High country comforts

This trip is the New Zealand people picture when you say, ‘I’m going to New Zealand’. High country sheep stations, majestic peaks, plunging fiords, rainforests, glaciers—it’s all in here. But it’s more than gobsmacking scenery. It’s authentic experiences with the stewards of this land. It’s spending time with the locals, learning about the ecology and the stories that bring the landscape to life. The fact that you meet them via helicopter, train, and sailing ship is, well, very New Zealand.

per person from
23670
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Based on 4 ppl, double occupancy. Prices vary depending on season. Request Your Date for exact pricing.

Summary
Length12 days | 11 nights
DestinationChristchurch to Queenstown
LodgingLuxe

Classic Stays
Modern, well-appointed properties that provide a comfortable, convenient base from which to explore. Perfect for the region, they’re typically within easy access to cafes and other amenities.

Premier Stays
Quality lodgings in superb settings, from stylish lakeside lodges to restful alpine retreats. Note that in a few cases, Classic Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Premier to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Premier Stays are not available.

Luxe Stays
Exclusive, indulgent hideaways with exceptional facilities and service. The best in New Zealand (and perhaps the world). Note that in a few cases, Premier Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Luxe to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Luxe Stays are not available.

Special Stays
Some tours feature overnight cruises and multiple-day hikes, with stays in private lodges or Department of Conservation huts, for special wilderness experiences.

FitnessModerate

Easygoing
You’re comfortable on tracks with gently undulating terrain and can move comfortably and freely. Suitable for families with young children. Note, activity add-ons may change rating.

Moderate
You enjoy walking/light hiking, can handle a hill or two, and appreciate life-affirming soft adventures that dip a toe outside your comfort zone.

Active
You’ve got a bit of Kiwi in you and are ready to hit the hills and push yourself a little. Some of these trips include multi-day hikes that get you further into the wild. It’s not all Bear Grylls, though. You’re happy to enjoy a rewarding glass of pinot at day’s end.

This is an overall guide. Our trips include a range of activities across the spectrum. Request a Detailed Itinerary for more details on fitness levels needed for individual activities.

StylePrivate

Small Group
Scheduled, guided adventures with just the right number of like-minded travellers to share in the laughs and make new friends.

Private
Guided, professionally crafted trips with your own group and your choice of travel dates.

Self Drive
Self-guided, stress-free road trips with all the elements sorted for you. Our professionally crafted itineraries and booking team, your dates and travel companions.

Bespoke
Guided or self-guided, this is your personal New Zealand dream made manifest. A fully customized experience based on your passions, finessed with our professional planning.

Interests
Indulgence,
Walking & Hiking,
GO BESPOKE

If you already have a dream in mind, our Travel Shepherds await the challenge of bringing it to fruition. Request a Custom Quote based on your interests.

Daily Brief

Click on the orange icons to read about lodging along the way (not available on mobile). C=Classic, P=Premier, L=Luxe, S=Special Stays. Note accommodation may vary based on departure date. For hotel links and more information, Request a Detailed Itinerary above.
1
P

Step off the plane in Christchurch and into the care of your Black Sheep guide. There’s no better introduction to New Zealand than a drive into the glorious Southern Alps. Cross the Canterbury Plains, alpine rivers and snow-capped peaks to your luxury lodge, sited on its own 4,000-acre high-country sheep station and nature reserve.

2

Your lodge lies between the Arthur’s Pass National Park and the Craigieburn Forest Park. Guided activities and a network of nature walks immerse you in high-country ecology and wildlife. After your four-course dinner, browse the lodge’s well-stocked library, enjoy the mountain views and star gaze under the southern sky.

3
P

Continue over Arthur’s Pass, crossing the dramatic Otira viaduct on your way to the West Coast and the Glacier Country. An afternoon glacier heli-hike takes you over blue-ice crevasses to a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier. Outfitted with crampons, explore ice arches, caves, pools and pinnacles on foot, following steps cut by your guide.

