Wanaka to Te Anau (incl. Milford Track)
Most summertime New Zealand holidays through the South Island wind up in wonderful Wanaka at some stage. It's only natural - the tourist-heaven area has a gravitational pull, attracting people from all walks of life to explore its panoramic mountain ranges, sparkling lakes and gloriously good cafes.
The same can be said for Te Anau too. So what's a budding traveller supposed to do when torn between the two? Visit both of course!
Some of best skifields in the country can be found between Wanaka & Queenstown!
Sail across Lake Wakatipu from the shores of Queenstown on this iconic vintage steamship - over 103 yrs old!
Luge & Gondola
Take a ride on the Gondola to new heights overlooking Queenstown before engaging in luging back down the slopes before returning on the Gondola.
53.5km of pure outdoor bliss! Staying in huts and walking one of New Zealand's most beaten tracks is an experience of its own.
Doubtful Sound Excursion
Experience the vast and untouched beauty of Doubtful Sound - the second largest fiord in the Fiorland National Park.
Start by spending a day (or two) exploring the Wanaka region in your rental car, using affordable accommodation such as Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park as a base. This motel/camping ground combo can offer you free unlimited Wi-Fi during your stay, perfect for looking up road trip holiday planners online!
The town is famous for its lake in the summer. You'll find the swimming sensational, with plenty of kayak hire facilities nearby to encourage further aquatic investigation.
You can't leave Central Otago without tasting its sumptuous wine. From Wanaka down to Cromwell (40-minute drive) and then over to Queenstown (50-minute drive from Cromwell), there are more spectacular winemakers here than you could shake a bunch of grapes at. It's hard for us to choose any specifically that we love more than the others, so we recommend driving the main roads and simply popping into whichever label you like the look of!
Before you enter the Kawarau Gorge, be sure to pull into the Goldfields Mining Centre to experience one of the quintessential Kiwi tourist experiences: jet boating. The Goldfields Jet Boat Ride roars up and down the Kawarau River on a 40-minute thrill ride, performing harrowing 360-degree turns and coming within inches of towering cliff walls. Now that's something to talk about back home.
Then off to Queenstown – so much to see and do!
Spend the day in Queenstown and take advantage of the adventure capital of New Zealand, or if a more sedentary pace is required, walk the shops and engage in the fabulous food fare of the township.
Queenstown has something for everyone. Some activities available include:
- Ride the gondola and luge
- Take a trip across the lake on the TSS Earnslaw
- Bungy jump
- Go skiing in winter
- Enjoy another winery or two!
The next leg is a short one and one where you can move at a leisurely pace. Head to Te Anau for a relaxing day. After only two hours in the car, base yourself from one of the two available Kiwi Holiday Parks and then take time to walk around Te Anau, and sample some of the local cuisine, shopping and souvenirs.
Take the rest of the day to prepare for your next adventure, the Milford Track.
From your Kiwi Holiday Park, organise travel to the tip of Lake Te Anau - the starting point of the 4-5 day walk of the Milford Track.
Over the coming days you’ll walk the length of this 53.5km Great Walk, staying in three huts along the way and experiencing some of New Zealand’s most untouched wonderland. Note that you’ll need to pre-book your hut accommodation, and the walk can only be carried out one way. You can do this independently or undertake a guided tour. Your walk concludes at Sandfly point where you’ll catch a boat back to Milford Sound. Note the open season for this walk (October – April).
Take a day to relax at either of the Te Anau Holiday Parks or book a day trip to experience the magic of Doubtful Sound.
First you’ll sail across Lake Manapouri before embarking on a bus to wind its way to the start of Doubtful Sound. Here you’ll board and sail the length of Doubtful Sound, a magnificent glacial structure with slopes surrounding the Sound. It is truly amazing, and a peaceful and great surrounding scene to enjoy a packed or purchased lunch.
On the return trip to Lake Manapouri, you’ll take in the tour of the power station, awe-inspiring with its sheer size and ‘power’ before heading back over the lake to Te Anau to wrap up your itinerary experience.