opportunity to see some of our rarest birds up close, so don’t forget your camera! Afterwards we’ll tick off our third Great Walk in three days - the Kepler Track. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford Tracks in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. The section we’ll hike today passes over the control gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau and meanders through ancient beech and podocarp forest.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)
Today we’ll drive back along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, and take a ride on the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki Mt Cook on a clear day. We’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you’ll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day or 5-day ‘Kauri’.
|Nov 18, 2018 – Nov 22, 2018||US$2999 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Dec 02, 2018 – Dec 06, 2018||US$3149 + tax||Almost full||Check Availability|
|Dec 16, 2018 – Dec 20, 2018||US$3149 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Dec 30, 2018 – Jan 03, 2019||US$3149 + tax||Full||Check Availability|
|Jan 13, 2019 – Jan 17, 2019||US$3149 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Jan 27, 2019 – Jan 31, 2019||US$3149 + tax||Almost full||Check Availability|
|Feb 10, 2019 – Feb 14, 2019||US$3149 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Feb 24, 2019 – Feb 28, 2019||US$3149 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Mar 10, 2019 – Mar 14, 2019||US$2999 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Mar 24, 2019 – Mar 28, 2019||US$2999 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Nov 17, 2019 – Nov 21, 2019||US$2999 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Nov 30, 2019 – Dec 04, 2019||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 15, 2019 – Dec 19, 2019||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 29, 2019 – Jan 02, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 12, 2020 – Jan 16, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 26, 2020 – Jan 30, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Feb 02, 2020 – Feb 06, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 09, 2020 – Feb 13, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 23, 2020 – Feb 27, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Mar 08, 2020 – Mar 12, 2020||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Mar 22, 2020 – Mar 26, 2020||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Nov 01, 2020 – Nov 05, 2020||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Nov 15, 2020 – Nov 19, 2020||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Nov 29, 2020 – Dec 03, 2020||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 13, 2020 – Dec 17, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 20, 2020 – Dec 24, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 27, 2020 – Dec 31, 2020||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 03, 2021 – Jan 07, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 10, 2021 – Jan 14, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 17, 2021 – Jan 21, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 24, 2021 – Jan 28, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 31, 2021 – Feb 04, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 07, 2021 – Feb 11, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 14, 2021 – Feb 18, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 21, 2021 – Feb 25, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 28, 2021 – Mar 04, 2021||US$3149 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Mar 07, 2021 – Mar 11, 2021||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
|Mar 21, 2021 – Mar 25, 2021||US$2999 + tax||Great||Check Availability|
No Forced Single Supplement:
Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.
On the first day of the trip, we will meet you at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queenstown at 7:30am for breakfast and a trip briefing.
On the last day of the trip, we can drop you off at the Queenstown airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Queenstown at about 5pm.
Arrival: We recommend arriving into Queenstown the night before the trip starts. If that isn't possible please contact us to arrange an alternative arrival time.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Queenstown after 6pm. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home on the same day, even though you left that evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.
The ‘Takahe’ is a wilderness hiking trip. While it’s not designed to be a scenic tour of the South Island’s luxury hotels, it features more creature comforts than some of our other trips and you’ll certainly feel like you’re hiking in style! You’ll stay in some wonderful places in the remote locations we take you.
The ‘Takahe’ is an active hiking trip, and has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more. Typically, hikes on the ‘Takahe’ trip range between three and six hours to complete.
The Best Trip with the Best Tour Guides - Claire & Holly
Manuka trip March 2018
A Fabulous Taste of the Beauty of New Zealand’s South
Alan's Manuka Feb. 2018
Wonderful 5-Day Adventure
If I Knew Then What I Know Now.....I’d Do It All Again!
Wonderful Manuka Trip With Active Adventures, New Zealand
Manuka with Claire and Jess
Every view a winner!
Manuka trip Dec 12 2016
We got a great taste of the South Island of New Zealand
Our guides made our trip so enjoyable!
Manuka November 2015
A Truly Great Experience
Bucket list trip
An awesome trip in an awesome country!
Manuka December 15-28, 2014