This self-drive exploration trip through the South Island is a road trip on steroids, perfect for those adventurous souls. Ice trek the Tasman Glacier, climb a waterfall via ferrata and jetboat down rivers all the while being surrounded by incredible mountains.
Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat (2 nights)
Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is nestled on a cliff top overlooking Lake Pukaki and beyond to Aoraki Mt. Cook. From The Ashley Mackenzie Villa you can enjoy uninterrupted views up Lake Pukaki to the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. The Moraine Villas overlook the tawny farmscape of the Mackenzie Basin with mountain views of the Ben Ohau ranges. The Retreat also offers a unique night sky experience through their Pukaki Observatory and adjoining wine cellar.
Exclusive Tasman Glacier Ice Trek
Today fly to a high landing at approx. 1,400 metres above sea level. With your personal glacier guide, you will traverse the incredible glacial landscape, while moving through the regular Tasman Glacier Heli Hike terrain and on, into more “adventurous” zones.
Hiking on the Ice Trek hike covers up to 5 kilometres distance, with many diversions. Explore fascinating ice features. Squeeze through winding canyons. Peer into moulins and caves - and the many surprises the ice delivers! You are on a private helihike, so there is no pressure to go faster (or slower) by people you don't know. The trip is 100% tailored to your needs, as to how challenging or relaxed you want it to be. The glacier changes constantly through the season, so no two trips are the same.
Mahu Whenua (2 nights)
This luxurious high-country homestead is located in New Zealand's South Island, and offers a unique lodge-style accommodation just 20 minutes drive from Wanaka or 10 minutes by helicopter from Queenstown. The suites boast incredible mountain, lake or river views and supreme privacy. Activities available on-site include horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, yoga, spa services, cooking courses and heli-skiing.
Jet Boat and Wilderness Walk
This afternoon Jet Boat down the Matukituki River toward Mount Aspiring and her Glaciers. Travel past Lord of The Rings film locations, stunning mountain scenery and hanging glaciers on this half day wilderness adventure. Maori guides with fantastic local knowledge tell of the legends and mythology that make this area special to Maori.
At the top of the river leave the jet boat for a 50 minute wilderness walk into a remote part of the valley, (suitable for all ages and fitness levels). Depending on where the River Flow allows the jet boat to beach there are three beautiful areas to explore. McGill's Creek; where you will follow the creek to a waterfall. Mill Creek; walk through the forest to a spectacular gorge. The East Branch; walk beneath amazing scenery to a waterfall. On the walk, enjoy the company of your guide as he shares with you the culture of the people and the natural forces that created this unique landscape.
This morning head to Wild Wire, the world’s highest waterfall cable climb. You will drive through stunning scenery to the base of the Twin Falls Waterfall. Wild Wire will teach you everything you need to know before starting your climb and you’ll be supported by one of their great guides the whole trip.
We have included the ‘Wild Thing’ climb which is the most popular climb, suitable for adventurous, active beginners.
You will first complete ‘Go Wild’ which will take you into the heart of the waterfall exposing hidden pools and crossing three suspension bridges before crossing our final 35m bridge and traversing back to the base along a picturesque trail. Having completed the Go Wild section, climb higher, crossing 2 more suspension bridges including a 3-wire bridge before finishing at the base of a spectacular 60m waterfall. This section of the climb is steeper and more exposed, offering a perfect balance of challenge and achievability, and opening up fantastic views.