New Zealand’s adrenalin city, Queenstown, sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu among dramatic, alpine ranges which make an extraordinary setting for all manner of adventure activities, while Fiordland National Park is one of the most striking and beautiful parts of New Zealand.
World-renowned for its adventure Queenstown is home to a huge choice of adrenalin based activities including jetboating, bungee jumping, white water rafting and sky diving – all guaranteed to get your blood pumping! The region also has a world-class ski and snowboard season from June to October. For those that prefer a slightly slower pace, there are hiking and biking trails, golf courses, lake cruises, scenic flights and the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views of the town. In central Queenstown you’ll find a scenic waterfront, fantastic shopping as well as spa treatments, an array of restaurants and a lively nightlife.
A cruise on the iconic TSS Earnslaw paddle steamer on Lake Wakatipu’s beautiful waters allow visitors to relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel whilst taking in the stunning landscapes from an entirely different vantage point. Nearby is tranquil Lake Wanaka, a perfect place to enjoy water activities, cycling, hiking along with excellent food and wine.
The picturesque township of Te Anau is the main gateway to the wilderness that is Fiordland National Park. This World Heritage site includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, whose crystal clear lakes, glacier-carved fiords, pristine forest, sheer rock walls and tumbling waterfalls are a sight to behold.
During your visit take the time to drive to Milford Sound on the Te Anau Milford Highway, it’s one of the world’s most scenic drives! Te Anau has also gained a reputation as the walking capital of the world and is the departure point for many excellent scenic trails, including a walk along the lakeshore to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary to view the extremely rare Takahe.
Milford Sound is the best known of the fiords, and the only one that can be reached by road, which while making it busy, doesn’t detract from its grandeur and beauty. Doubtful Sound is a haven of nature with ancient rainforest, abundant wildlife and a deep stillness making it quite simply breathtaking. Larger and deeper than Milford Sound, New Zealand teems with wildlife including dolphins, fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins. Further south is the more remote Dusky Sound, one of the largest fiords in New Zealand, which was named by Captain Cook in 1770.
GMT +12 hours.
New Zealand dollar
Queenstown is a 5 hour 30 minute drive from Christchurch or 50 minutes by air. Te Anau is around 2 hours drive from Queenstown.
Both Queenstown and Fiordland are year round destinations, although the weather is very changeable so it will depend on the experience you are looking for. During summer (December to February) expect long sunny days so perfect for hiking and many of the activities while winter months (June-August) bring perfect skiing and snowboarding conditions. Autumn and winter months are when the wildlife are more active, so great if you’re visiting Milford Sound, while in spring as the snow melts the waterfalls are at their most spectacular.
Take a scenic gondola ride for quick and easy access to Queenstown’s most amazing views as you ascend to the Skyline complex on Bob’s Peak. Here, you’ll enjoy a tempting New Zealand buffet in a relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant has tiered seating and floor to ceiling windows guaranteeing views from every table. Finally, explore the Milky Way and neighbouring stars, nebulae and clusters. Available every evening from Queenstown.
Travel by coach through impressive alpine scenery to Milford Sound. Board the nature cruise vessel for a leisurely cruise the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. Explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks whilst keeping a lookout for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Available daily from Te Anau or Queenstown.
This full day tour starts with a trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Manapouri. Cruise across Lake Manapouri to West Arm, then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. At Doubtful Sound, enjoy a three hour cruise on the serene and isolated Doubtful Sound. See waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife, such as fur seals and bottlenose dolphins. On the return journey, the engines are turned off and you are treated to the ‘Sound of Silence’. Available daily from Queenstown.