Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience
Queenstown to Queenstown
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information

Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience

Starting and finishing in Queenstown this tour begins with the stunning beauty of the Routeburn Track. Your fully guided and supported 4 day hike is with Ultimate Hikes and you spend the evenings in the wonderfully equipped lodges before returning to Queenstown. From Queenstown you drive north-west to the pristine wilderness of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, where you immerse yourself in the natural wonders at Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge and the West Coast Glaciers. Continuing north, you board the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train to Christchurch.  From Christchurch you journey south to Mt Cook National Park, where Sir Edmund Hillary prepared to conquer Everest, and it's here we've saved the best for last.  You'll get a bird's eye view of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps on the ultimate scenic flight, with a snow landing on the remote Tasman Glacier. 

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Quick Itinerary Details

South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$10,208 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Queenstown

13 days/12 nights

Boutique Lodges & Hotels

 Rental car included

 Viewed 10 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

- Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation
- Private Transfer Queenstown Airport to your Accommodation
Meals included: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Arrive into Queenstown
Accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

Day 2: Explore Queenstown today & attend your RouteburnTrack briefing this afternoon
Accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

Day 3: Travel from Queenstown to the start of the Routeburn Track, then hike to Lake Mackenzie
Accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

Day 4: Fantastic mountain views today and tonight you stay at the Routeburn Falls Lodge
Accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

Day 5: Descend to the forested lowlands, before you return by coach to Queenstown
Accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

Day 6: Your rental car is delivered and then drive to Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge, Lake Moeraki
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 233 kms / 145 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 7: Explore the pristine wilderness of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area
Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge, Lake Moeraki

Day 8: Free day to explore the West Coast Glaciers
Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 111 kms / 69 miles : 1.4 hours

Day 9: Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road and take the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 10: Today you'll enjoy a scenic drive through Canterbury and the MacKenzie Country to Mt Cook National Park
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 11: Explore Mt Cook National Park by air with the ultimate scenic flight to the Tasman Glacier
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Day 12: Scenic drive through the arid lands of the MacKenzie Country to Queenstown
Accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 13: Depart Queenstown today

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 1
Private Transfer Queenstown Airport to your Accommodation

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Queenstown accommodation.

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities Queenstown is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. Spend time on the Gibbston wine trail and end with a meal at Michelin star chef Josh Emett’s restaurant, Rata. Take a trip down memory lane on a 100 year old steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Soak in the scenery on your walk around the lake, or venture further afield into Fiordland National Park. Head over the hill to resort town Wanaka, or re-live scenes from Lord Of The Rings by four wheel drive. But - if you really do want that rush - head out on the Shotover Jet, dive off the Nevis Bungy, freefall on the Canyon swing or Zip line the Gondola. Just be sure it's done on an empty stomach  – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience, a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting. Take in the stunn...

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Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience, a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting. Take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and its surroundings as you cruise across the lake to the historic Walter Peak high country farm aboard the TSS Earnslaw Steamship.
Enjoy the ambience of the heart of the stately homestead while your Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant chef prepares a gourmet BBQ dinner. Your seasonal menu includes an extensive selection of local New Zealand produce, including succulent meats and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Complete your meal with your choice of delicious desserts, New Zealand cheeses, tea and coffee.
After dinner, watch the farm dogs in action with a sheep-herding demonstration and say hello to the other farm animals. Finally, cruise home under the southern stars and enjoy the fresh night air as the lights of Queenstown draw ever closer.

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Your accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

The stunning five-star Sofitel Queenstown is located in the heart of New Zealand's premier four season lake and alpine resort. New Zealand's very first Sofitel, this luxury boutique hotel occupies one of the best locations to get the most from the vibrant town.
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 2
Explore Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast-paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston Valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. If you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.
Finally, if you're lucky enough to visit in winter (July-September) there are four ski resorts close by. You can head up to Coronet Peak and the Remarkables close to Queenstown, or head to Wanaka for Cardrona and Treble Cone.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure Tour

Nomad Safaris offers a complete 4WD tour into the historic Skippers Canyon. The Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon adventure is a half-day heritage tour th...

