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Days: 5 days
(Uneven terrain and high passes)
A pre-track briefing is generally held 5pm the day prior to departure at 35 Shotover Street, Queenstown (details will be re-confirmed closer to departure).
Start/Finish: Start: 7 am. Pick-up from central Queenstown accommodation
Finish: 7 pm (approx.) Queenstown
November 2018: 28
Period 1st Jun 18 - 31st May 19
Minimum age 15 years.
Drive from Queenstown to the Ohau Lodge. From here we travel about 1.5 hours up the Hopkins Valley to the start of the walk. A reasonably gentle walk to Forks Hut takes about 3-4 hours and from here the track climbs up the Huxley Valley to Brodrick Hut for about 3-4 hours. This is where the first night will be spent.
This day is spent descending into the Landsborough Valley through an open hanging valley, from the open alpine peaks into native bush. A helicopter will meet you at Creswicke Flat at the bottom of the valley to transport you to the first Landsborough camp, where you can relax and enjoy a delicious 3 course meal prepared for you.
Begin with a leisurely breakfast before preparing to leave camp for your rafting adventure. A full safety briefing and information on river protocol will be given before you depart.
Today you have a five hour river trip ranging from action to the sedate, stopping to enjoy a deli-style picnic lunch above Hellfire Rapid before continuing down river arriving at Harpers Bluff, our second camp. There will be time to relax and take in the scenery, or go for a walk before dinner. After dinner explore the surrounds and maybe even discover a glow worm or two.
Another hearty breakfast will set you up for the day's activities. Board your raft and head down river to Purple Creek for lunch and a side hike to explore the waterfalls. After lunch it is a leisurely float downstream to our take out point at Clarke Bluff, where you board the bus back to Queenstown, arriving at approximately 7pm.
Average of 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 8-9 hours on longer days
Pack weights up to 10-12kgs (22-26 lbs)
Altitude gains of up to 800m
Hiking mostly on tracks, some may be slippery or rough
Some off track hiking and river crossings
No multi-day hiking experience necessary but is preferable
Agility and fitness required
You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic
For the rafting - no previous rafting experience is necessary but moderate swimming ability is required
New Zealands weather is changeable and extremely cold weather can be experienced at any time of year, especially in the mountains. Huts/camps vary in altitude from sea level to over 1000 metres. It is necessary to have warm clothing. Jeans are not suitable for hiking. A true backcountry experience in the heart of the Southern Alps, this hike and raft combo is an amazing way to appreciate the unspoiled wilderness of New Zealand. Our adventure crosses the Main Divide on foot, then floats and paddles our way down the remote Landsborough River by raft. A fully guided trip, clients will not need to carry heavy backpacks as all food and other necessary equipment will be provided for.
Equipment Provided and Required:
Dry bag to store all your gear when you are rafting, full wetsuit, life jacket, helmet, spray jacket, wetsuit booties and gloves, tent and comfortable camping bed, insect repellent and sunscreen, first aid kit, safety equipment and maps, sleeping mat for hiking portion of the trip.
Optional items: (but highly recommended)
Most hotels and accommodation in town will look after your excess luggage while you are away; the office in Queenstown also has the facilities to store excess luggage.
As this is a small group activity we can be flexible. We can pick you up and drop you back at your Queenstown accommodation or you can meet us along the way.
Gourmet meals are prepared for you daily. Cooked breakfasts, healthy lunches and full three course dinners, including appetizers. New Zealand beer & wines are an unexpected highlight of our trips.
On the Brodrick Pass leg of this trip there are more limitations as to what we can carry. Expect quality hiking food.
Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.
What are the tents like?
They are comfortable, roomy tents with sewn in groundsheets, and high enough to stand in. If you are travelling alone, space may permit you to request your own tent. The tents are permanent and already set up when you get there. You sleep on stretcher bed with a sleeping mat.
New Zealand has an excellent network of backcountry huts and you will stay in huts on the first night. They are equipped with mattresses, running water and an outside toilet. Cooking is done on a portable stove. Huts are only accessible on foot and shared with other hikers. You also have the option of camping near the hut if that is your preference.
All the camp sites have eco friendly long drop toilets. During the day your guide will pull up to the side of the river if necessary.
You may hire high-quality hiking equipment for use on your trip. Please arrange hire gear when you book, or it can be hired in Queenstown from Info and Track.
Only senior guides are used for this trip. They are fully licensed and are carefully chosen on the basis of their skill and experience, their ability to make sound decisions and their ability to communicate and identify with clients. The guides are qualified in first aid and are able to make radio contact with the Queenstown base. In addition, a safety kayaker will be accompanying the rafts.
What type of people book this trip?
There is a mix of all ages and nationalities on the trips. Most are English speaking from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and the majority tend to be 35 years +. Saying that, we often have younger or older clients, the main thing is that they are all like minded and enjoy the outdoors and adventure.
What if I have an accident or fall sick on the trip?
All the guides are trained in first aid with a first aid kit carried at all times. There is no cell phone coverage or internet in the Landsborough Valley, however, we do carry a satellite telephone for emergencies and check-in daily with our base in Queenstown. Your travel insurance should cover you for any costs that may involve helicopter evacuation
Can we bring fishing rods or firearms?
The Landsborough River is glacier fed, so it doesn't hold a lot of fish, but there is time to fish on the second evening. We ask that firearms are not to be brought along even if you have a license.
What happens if I fall in the water?
Due to the nature of rafting there is always the possibility that you may fall out of the raft. However the guides give a full safety briefing and instructions on what to do in the event. (In hot weather there is always plenty of opportunity to cool off in the water.)
Is tipping required?
Tipping is not a requirement or expected in New Zealand, however, if you feel you had an awesome trip the guides will appreciate a small token of thanks. It is totally up to you.
For bookings four or more months in advance of the departure a 25% deposit can be paid with the remainder due 65 days prior to your trip. For bookings within four months of the departure, full payment is required.
Cancellations received 30 days or more prior to departure – full refund
Cancellations received 29 days or less prior to departure - NO REFUND
We strongly recommend that you have comprehensive travel insurance. We ask you to fill out a disclaimer before you begin a Hiking Tour. You must follow the instructions of your guide at all times. World Nomads Travel Insurance provides online quotes.