Day 1: Wednesday 29/12/21, Queenstown City - Te Anau
The rental company will pick you up at the airport. You will be taken to collect your car and sign the rental contract.
Take SH6 to Lumsden where you turn right towards Te Anau on SH94. duration 02:15 hrs.
TE ANAU REGION ATTRACTIONS:
· THE WILDLIFE CENTRE - The ideal setting to learn about some of Fiordland’s wildlife. The centre offers the opportunity to view the rare flightless Takahē, now restricted to the tussock grasslands of the Murchison Mountains of Fiordland as well as native waterfowl, Weka, Parakeets, Tui, Kea, Kākā and wood pigeons.
· Kepler Track: One of NZ’s Great Walks showcasing stunning Fiordland - mossy beech forests, cascading waterfalls, ancient valleys and limestone formations. The full track walk is a four day hike, but because the trail begins near Te Anau, shorter walks of the trail is easily accessible.
· Te Anau Cinema, Ata whenua Shadowlands movie. 30 min duration
· IVON WILSON PARK - 5-minute walk from the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre that follows the lake edge before crossing the road to the park entrance. Ivon Wilson Park is an open 35-hectare park-like landscape with both introduced and native trees with views of the Fiordland Mountains. A great place for families to visit with extensive plantings and many marked trails leading to the picturesque Lake Henry which is stocked with rainbow and brown trout as a children's fishery. Licences are available at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.
Included: Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour – 7pm
Experience a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms. Your trip to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau on a purpose-built scenic cruise vessel. At the entry to the caves at Cavern House, view the informative displays and learn about this geological wonder before you join your guide underground. Guides will point out the highlights and share their knowledge of the caves and its history. Duration: 2hrs 15 mins.
Cosy Kiwi B&B, standard room:
Included: Car rental; water taxi & Glow Worm cave ticket; accommodation including continental breakfast
Day 2: Thursday 30/12/21, Te Anau (B)
CHOICE OF MORNING EXCURSION: Choose one of the below activities. Must be advised at time of booking.
A) FIORDLAND JET PURE WILDERNESS TOUR:
Enjoy the thrill of jet boating down the majestic trout filled Waiau River, to serene Lake Manapouri. Step foot into the ancient forests of Fiordland National Park for a short walk while learning about the ancient beech forest and native fauna & flora.
The trip will also include some thrilling 360 degree turns and spins. Your jet boat ride includes a number of stops at the exact locations of the filming the "Fellowship of the Ring" on the Waiau or Anduin River, where the driver will provide insights of the filming the Lord of the Rings on this river.
B) CRUISE ON LAKE TE ANAU:
There’s good reason that Fiordland is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Area. Aboard the vessel Faith, you sail across the deep waters of Lake Te Anau, between untouched mountains, and into South Fiord, and a short, guided walk to reveal the hidden Lakes.
Drinks and canapés are served while you relax on deck or in the grand, wood-panelled cabin as Faith carries you back to Te Anau. Help hoist the sails. Visit the engine room. Learn the remarkable history of this elegant lady. Faith is a 19.7 metre (64.6 foot), wooden motor-sailer, built in 1935 in Scotland. She served in WW2, hosted Sir Winston Churchill, has sailed all over the world and now calls Lake Te Anau and Fiordland National Park her home. There’s no other boat like her in New Zealand and no better way to experience the tranquillity of this famous World Heritage Area.
Cosy Kiwi B&B, standard room:
Included: Excursion choice: Jet Boat or Cruise on Lake Te Anau; accommodation including continental breakfast
Day 3: Friday 31/12/21, Manapouri- Doubtful Sound (B, D)
New Year’s Eve 2021! On this last day of the year enjoy a leisurely breakfast, check out of the hotel and head off from Te Anau around 11:00 to Manapouri.
Park your car at the complimentary carpark located at the Pearl Harbour Visitor Centre. Please check in 20min before departure – 12noon. We recommend picking up some lunch to have onboard the Ferry transfer.
Your Doubtful Sound adventure starts in Manapouri with a short cruise across Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Transfer to a coach for your journey across Wilmot Pass – a sub-alpine road through dense rainforest to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound. Arriving at Deep Cove you’ll be met by our crew and board the Milford Wanderer to embark on your 2 night Doubtful Sound cruise.
The Milford Wanderer:
Just because you’re escaping civilisation doesn’t mean you have to go without its comforts. The Milford Wanderer is a modern motorised vessel that has been purpose built for navigating southern New Zealand. Designed along the lines of a traditional sailing scow, it has old world charm combined with modern facilities and the latest in safety equipment. After recent refurbishment the Milford Wanderer offers "twin-share" cabins and shared bathroom facilities.
After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat – or to simply relax on board. For the adventurous (or very brave), there’s even a chance to go swimming. All activities are weather dependent.
This evening is New Year’s Eve! Enjoy a social and convivial atmosphere in the Dining Saloon with a delicious three-course buffet dinner prepared by our on-board chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar and if the skies are clear in the evening. Spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars and see in the new year for 2022 immersed in a truly spectacular landscape.
· 32 passengers per departure
· Warm, comfortable accommodation (two passengers per sleeping compartment)
· Modern shared bathroom facilities with hot showers
· Delicious meals prepared by onboard chef
· Enjoy a hearty dinner including soups, buffet of salads and hot dishes and a selection of desserts and cheeses (vegetarian options available)
· There is a licensed bar on board. Due to the remote location, only cash is accepted
· Includes kayaking and tender boat activities
· You’ll enjoy a buffet breakfast on-board
· Includes lunch on the second day
· Due to the multi-leg journey, floating wharf access and stairs onboard the Milford Wanderer guests will need to have a reasonable level of mobility
Day 4: Saturday 01/01/22, Doubtful Sound (B, L, D)
New Year’s Day - Welcome to 2022!
Another fantastic day exploring the sound. As you cruise through some of NZ’s most stunning scenery, knowledgeable cruise and nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals, or rare penguins that you might encounter.
Doubtful Sound Overnight, Twin Share (Shared bathroom facilities): Milford Wanderer
Included: breakfast buffet, cruise, dinner, lunch (no drinks)
Day 5: Sunday 02/01/22, Queenstown airport (B)
The Ship awakes, and after a breakfast we have a leisurely cruise back towards Deep Cove and from there end the journey with a return trip back across the Wilmot Pass and Lake Manapouri arriving approximately 12:30pm.
Follow SH94 to Lumsden where you take SH6 to Queenstown airport to drop off your rental car by 4.30pm.