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Nomad Safaris offers a complete 4WD tour into the historic Skippers Canyon. The Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon adventure is a half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Travel the road that was hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley making this an exciting adventure the whole family will enjoy. As your guide navigates this awe-inspiring canyon you will visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge and the township of Skippers. Visit the restored school house where you will gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment. British Automobile Association voted Skippers Canyon Road as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world.

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Routeburn Track Briefing

Please check in at 13:45pm on the day prior to your walk for a group pre-track briefing. The briefing is held at the Ultimate Hikes Centre, Ground Floor, The Station Building, Duke Street Entrance, Queenstown. At the briefing, you will have the opportunity to confirm your dietary, medical information and emergency contact details. You will be able to pick up any gear you need to borrow from us or purchase any last minute items from our shop. The customer service staff will also give you an overview of what to expect while you are on track. If you cannot make the pre-track briefing, please contact Reservations on +64 3 450 1940 or info@ultimatehikes.co.nz as soon as possible.

Your accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

The stunning five-star Sofitel Queenstown is located in the heart of New Zealand's premier four season lake and alpine resort. New Zealand's very first Sofitel, this luxury boutique hotel occupies one of the best locations to get the most from the vibrant town.
Meals included: Breakfast
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 3
Routeburn Track 3 day Guided Walk with Ultimate Hikes

The Routeburn Track traverses wild and scenic mountain country between the Hollyford and Dart Valleys at the base of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Since the 1880's the Routeburn Track has proved to be one of the most accessible and popular journeys into New Zealand's forests and mountains. The Routeburn Track passes through two national parks, Fiordland and Mount Aspiring, and is part of Te Wahipounamu, South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The area is a haven for native birdlife: The Robin, Fantail, Parakeet, Bellbird, Yellowhead and watch out for the resident Kea at Routeburn Falls! The variety of landscapes will also astound you: Mountainous peaks, sheer rock faces, alpine basins, pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls, luxuriant forest, turquoise rivers and million-dollar views around every corner.
The Routeburn Track Guided Walk is a 3 day / 2 night Queenstown to Queenstown all-inclusive walk traversing New Zealand's Southern Alps. The package includes all transport, private or shared accommodation in custom built lodges, meals, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets and you will be led by expert Ultimate Hikes guides.

Routeburn Day 1 - Queenstown to Mackenzie Lodge

The day begins early with a coach ride to the Divide, stopping in Te Anau for morning tea on the way. At the Divide, make sure you collect your lunch from the guides before setting off. The track begins with a steady climb up through Silver Beech forest to the turn off to Key Summit. Leave your pack at the turn off before climbing to the Summit for great views and a wetlands walk. Collect your pack, and it’s a short walk down to Lake Howden for lunch. In the afternoon, the track gradually climbs to the 80m (240ft) Earland Falls. Stop for a break at the base pool. The track then traverses around the mountain side to the Orchard. Beyond, you’ll climb for a short section before a steep descent to Mackenzie Lodge.

Your accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

The Routeburn Track lodges have been purposely designed and built and all lodges have drying rooms, flush toilets and hot showers complete with soap, shampoo and conditioner. The lodge kitchen treats you with a three course dinner and cooked breakfast. Accommodation is in a private room with queen or twin bedding or bunk bed rooms sleeping up to 4.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 4
Routeburn Day 2 -Lake Mackenzie to Routeburn Falls Lodge

The track starts just past Lake Mackenzie and rises up through ancient beech forest emerging out of the treeline for stunning views of the lake below. At the top of the zig zags is Ocean Peak Corner. On a clear day you’ll have a full panorama of the Darran Mountains across the Hollyford Valley, to the distant Tasman Sea at Martin’s Bay. Follow the track along the mountain face and ask your guides to point out the native flora, including mountain daisies, buttercups, gentians and edelweiss. After lunch at the Harris Saddle, if track and weather conditions allow, you can climb Conical Hill for a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks. The track continues around Lake Harris, before descending into the upper basins of the Routeburn Valley skirting the Routeburn Falls. Spend your final night at the aptly named Routeburn Falls Lodge. Today's hike will be 11 km (6.9 miles) and will last about 4-6 hours.

