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Days: 7 days
(Overnight hikes, some uneven terrain, you need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic )
Start/Finish: Queenstown 12pm, Pinewood Lodge accommodation
Queenstown, central location
March 2019: 21
Period 1st Sep 18 - 31st Aug 19
We will meet in Queenstown at the Pinewood Lodge accommodation. Check in time at Pinewood Lodge is from 2pm onwards. Transport from the airport is not included (approximately $23 for an airport shuttle). Pinewood Lodge is a shared, self-contained unit with a kitchen, bathroom block and living area, sleeping up to 12 women. As a group, we will meet and greet at the lodge. Depending on your arrival time, the group has options to walk with the tour Host and stretch the legs on an afternoon hike up The Queenstown Hill 2.5 hours walking with spectacular views of the Remarkable Mountain Range or take the Gondola as a group and have a wine! We then head out for dinner in Queenstown. We are collected from Pinewood Lodge the following day at 7am to head off on our way. Accommodation: Pinewood Lodge Queenstown Meals: Dinner at your own cost Hiking: The Queenstown Hill Walk 2.5 hours return // 4 km. Some steep hill sections (we take it slow). This hike is optional and you may choose to wander around the town, take a ride on the Gondola or have a wine!
Wake up early (6am). We will be collected from our accommodation at 7.00am after a self made breakfast at our accommodation. It's a stunning drive south towards our hike to Key Summit and down Pass Creek into the Hollyford (4-5) hours walking. It's a fabulous hike with plenty of scenery, adventure and beyond tourist tracks to make you feel like your in the wilderness. In the afternoon, we take the stunning drive into Milford Sound for our nights accommodation at the cute "Gunns Camp" cabins by river. Hiking: Key Summit Track (4-5 hours loop) there are some steep sections when walking up the hill and some uneven surfaces. Accommodation: Gunns Camp in Milford Sound. Shared accommodation. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We wake up early (5.15am) for breakfast then drive further into Millford Sound to meet our guides for kayaking at 7.15am. This is the best way to experience the majestic waterfalls, cute little seals and wildlife in the area. You don't need any previous kayaking experience. You will be in a double kayak with another lady. After your kayaking experience we set out hiking into Lake Marian. This is a stunning alpine lade in a beautiful hanging valley - 3 hours return hike. After a busy day adventuring we drive to Monowai Cabins. These are one of our favourites on the trip! At night, we prepare for our overnight hiking adventure to Green Lake for the next day. We make lunches and sort our bags. Kayaking: 4 hours (easy. You don't need any previous experience and we provide you with thermals + gear). Accommodation: Monowai Cabins. Ladies will have their own bed and cabin. 2x ladies will need to share. Includes: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We prepare for our first overnight hike at the cabins this morning, making lunches and finalising our bags, before taking the short drive up to Borland Saddle. Beech forest aligns the track before we ascend onto the gentle tussock peaks of the Hunter Range, where we gradually climb to 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 and wild deer are prominent in the area. 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. *Note: Your boots WILL get wet on the hike. We are off the beaten tracks and walk through tussock areas. Good hiking boots and merino socks must be worn. *Note: The weather can change in New Zealand rapidly. If there is snowfall we may not be able to drive to the start of this hike and will make immediate alternations for other hikes in the area. We have two options for the group. The 3 hours hike is much easier and with two leaders we can split the group to make sure you feel comfortable. The Summit Trail over the tops trail is harder but worth the view! Shuttle time: 45 minutes Accommodation: Green Lake Hut (or camp). Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We wake up early this morning and enjoy this remote setting while having breakfast before we hike back to the road following along the lake then through beech forest and areas of alpine tussock (the easier section). Then sit back this afternoon and enjoy the drive to Wanaka. Arrive in Wanaka late afternoon for dinner in town at the groups own cost. The trail has some uneven surfaces, roots and is wet. Accommodation: Wanaka Altamont Lodge (twin share). Includes breakfast and lunch.
This morning we have a little sleep in after the long drive and re-pack our bags for another overnight hike to an alpine hut in Mt Aspiring National Park. After making our lunches and stocking up on snacks, we leave our accommodation around 11am for the start of the hike. Tonights accommodation is at the Mt Aspiring Hut which has 360 views of the stunning valley. Its a flat walk into the hut with waterfalls and mountains soaring above either side. Accommodation: Mt Aspiring National Park Hut Meals: Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Depart from Mt Aspiring Hut and walk back on the return trail via Rob Roy Glacier where we stop for lunch and incredible views of the glacier before returning to the shuttle. We then get prepared for the journey back to Queenstown, laughing, singing and looking forward to a nice hot shower back at the groups own individual accommodation. We meet up again (optional) for a farewell dinner our in Queenstown. Accommodation: Your own cost. We will drop you at a central location in Queenstown. Ladies are to make their way to their accommodation. Everything is very close and in walking distance. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Average of 3-4 hours physical activity per day, up to 6 hours on the longer days.
Overnight hikes, some uneven terrain, you need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic. Suitable for women who walk 2-3 times per week (regular walkers). Hikes can between 3- 6 hours on some days.
New Zealand’s weather is changeable and we can experience extremely cold weather at any time of year, especially in the mountains. Our 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 and you MUST pack everything on this list. Having the correct gear is a safety issue. Please ensure you read this list carefully!
Optional items: (but highly recommended)
Walking poles, gaiters, earplugs, binoculars, camera.
