July 6-17, 2020
Bohemian Comfort - Authentic and true immersive experience! Sleep in tents, eat simple, delicious and healthy food and get cozy and intimate with your fellow Betties! Might have to arrange somethings on your own such as ground transportation or do a more extensive preparation than you might in other trip styles*
Convenient Comfort – Minimum effort on your part! Sleep in a room which you might share with one other Betty, eat prepared meals that are hearty and healthy and prepare minimally as the rest is provided. In most cases, ground transportation is included*
Luxury Comfort - Just show up and the rest is covered. Sleep with comfort in a nice bed with luxury linen, eat gourmet food, drink wonderful wine and get plenty of rest before your full day of adventure. Ground transportation is included and all of your gear is provided*
*Air transportation is not included in Bold Betties adventures
This is a great entry level trip for newcomers or Betties looking build confidence outdoors. Expect 2-5 hours of activity a day on mostly flat or slightly hilly terrain with the occassional steep and/or uneven trail. You'll travel approximately 4-6 miles per day and experience moderate elevation/altitude changes.
Moderately difficult featuring more hills and mountain terrain, but still accessible for Betties inexperienced in outdoor adventure. Expect 4-6 hours of activity covering up to 10 miles a day. Expect steep and uneven trails and altitudes up to 10,000 ft.
Challenging adventures for Betties who are fit adventurers and possess a basic skill set for the outdoors. Expect 5-8 hours of activity per day over a variety of exposed terrain and steep uneven trails. Distances up to 12 miles per day and altitudes up to 14,000 ft.
Designed for the most experienced Betties who are do adventures on a regular basis. You'll be taken to remote locations over exposed, uneven and challenging terrain, requiring 10+ hours of activity per day and distances of 12+ miles. Altitudes could exceed 14,000 ft.
Mild temperatures, less people, snow capped mountains, and a chance to ski in July? Why NOT go to New Zealand in winter?
Join Bold Betties from all around the US on a winter trip to experience the South Island of New Zealand from a totally different perspective!
July 6 – 17, 2020Overview
12 days and 11 nights exploring the South Island of New Zealand. From the moment you land, until the moment you take off, we’ve got you covered with transportation, a ton of your meals, guided activities, and even some downtime!
You’ll begin and end your trip in Christchurch, making for easy travel logistics. In a comfortable 20 passenger bus, you’ll wind your way through some of the most magical ecosystems and landscapes in the world.Highlights Include:
- Glow Worm Caves in Te Anau
- Mountain Biking the Hawea River Trail
- Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon
- Cruise Milford Sound
- Hiking at Pancake Rocks
- Wine tasting in Central Otago
- Ski Coronet Peak
- Hike at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
- Breakfasts: 10
- Lunches: 11
- Dinners: 9
- Guided activities (except where noted)
- Transportation to/from airport
- Transportation between activities and cities
- 2 Guides
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuity for guides
- Optional activities
- Any meals not listed
Arrive, hike Mt John
Your trip starts in Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island, where we’ll meet you and head south towards Aoraki/Mt Cook – New Zealand’s highest mountain. On the way we’ll pass by the dazzling azure blue waters of Lake Tekapo where we’ll stop to explore the lakefront and the iconic church of the good shepherd. We then stretch our legs on a short hike up Mt John for breath-taking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. From here we’ll continue to our wonderful home for the evening at Lake Ohau Lodge, where we can enjoy a drink while staying on the ski field itself.
ACCOMMODATION: Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (Lunch, Dinner)
5mi, +1,080/-1,080ft, 2-3 hours
Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park or Ski/board Ohau.
Variety is the spice of life and today the decision is yours! You can either stay on the mountain and head up for a day of turns and powder as you ski or board Lake Ohau ski field. This has terrain for all abilities and gives you epic views back down to the lake! Alternatively you can head out to hike the dramatic Mount Cook. Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. We’ll hike to the end of Hooker lake, itself at the end of the Hooker Glacier which comes tumbling down from Mt Cook itself. This whole area is filled with some of our tallest mountains, all with their own glaciers dripping off them – you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into a winter wonderland!
This evening we’ll celebrate our adventures back in the warmth of Lake Ohau lodge, where we can jump in the hot tub and take in the views of the lake below.
ACCOMMODATION: Mt Cook Alpine Village, Mt Cook (All meals)
5.6mi, +328/-328ft, 3-4 hours
Journey South to Wanaka, start options
Today we’ll travel south over the dramatic Lindis pass towards Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park.
