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Wanaka, Queenstown, Te Anau & Fiordland


Map of Wanaka, QueenstownFiordland has by far the wildest and most dramatic scenery in New Zealand and is one of the largest national parks in the world - waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into sheer-sided fiords, lakes shimmer and harsh granite peaks lead to Tolkeinesque forests (the recent NZ$264 million movie Lord Of The Rings was filmed there).

Te Anau is the best place to base yourself to explore Fiordland's walking tracks and fiords. The resort is based on tranquil Lake Te Anau, NZ's second largest lake.

Milford Monarch, Milford SoundThe cosmopolitan alpine resort of Queenstown has a party atmosphere all through the year. In spring and on long summer days (when the sun doesn't set till 10pm) it's a base camp for trekkers, skiers and adventure lovers. The shops open till 10pm also, seven days a week, and the apres ski is legendary with over 100 choices of where to eat or drink. The nearby skiing is among the world's best with amenities to match.

Wanaka complements Queenstown perfectly - it's mellow and calm and translates from Maori as 'renewal of the soul'. Residents and visitors enjoy fine living with top-class restaurants and their own stunning small winery.

Return to topTo See and Do

  • Eglinton Valley, Milford RoadTake a walk. After all, this is the walking capital of the world!
  • Whether you're an experienced skier or a novice, take to the slopes.
  • Put time aside to experience the silent grandeur of Doubtful Sound.
  • Shoot to Shotover River for jetboating, white water rafting, bungy jumping or helicopter flight-seeing (most tour operators will mix up a cocktail of different adventure activities.
  • Whether you're a hacker or a pro, you won't find a more beautiful setting for a round of golf.
  • Take a kayak out on one of the lakes.
  • What about a pony trek or a 4WD safari into the high country?
  • Explore NZ's largest underground wine cave at Gibbston Valley Winery near Queenstown and Rippon Vineyard near Wanaka is perhaps the world's prettiest winery, nestled along the lake.
  • Shotover River, Queenstown RaftingThe Wanaka Fighter Pilots Museum has a great collection of vintage fighters and you can also take a joyride in a Tiger Moth, tandem skydive or scenic flight.
  • For fun in the snow without balance and bindings try skidooing or snowmobiling from either Queenstown or Wanaka.
  • Visit the picturesque gold mining settlement of Arrowtown (20 minutes from Queenstown).
  • For the small and grown-up kids, get lost in The Great Maze, Puzzle Centre and Tilted House at Stuart Landborough's 'Puzzling World' in Wanaka.

Return to topSample Itinerary 5 days

(Note: this is only a sample - once you tell us your areas of interest, we will construct a personal, suggested itinerary for you.)

Day 1

  • Give the brain cells a real treat today - kick off at Puzzling World and the Great Maze.
  • Head on to the fascinating Fighter Pilots Museum. Take a skydive or a joyride in a vintage plane.
  • Sample a drop of wine at Rippon Vineyard on Lake Wanaka before settling in to one of the local fine dining options.

    Day 2

  • Drive to Queenstown (1.5 hours), perhaps stopping at a vineyard for lunch.
  • Enjoy an afternoon cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station.
  • While there, saddle up for a horse trek then return to Queenstown for dinner in an excellent restaurant or join the party scene.

    Day 3 Fiordland Flyer, Lake Manapouri

  • Cast a line for some early morning fish then head to Steamer Wharf for brunch.
  • Travel to historic Arrowtown (20 minutes) where the old gold buildings are still in use.
  • Indulge in an afternoon of adventure - jetboating, rafting, bungy - or slip in a round of golf or a walk. At sunset take the Gondola up Bob's Peak for breathtaking views.

    Day 4

  • Milford Wanderer, Milford SoundGo on a 4WD safari to deserted Macetown or by jetboat down Dart River into true wilderness.
  • Follow the Wakitipu Art Trail and visit some lovely gardens.
  • End the day with the drive to Te Anau (2 hours).

    Day 5

  • Take a short day tramp or spend the day on the water, cruising or kayaking one of the majestic fiords.
  • Spoil yourself with a scenic flight over the World Heritage Area before heading back to Te Anau for an evening cruise across the lake to the glow-worm caves.

Return to topWhere to Stay

Click below for a choice of accommodation options in these regions:

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