Your accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

The Routeburn Track lodges have been purposely designed and built and all lodges have drying rooms, flush toilets and hot showers complete with soap, shampoo and conditioner. The lodge kitchen treats you with a three course dinner and cooked breakfast. Accommodation is in a private room with queen or twin bedding or bunk bed rooms sleeping up to 4.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 5
Routeburn Day 3 - Routeburn Falls to Queenstown

The track descends from the lodge through Red Beech forest to the alpine pastures of the Routeburn Flats. Picnic beside the Routeburn river at Forge Flat. The track shadows the river through the beech forest to the Road End. Take the nature walk at the detour to read more about the native forest and listen for native birds in the valley. At Road End the coach will be waiting to take you back to Queenstown, stopping at the small town of Glenorchy for refreshments. Today's walk is 9km (5.7 miles) and will take between 3 to 4 hours.

Your accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

The stunning five-star Sofitel Queenstown is located in the heart of New Zealand's premier four season lake and alpine resort. New Zealand's very first Sofitel, this luxury boutique hotel occupies one of the best locations to get the most from the vibrant town.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 6
Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUVs.

Queenstown to Lake Moeraki

Crossing the Crown Range, the highest sealed road in the country, you arrive into the alpine town of Wanaka. The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the township of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park and the Blue Pools here are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. The tranquil bush surroundings of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki are just a few extra kilometres.

Your accommodation: Wilderness Lodge, Lake Moeraki

Few places on earth can match the unique natural setting of the Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, in the heart of the 2.7 million hectares South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Spectacular beaches that are home to fur seals and crested penguins, untouched lowland rainforests spread between pristine lakes and rivers which drain the snow-capped Southern Alps.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 233 kms / 145 miles : 2.9 hours

Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 7
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Twice daily complimentary activities are led by expert naturalists and introduce guests to the area's remarkable natural history (approx. 1-hour duration each). If you'd prefer to a guide to explore further afield, there are other, charged experiences available. These trips are generally 3 to 4 hours in length and are a great way to learn about wild New Zealand.

There are also great self-guided options available, including a 10km network of walking trails, kayaking on the calm waters of Lake Moeraki, and of course, relaxing and soaking up the views.

Your accommodation: Wilderness Lodge, Lake Moeraki

Few places on earth can match the unique natural setting of the Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, in the heart of the 2.7 million hectares South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Spectacular beaches that are home to fur seals and crested penguins, untouched lowland rainforests spread between pristine lakes and rivers which drain the snow-capped Southern Alps.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 8
Lake Moeraki to Franz Josef Glacier

Heading North along the mighty West Coast highway you pass through ancient temperate rainforests while getting sneak peeks of the wild coast beach occasionally. Paringa Salmon Farm is worth a stop to stretch your legs, feed the fish, and stop for a refreshment. Keep heading North and be sure to enjoy the view of the everchanging towering snowcapped Southern Alps Mountain Range.
If you are wanting to view Fox Glacier on foot, the start of the track is 2kms before Fox Glacier Township the walk is an easy grade and will take two hours to return. Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region, take a short 5-minute drive west to see the impressive Lake Matheson famous for its reflections of snow-capped mountains. From Fox, you have a 45-minute drive over the Fox Hills to Franz Josef Township.

Explore Franz Josef

Franz Josef is a small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. To see the ice from a viewpoint you can walk along the valley floor to the viewpoint below the terminal face. However, to go on the glacier itself you must take a licensed helicopter tour.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Nature Tour with Glacier Valley Eco Tours

Nestled in thick historic West Coast forest and a stone's throw from wild black sand beaches, this is one of the world's most unusual glaciers. Beauti...

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Nestled in thick historic West Coast forest and a stone's throw from wild black sand beaches, this is one of the world's most unusual glaciers. Beautiful blue skies or magical misty rain, whatever the weather - you will feel like you are in Narnia or LOTR.
With easy walking at your pace, information on glaciology, geology, geomorphology, flora and fauna, local legends, history, and small guided groups with fantastic guides, you will experience this glacier in style and in the best hands with the only local company. Wander past glacier rivers and streams and through beautiful podocarp forest; discover hidden natural treasures such as native snails, wild native mushrooms, and dozens of species of native orchids; listen to native bird song and waterfalls; see if you can spot a Chamois or a Tahr on the huge snow-capped mountains above while drinking a cup of tea and talking one-on-one with your guide. This tour will be a highlight of your travels in New Zealand.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight with The Helicopter Line

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen ...