DAY 3 PM:
Option A: Overnight backpacking to Aspiring Hut
After leaving the other group in Wanaka, we’ll head towards the Matukituki valley to begin our overnight hike. With sleeping bag and overnight clothes in our packs, we’ll hike up the valley towards Mount Aspiring. This hike takes us alongside the beautiful rapids of the Matukituki river and beneath the towering snow-peaked mountains, until we reach our home for the night – Aspiring hut. This cosy stone-built backcountry hut has amazing windows that face right out to the view of Mount Aspiring! Tonight we’ll have a sumptuous dinner by the fire and uninterrupted views of the dazzling starry sky.
5.6mi, +197ft, 3-4 hours
DAY 3 PM:
Option B: Wanaka Hiking Adventure
After lunch, we’ll have the chance to get in some stunning views by hiking up Mt Iron, just outside of Wanaka. From the top you’ll have 360-degree views of the whole valley, including Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Afterwards we’ll head to our wonderful lakeside accommodation for the evening, to sip a wine with beautiful lake views.
2.8mi, +722/-722ft, 1-2 hours
After a great nights sleep in the hut, we’ll have a hearty breakfast before packing up and hiking back out the valley to raspberry flats. On the way we night see a cheeky alpine Kea flying past! We’ll then travel back to Wanaka to meet up with the rest of the group.
5.6mi, -197ft, 2-3 hours
This morning you’ll have the option of a gentle sleep-in and a morning to yourself (there’s some great shops in Wanaka!) or you can join our guide or a walk along the Wanaka waterfront. This is a beautiful trail and along the way we’ll pass ‘That Wanaka Tree’, which has become insta-famous because of the stunning background views and the fact that it seems to grow straight out of the lake! After a delicious lunch we’ll meet up with the rest of the group.
3.7 mi, +100/-100ft, 1-2 hours
DAY 4 – afternoon
After re-grouping, we’ll head out to nearby Lake Hawea and jump onto specialized mountain bikes for an afternoon ride along the Hawea river trail. This gently undulating trail is made of flat packed gavel and follows alongside the Hawea River. It’s a great way to take in the scenery from a different angle!
After we finish the ride in Albert town we’ll travel over the Crown Range to Queenstown, the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’ and our home for the next few nights.
Biking: 15 mi, -260ft, 2-4 hours (vehicle supported so flexible distance)
Free day in Queenstown or ski Coronet Peak
Today you have two options – a full day skiing or a free day to yourself. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. Or, you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favorite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
For those keen to get in some turns on the mountain, we can arrange for you to head up to Coronet Peak ski field. With bus transport from the centre of Queenstown you’ll have the whole day to ski the slopes of Coronet at your pace. You can bring your own gear or hire it while down here.
N.B. Extra costs of USD$149 + tax apply for ski passes and rental.
ACCOMMODATION: Queenstown Lodgings, Queenstown (No meals included)
Hike the Kepler track and experience glow worm caves
This morning, we’ll escape the bustle of Queenstown to experience the solitude of Fiordland, our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park. We travel south past Lake Wakatipu and farmland to Lake Te Anau and enter into wonderfully lush beech forest and snow-capped peaks. Once in Te Anau we’ll board a boat across the lake to the stunning glow worm caves. When you enter in the caves and look up at the bioluminescent lights, it’s like staring at a brilliant night sky full of stars. This afternoon we'll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Beginning at Rainbow Reach, we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It's an awesome hike with spectacular views! Tonight we'll stay in the cute town of Te Anau, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.
ACCOMMODATION: Te Anau Lodgings, Te Anau (All meals included)
4.5 mi, +65/-65 ft, 2 – 3 hours
Explore Fiordland National Park and cruise Milford Sound
Today we’ll head into New Zealand’s largest and most remote national park – Fiordland. We travel north along the Milford highway with jaw-dropping scenery and will stop for short walks along the way to the mirror lakes, the chasm and Marian gantry. We drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand meters to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. We’ll experience this awesome scenery from the deck of a ship as we cruise out into the Fiord itself and get up close and personal with the waterfalls! If we’re lucky we’ll spot native fur seals, dolphins and maybe even penguins! Afterwards we’ll head back to Te Anau for a well-earned rest and wine by the fire.
ACCOMMODATION: Milford Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)
Short walks in Fiordland ~ approx. 1.5hrs.
Central Otago wine tasting, travel to Makarora
After the adventure of the last few days, today will be a more relaxed pace as we travel out towards the West Coast. Along the way we’ll stop off at one of the world-renowned Central Otago wineries for lunch and some wine tasting. This region is particularly famous for its Pinot Noir (great for a chilly winters day!) due to the microcliamte in the regions of dry, warm summers and cooler winters. We’ll continue to travel west in the afternoon, coming to the tiny hamlet of Makarora for the evening. For those wanting to stretch their legs, there’s a great bush walk that we can d right from our doorsteps through lush green forest.
