Get an insider’s view of the South Island on this unique, action-packed wilderness adventure
No matter how much time you’ve spent in the great outdoors, New Zealand’s landscapes will blow you away. From the 3,900-foot-high fjords of Milford Sound, to the snow-capped peaks and sapphire lakes of Lord of the Rings country, the South Island is blessed with an astonishing quantity of beautiful places. It’s tempting to try to see it all, and too many companies make that mistake. Like its fine Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, New Zealand should be savored—so, rather than spending hours in a car rushing from one famous site or viewpoint to another, our itinerary is specifically designed to minimize driving, and maximize your opportunities to enjoy some of the world’s most unique and spectacular scenery.
New Zealand is made for those who love lots of activity, and so is this one-of-a-kind MTS journey. Our regional MTS guide, Adrian Fogg, spent many years as a heli-hiking and river rafting guide, and he will show you remote and very special places that other travelers pass right by. Though you’ll still cover a lot of ground, you’ll get from point to point in a variety of exhilarating ways.
Your adventure begins with a visit to Mount Cook National Park. You’ll spend a few memorable days in the Wakatipu Basin, renowned for its astonishing beauty and immortalized in countless Hollywood films. Here, you’ll take scenic drives to phenomenal vistas, and the pleasure of exploring the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Mt. Aspiring National Park by foot.
Your journey ends in Queenstown, known as the “adventure capital” of the world. You’ll have a fee day to enjoy one of many daring options available. Or if you prefer, there are plenty of other choices, from day hikes in the surrounding mountains to wine tasting in the Gibbston Valley, famous for its pinot noir.
This 7-day journey is crafted and paced to let you fully experience the beauty of the South Island—but if you’d like to see and do more, we encourage you to continue your adventure with our new MTS “Wild West Coast” trip, highlighting the very best of the South Island’s rugged western shores.
5 days of moderate hiking, sea kayaking, scenic plane ride (optional), 4WD safari
- Explore the South Island’s mountains, rivers and fjords on kayaks trips, gondola rides and day hikes
- Our thoughtfully planned itinerary minimizes driving time while maximizing time spent in some of New Zealand’s most spectacular places
- Stay at an exclusive new lodge on Ben Lomond Station, accessible only by 4x4
- Sea kayak passing waterfalls, watching wildlife and soaking up the majestic wonderland that surrounds you in Milford Sound
- Hike towards the famous Mueller Hut for breathtaking views over the Hooker Valley and Aoraki/Mount Cook
Duration: 7 days Start Location: Queenstown End Location: QueenstownDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Welcome to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown
Meet in Queenstown and take a walk through the town famous for its adrenaline-pumping adventure activites.
Day 2 : Mount Cook, Hooker Glacier
Leaving Queenstown, we’ll transfer north to Mount Cook Village, which provides access to Mount Cook National Park. We’ll take a hike up the Hooker Valley towards the Hooker Glacier and the southwestern slopes of Aoraki/Mount Cook. The glacier is approximately 6–7 miles in length.
Day 3 : Mueller Hut Hike
We have a great but challenging day planned for the group today! We’ll also have options for those who prefer a less strenuous experience. Hike towards the famous Mueller Hut for breathtaking views over the Hooker Valley and Aoraki/Mount Cook, or take an Ice Explorer excursion for amazing up-close encounters with icebergs on a glacial terminal lake.
Day 4 : Ben Lomond Saddle
We'll take an alpine hike to the saddle of Ben Lomond, one of the highest peaks in the Wakatipu Basin. There is also the possibility of extending the hike to the summit of Ben Lomond for even more incredible views of the surrounding Southern Alps.
Day 5 : Fiordland National Park
This morning we embark on a 4WD journey up to Moonlight Creek. We spend the afternoon driving down to Milford Sound, with stops along the way to explore Fiordland National Park.
Day 6 : Sea kayak Milford Sound
We'll begin the day by meeting our kayak guides early in the morning, which helps us beat the breeze that can kick up later in the day and make the most of an enjoyable day of sea kayaking majestic Milford Sound. After lunch we head back to Te Anau and enjoy this idyllic little town beside Lake Te Anau.
Day 7 : Depart Queenstown
Early morning transfer back to Queenstown Airport. From Queenstown Airport you'll fly back to Auckland and connect with your homeward-bound flights. Or you can remain in Te Anau and take advantage of one of our exciting post-trip extensions—call for details.
DATES: Best time to go: February, November - December Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
$3,395 (10-12 members)
$800 single supplement
Crowne Plaza HotelQueenstown, New ZealandLake view rooms enjoy stunning views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range, as well as Queenstown township.Lake view rooms feature their own private balcony and a choice of 1 super king or 2 double beds. In room features include bathrobes, quality amenities, LCD TV, cordless telephone, in-room safe and WIFI access.
The Hermitage HotelMount Cook Village, New Zealand
The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect 'base camp' to discover your Peak Experience.
The Hermitage Hotel has ensuites, tea and coffee making facilities, satellite TV, IDD telephones and fridges. Wireless internet is available in all hotel rooms.
Moonlight LodgeBen Lomond Station, New Zealand
Moonlight Lodge is a remote upmarket mountain lodge with modern luxuries situated in the back-country. Relax on the lawn, enjoy the long summer evenings and starry skies.
Milford LodgeMilford Sound
Nestled beneath the towering peaks of the Darran Mountains, the facilities include a large comfortable lounge, a communal kitchen and the indoor/ outdoor courtyard dining areas.
Distinction LuxmoreTe Anau, New Zealand
4 star accommodation in beautiful Te Anau, Distinction Luxmore Hotel now offers guests a wide range of brand new hotel accommodation.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Adrian grew up in New Zealand, where he began guiding river trips in 1986 while still in high school. Becoming a river guide was a natural progression for a kid who spent most of his spare time training for national and international competitions in whitewater slalom and downriver racing. His career guiding rafts and safety kayaking has taken him all around New Zealand, as well as to the US, Nepal, Canada, Chile and Ecuador, on trips ranging from the most challenging class V rivers to remote expedition-style trips. He first guided for MTS in 1997 on the Bio Bio River in Chile. In addition to river guiding, Adrian has worked as a heli-ski guide, a hiking guide, a glacier guide and a ski patroller. Adrian operated his own heli-rafting business, Rivers Wild, from 2000 to 2008. The company specialized in taking guests into New Zealand’s most remote and wild rivers. Adrian feels very fortunate to have shared so many amazing experiences with the people he has guided in wild and beautiful places. His favorite part of his job is seeing the look on guests’ faces when they’re having a wonderful experience, especially in the stunning settings of his native country. He is patiently waiting for his two young sons to grow up so they too can join him on fun adventures. Over the years Adrian has called many places home -- right now they are Queenstown, New Zealand and Truckee, California. He holds an undergraduate degree in Geography and a MBA in Sustainable Business Management.