4

Start the day with a gentle kayak on a kettle lake left by retreating glaciers long ago. Paddle into a small estuary that winds through the Okarito forest, viewing a wide range of birds that visit the lake. Upon your return, consider a hike or hire a bike for a self-guided ride through old-growth rainforest.

5
L

Start the day with a peaceful forest walk around Lake Matheson for views of the snow-capped ranges reflected in its mirrored surface. From here, it's a stunning drive through the Mt Aspiring National Park to the Otago region, home to New Zealand’s vast high country sheep stations. Your Black Sheep guide farewells you in Wanaka for your helicopter journey to Minaret station.

6

Minaret Station is located at the head of a stunningly picturesque glacial valley in the heart of the Southern Alps, flanked by both Mt Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. It offers excellent hikes and the lodge’s guides are on hand to lead informative treks or leisurely excursions around the lodge area.

7
L

Depart Minaret Station and fly to Queenstown to rendezvous with your Black Sheep guide. Your luxury lodge for the next two nights is located in Glenorchy at the head of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Hikes in this area offer breathtaking scenery, with two National Parks and a World Heritage Area are at your doorstep.

8

The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s greatest Great Walks. On your tour, you’ll take two guided day hikes on two very diverse sections of the track (also see Day 10). Today, hike the wide forest track along the ice-blue Route Burn (river) to Routeburn Flats and lunch in an alpine meadow. Return to Blanket Bay this afternoon.

9
S

Depart Blanket Bay for an overnight excursion to Milford Sound. The drive to Milford is one of the world’s most scenic road trips and you’ll be thankful someone else is doing the driving so you can take in the vast beauty around you. You arrive at Milford and board your vessel after the touring masses have departed, leaving you with the special experience of a cruise and overnight stay in the quiet solitude of this stunning wilderness area.

10
L

This morning, cruise back to shore, rare witness to a Fiordland dawn. Return along the Milford Road, stopping for a guided walk to Key Summit on the Fiordland end of the Routeburn Track. The walk ascends through lush, temperate rainforest, emerging onto an alpine plateau, with panoramic views of snowy peaks, alpine lakes, and deep, bush-clad valleys. After lunch, steps are retraced and you continue to your lodge in Te Anau.

11

Depart on a guided heli-hike adventure on another of the Great Walks, the Kepler Track. Helicopter from Te Anau over hidden lakes, beech forest and alpine meadows to Luxmore Hut. Explore alpine tussock fields and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Fiordland mountains before hiking down a well-formed track to Lake Te Anau, the pick up point for your boat cruise back to Te Anau. Relax back at the lodge before your farewell dinner.

12

Return to Queenstown this morning, where your guide farewells you at the airport for your flight home or to your next destination. Spend your flight home scrolling through the hundreds of photos you’ve taken and plotting your return.

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Trip Inclusions

While Black Sheep prides itself on the intangibles that make our Small Group trips special, our packages are known for being stuffed with features. Check out what’s included in your Black Sheep adventure below.

Accomodation

All accommodation during your tour

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Activities

High country farm tour
Arthur’s Pass nature guiding
Glacier heli-hike
Lake Mapourika kayak
High country heli-flight
Guided high country station activities
Guided Routeburn Track day hike
Milford Sound overnight cruise
Routeburn Track Key Summit guided hike
Kepler Track heli-hike
Additional walks, bird watching, connecting with the locals, and more

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Meals

All breakfasts
7 lunches
10 dinners
Onboard snacks & beverages

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Transport

Tour vehicle with professional driver/guide
Airport transfers within tour dates
All baggage transport within tour

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Support

Services of a doting Black Sheep guide
Background support from Black Sheep HQ
Flight assistance available

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Gear & Amenities

Stainless steel water bottle & holder
NZ map & travel journal
Use of walking sticks, neck pillows, onboard library, and more
A few surprises

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Station to Station
Guided
Private

BEST TOURING COMPANY WE’VE EVER WORKED WITH—AND THAT’S SAYING A LOT, AS WE TRAVEL WORLDWIDE.

STACEY MILLER ROSE, BRANFORD, CT, USA