ACCOMMODATION: Makarora Chalets (All meals)
Optional nature walk in evening, 1hr
Explore the Blue Pools, Hike Lake Matheson
In the morning we’ll stop just down the road for a short walk out to the ‘Blue Pools’. This is where two glacial rivers meet to create pools of dazzling azure blue colours due to the glacial silt in their waters. For those brave (or crazy!) enough, you can take an ice-cold dip in the pools – while it may take your breath away it’s said to make you look younger by 10 years!
Afterwards we experience the true ruggedness of the West Coast as we travel north up the windswept coastline. We’ll pass remote isolated beaches with pounding surf, and trees twisted almost sideways by the winds! In the afternoon we’ll stop at the secluded Lake Matheson to hike around its clear, calm waters. On windless das the water here is so perfectly reflective of the Southern Alps behind it, you’ll definitely want your camera handy! Tonight we’ll arrive to stay in the town of Franz Josef where you’ll have some time to explore the village, or jump into the hot tub before dinner.
ACCOMMODATION: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)
Blue Pools: 1mi, +/-50ft, 45mins ; Lake Matheson: 2.5mi, +/- 210ft, 1.5hrs.
Kayak Okarito Lagoon, Hike to Franz Josef Glacier
Okarito is a sleepy little township on the coast that is hardly known about by tourists – so we love it! With only 30 residents it’s got a great access to the Okarito Lagoon which makes for great kayaking. We’ll jump into kayaks this morning and head up the lagoon from the coastal estuary through reed groves into deep Kahikatea forested riverways. This area is abundant with birdlife so keep your eyes open for black swans, white herons and the royal spoonbills!
In the afternoon we’ll head back to Franz Josef to get up and personal with the glacier. We’ll hike along the valley to the terminal face of the Glacier itself. It’s dramatic to see all 12kilometres of the glacier curving its way down from the towering alpine peaks to the valley floor and is one of the few glaciers in the world to travel almost down to sea level!
ACCOMMODATION: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)
Kayaking: approx. 3 hours; hike: 3mi, +166/-166ft, 2-3 hours.
Hike Punakaiki Rainforest and explore Pancake Rocks
Travelling north today, you’ll see the scenery begin to change as the climate becomes more temperate and an occasional Nikau palm tree will come into view. After dropping off our gear in Punakaiki, we’ll head out along the Inland Pack track, alongside rivers stained by the tannins of the trees that have fallen in. The vegetation here is lush and green, and while you’ll feel a world away from the hikes you did in the beginning of the trip, you’re actually just on the other side of the Southern Alps to Mount Cook!
At high tide we’ll head out towards the Pancake rocks to catch them in their full glory. These limestone formations have been made by millions of years of erosion and look like a giant stack of pancakes. The formations have holes that open up to the sea below, so at high tide the waves come smashing up through the blowholes for a dramatic water show! Don’t forget your raincoat for this one!
Tonight, we’ll celebrate our adventure together over the past few weeks with a delicious farewell dinner.
ACCOMMODATION: Punakaiki lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)
Inland pack track: 4mi, +426/-426ft, 2-3 hours; Pancake rocks: 1hr
Hike Castle Hill, finish in Christchurch
As we travel back to Christchurch on our last day together, we still have one last adventure up our sleeve! We’ll travel through the dramatic scenery of Arthurs Pass and out to the open tussock clad mountains. Here we’ll stop at a very special and sacred site called Castle Hill. Filled with enormous limestone rock monoliths, as you wander through the labyrinth of smooth rock walls, you’ll feel in a different world! This area is so special that the Dalai Lama once referred to it as the ‘spiritual center of the universe’ during his visit there! Afterwards we’ll continue back to Christchurch to finish our amazing adventure. We’ll get you back there in time for flights out after 5pm, or we can drop you anywhere in the center of town.
Daily Activity Distances, Elevations, and Durations
Hiking: 5 miles
Elevation: +/- 1,080 ft
Duration: 2-3 hours
Hiking: 5.6 miles
Elevation: +/-328 ft
Duration: 3-4 hours
Hiking: 5.6 miles
Elevation: +197 ft
Duration: 3-4 hours
Hiking: 3.7 miles
Elevation: +/-100 ft
Duration: 1-2 hours
Day 4 (morning):
Hiking: 5.6 miles
Elevation: -197 ft
Duration: 2-3 hours
Hiking: 3.7 miles
Elevation: +/- 100 ft
Duration: 1-2 hours
Day 4 (afternoon):
Biking: 15 miles
Elevation: -260 ft
Duration: 2-4 hours (with support vehicle)
Hiking: 4.5 miles
Elevation: +/- 65 ft
Duration: 3 hours
Duration: approximately 1.5 hours
Optional Nature Walk
Hiking: 1 mile
Elevation: +/- 50 ft
Duration: 45 minutes
Hiking: 2.5 miles
Elevation: +/-210 ft
Duration: 1.5 hours
Duration: approximately 3 hours
Hiking: 3 miles
Elevation: +-/ 166 ft
Duration: 1 hour
Hiking: 4 miles
Elevation: +/1 426 ft
Duration: 2-3 hours
Short hike to Castle Hill
Mileage will vary
Full Trip Balance: $4,138.20
Non-Refundable Deposit: $810
Remaining Balance: $3,328.20
Full Trip Balance: $4,598
Non-Refundable Deposit: $900
Remaining Balance: $3,698
Want to become an Affinity Member and save 10% on this and other adventures in our store? CLICK HERE to find out more and to sign up!