Therm-a-rest sleeping mat, sleeping bags, backpack liner (plastic bag), tents, plates/cutlery, first aid kit, safety equipment and maps.
Comfortable clothes for non-hiking days. Spare clothing can be left in the secure trailer when we are away on the hikes, so don’t worry about the extra weight – ensure you have enough warm items. Note: there are only limited opportunities to do laundry during a tour, so quick drying clothing is an advantage. Weather can change rapidly in the locations we hike so layers of clothing is ideal.
The average driving time per day varies, some times you are in the wilderness and won't see the vehicle for 2 days! On other days you might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hrs or occasionally more. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery which is forever changing.
As well as being the time to rest, refuel and recharge, meal times are also a great time to get to know your fellow travellers better, sit back and enjoy the amazing surroundings and enjoy some great food! We strive to provide wholesome and nutritious meals on every trip. Where and when we can, we cater for dietary requirements. Our leaders have fabulous skills to prepare meals in wilderness environments and may from time to time ask you for a hand in preparation. Depending on the style of trip, some of our meals will use dehydrated foods to carry in overnight packs. The types of food you can expect on your trip will be simple, high protein and carbohydrates. You'll get oats and hot beans for breakfast, fruit and bars for snacks, wraps for lunch and stir-fry's for dinner. On most days breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided and on some days dinner is at the groups own costs. It is all added to the itinerary on which days dinner is not included. We'll also provide all delicious snack on the trail for you to enjoy.
"Wild nights" vs nights in civilisation...The trip is a combination of “wild nights”, which are the nights where you are truly in the wilderness, staying in backcountry huts or camping in locations that may be several hours walk from the nearest road or populated area, versus nights in civilisation where you may stay in cabins or camp by the vehicle at Department of Conservation campsites. Some of these locations may still be relatively remote and in the wilderness but they can be reached by the vehicle.
Huts - New Zealand has an excellent network of backcountry huts and you will stay in huts on several nights. 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.
Lodges - You will stay in lodge type accommodation on some of the nights, the lodges are usually conveniently located near the start or end of a hike and have multi-share and sometimes twin/double rooms generally with shared bathrooms.
Camping - You will camp in a range of campsites. On the "wild nights" you may camp under natural rock shelters, on remote beaches or even sleep out under the stars (single tent available on request)! On the non -"wild nights" you will camp near the vehicle in Department of Conservation campsites. If the weather is not great for camping, eg very wet, stormy or cold conditions, your guide will seek out alternative accommodation, eg lodge, cabin or crib.
Cabins/Cribs - Some nights may be spent in private cribs (summer house) or cabins at a campground. Staying in the cribs is a real authentic New Zealand experience and you may even start to feel like a kiwi on holiday! Often you can put a tent up if you want a 'room' to yourself on these nights.
Bathroom facilities - On the wild nights there will be long drop (pit) toilets. There will be rivers or lakes nearby for washing, and sometimes there are even natural hot pools! The kiwi-Style Hiking Tours are set up so after a couple of nights of "roughing it" in the wilderness, you will stay somewhere where you can enjoy a shower and a few home comforts (including laundry facilities) before the next foray into the wild!
Meals: Meals that are not included in the trip price are detailed at the bottom of each day’s itinerary. Items for personal nature such as (alcoholic) beverages can be bought during one of our stops at a shop.
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. All our guides are experienced and qualified. For this trip there are female guides only.
How old do I need to be to attend this trip?
Over the age of 18 years. Most ladies who attend are between 25-65 years old.
What is the weather like in March?
Mid 12-20 during the day and cold at night. It can still snow at this time of year and you MUST pack your thermals, merino clothing and wet weather gear to keep you warm and prepare you for all walking conditions.
What if I get sick while on the trip?
If you are not feeling well on one of the walking days. You are able to stay in the accommodation, shuttle or a base we set for out. If in emergency, we have a personal locater beacon to either call an ambulance or helicopter.
I have a gluten free diet, do you cater for me?
You are required to inform us of your dietary requirements prior to departure. We will then be able to cater for you.
What is the average age of women attending?
Women in their 30's.
What kind of food will we be eating?
We are staying in huts and accommodation. It will be very simple foods. High protein & carbohydrates. Oats and hot beans for breakfast, fruit and bars for snacks, wraps for lunch and stir-fry's for dinner. We will also be going out and will choose the best location on the night.
Can I bring my own snacks?
Yes. We will stop via the shops to pick up supplies if you prefer your own.
Are our guides male or female?
Female guides only who are experienced and qualified.
I don't have hiking boots. Do I have to get some?
We highly recommend purchasing hiking boots. The terrain is uneven and we want you to support your feet and ankles.
How many ladies will be on the trip with me?
Maximum of 10 ladies + 2 female guides.
Is there transport pick up from Queenstown Airport on the 21st March?
Transport is not included from the airport. Roughly $23.
What if I book and then I can't attend?
Please read our Terms and Conditions upon booking and notify us in writing as soon as possible. Cancellation fees will apply and the deposit is non-refundable.
Is there a Facebook group for this trip?
Yes. All our trips include a friendly private Facebook group to connect women before they leave. You will be added to this group after a deposit is paid.
Who can I contact who is organising this event for additional questions?
Please make sure you read carefully the itinerary and FAQ.
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.
More than 20 days prior to departure – 80% refund of full ticket price.
20 to 10 days prior to departure – 50% refund of full ticket price.
Less than 10 days 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.