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Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

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Your accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 111 kms / 69 miles : 1.4 hours

Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 9
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Today head north along the mighty West Coast highway you pass through ancient temperate rainforests while getting sneak peeks of the wild coast beach occasionally. Whataroa is the next town where you can see one of the world's rarest birds, the New Zealand white heron or Kotuku nest at the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve, and guided tours from October to March will take you there. 
Ross is the site of an old gold mining town and some of the old buildings and workings remain. In fact, Ross is still home to one of the few working gold mines left in New Zealand and the local information center offers you the chance to pan for gold.
Hokitika is a great place to explore craft and gift stores and head to the coast and take in the endless sea views. The Jade or Greenstone on offer in Hokitika is probably some of the best you will see in the country. The Hokitika Gorge is located 45 minutes inland and offers turquoise waters flowing through a narrow gorge. A great short walk will deliver you to this piece of paradise.
Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey the TranzAlpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located at the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

On arrival at the Christchurch train station, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.

Your accommodation: The George Hotel

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 10
Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUVs.

Christchurch to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

Today you'll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue colour. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.
Please note: There are no food shops at Mt Cook, and dinner options are limited to one restaurant. If you wish to self-cater, you must stock up before arriving in Mt Cook, or make dinner reservations in advance.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Museum and Theatre Explorer Pass

A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary, a humanitarian, ambassador, and one of the world's greatest explorers. The centre showcases the Aoraki ...

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A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary, a humanitarian, ambassador, and one of the world's greatest explorers. The centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region, the history of climbing, and early transport used throughout the region. This comprehensive museum details the life of Sir Edmund Hillary, the Hermitage, and provides access to the 126-seat custom-designed theatre. Check out the daily film schedule which includes 3D Movies, documentaries, and 360-degree digital dome features.

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Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Experience the best views in the park from the spacious top floor rooms of the magnificent Hermitage Hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 11
Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park

At 3754 metres Aoraki-Mt Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, located deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. From the Visitor Centre at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of this immense peak. As well as its impressive beauty, Mt Cook National Park is also home to a huge range of awe-inspiring sights and activities. Take to the air with Mt Cook Ski Planes for a scenic flight that includes a glacier landing. At around 27 kilometres long the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest and a Glacier Explorers tour will give you the opportunity to see its unique features.
There are many short hikes in and around the park and these are well signposted. Those with an interest in the night sky should take a stargazing tour with the Hermitage Hotel. The region is considered to have one of the clearest night skies in the world and is one of the few gold-rated dark sky reserves worldwide.
The Hermitage Hotel complex offers fine dining, multiple cafes and a bar. Due to the remote location of the property, there are no shops and limited supplies at Mt Cook Village. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for insight into this region's mountain climbing history. You'll also learn of Sir Ed's incredible achievements and his dedication to helping others around the world.

Mt Cook Ultimate Scenic Helicopter Flight with Heliworks

View the spectacular Aoraki, Mt Cook from above on this 55 minute scenic flight. See the incredible scenery surrounding New Zealand's tallest peak, including hanging glaciers, calved icebergs, rivers of ice, the forests of the West Coast and the renowned Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. You'll also land on the glacier itself - a truly unique experience.

Walking tracks in and around Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park

There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Experience the best views in the park from the spacious top floor rooms of the magnificent Hermitage Hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 12
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

Leaving the alpine region of Aoraki Mt Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama the gliding capital of New Zealand. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand's highest roads with a summit of 971 metres. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago's original gold mining settlements.
Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards Gibbston, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Your accommodation: Sofitel Queenstown

The stunning five-star Sofitel Queenstown is located in the heart of New Zealand's premier four season lake and alpine resort. New Zealand's very first Sofitel, this luxury boutique hotel occupies one of the best locations to get the most from the vibrant town.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Routeburn & Southern Wilderness Experience - Day 13
Return your vehicle to Queenstown Airport

Explore more of Queenstown before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

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