If minimum hasn't been met by December 31, 2019, adventure will be cancelled and all payments will be refunded.
You’ll love the interesting places we’ve discovered over the years. In Queenstown you’ll stay in comfortable 4 star accommodation, and in Ohau you’ll stay in a ski chalet right on the mountain! Our Makarora chalets are cute and quirky, and a great location right next to Mount Aspiring National Park.
Rooming is based on two people sharing a room with one or two beds, as you require. If you’re travelling by yourself and wish to be guaranteed your own room for the duration of the trip, a single supplement rate will apply. All accommodations have ensuite bathrooms unless you choose the Mount Aspiring hut option which has much more basic dormitory style accommodation for the night with separate toilet facilities.
We love solo travelers and believe it or not, MOST of our adventure attendees come on their own!
We never enforce a Single Supplement on solo travelers. Instead, we will pair solo travelers together to share a room and save some money!
If you're interested in the single supplement to guarantee your own room for the duration of the trip, you are welcome to do so from the drop down menu!
Our trips allow you to make the most of New Zealand, whether you’re relatively new to hiking or a seasoned trekker. The trip provider's highly trained and experienced guides will be at your side, safely guiding you to magnificent places that you wouldn’t get to on your own. You don’t have to have been kayaking to enjoy paddling out on the water. In fact, we have so many options available that you don’t need to hike or paddle at all if you’d rather hike or just laze around!
The Trip Providers hold all relevant government licenses and permits, have an impeccable safety record and are certified by OutdoorsMark, New Zealand’s leading outdoor safety auditors. So, with all the research, logistics, safety and hospitality taken care of, you can focus on the most important thing – making the most of your vacation!
2 Female guides with a maximum group size of 15
Since New Zealand isn’t quite small enough to simply walk everywhere and still see all the highlights in a limited amount of time, we travel in fuel-efficient 20-seat Toyota Coasters and our guides make the journey enjoyable. They’ll introduce you to some local tunes as well as provide interesting commentary, and we pass the time you do spend on the road in a fun, social way, with New Zealand’s ever-changing scenery providing a feast for the eyes. Our focus, as always, is on getting you out of the vehicle and into the scenery.
DO NOT PURCHASE AIRFARE until the trip has been 100% confirmed. We will confirm the trip as soon as possible after the minimum has been met.
We will provide details for flight itineraries once the trip has been confirmed.
It is a requirement of travelling with this trip provider that you obtain full travel insurance cover – please be aware that some insurance companies require insurance to be purchased within 7 days of deposit payment. You're required to have coverage that includes full medical cover, emergency evacuation and emergency repatriation. We also strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance, and insuring against any other travel mishaps such as flight cancellations or delays, loss of luggage and personal effects, theft, or trip interruption at the time of booking. Travel insurance can be obtained through a local travel agent or from online brokers.
Bold Betties does not sell travel insurance but we are happy to guide you in that process.
All deposits are *non-refundable.
If trip is cancelled before December 31, the trip is fully refundable, less the deposit.
If trip is cancelled after December 31 but before April 20, the trip is 50% refundable, less the deposit
If the trip is cancelled after April 20, no refunds will be given.
While it is our intention at Bold Betties to adhere to the event as described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to the nature of Bold Betties events, adventuring and travel can be unpredictable. Our itinerary overview is a general guide regarding the event and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. These changes can be made with regards to safety, attendee capabilities, time constraints, weather and various other reasons. You are solely responsible for arriving to the meeting place on time. In the event of a delay, it is up to you to make alternative arrangements. Any additional costs incurred is your responsibility. Refunds will not be given due to missed connections, canceled flights, weather, or any other delays or unforeseen circumstances. Allow yourself extra time to arrive safely to the meeting place so that everyone leaves on time. Please see the cancellation/refund policy.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Winter on the South Island - July 6-17, 2020
July 6-17, 2020
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