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This luxury South Island itinerary for 10 days offers a taste of New Zealand’s vast, untouched wilderness. Though New Zealand is small, this island country is home to a staggering diversity of landscapes, from glaciers and fiords to volcanoes and idyllic beaches.
Our South Island itinerary for 10 days sets visitors amidst some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. Discover mountains, lakes, fiords, glaciers, and rivers.
For an unparalleled wilderness experience, we recommend the following South Island itinerary for 10 days:
Read on for the full details of our recommended 10 Day South Island Wilderness Itinerary.
Driving time Queenstown to The Lindis 3 hours or heli transfer 20 minutes
When you arrive in Queenstown, make your way to The Lindis, an exclusive wilderness retreat set in the stunning Ahuriri Valley. This iconic luxury lodge has been created for you to relax and unwind while taking in the surrounding idyllic setting. Immerse yourself in the stillness of nature while indulging in modern, sophisticated luxury and enjoying Kiwi hospitality at its best.
The daily menus at The Lindis provide a uniquely New Zealand style of refined cuisine, paying homage to the abundant local produce. Each plate is unique and designed to savour, using only the finest and freshest ingredients New Zealand has on offer. New Zealand wines are paired nightly, and hand-selected world class wines are available from the unparalleled wine cellar.
Stay 2 nights in Ahuriri Valley.
Accommodation: The Lindis
Today is yours to explore the Ahuriri Valley and indulge in any of the many activities on offer. From fly fishing in some of New Zealand’s most celebrated rivers and walking through stunning alpine panoramas to gliding and stargazing, there are countless ways to experience the beauty and solitude of your surroundings.
Driving time The Lindis to Wanaka 2 hours or heli transfer 15 minutes
When you reach the picturesque alpine town of Wanaka, you will be transferred by helicopter to Minaret Station, a secluded alpine lodge accessible only by helicopter. Framed by the rugged beauty of the secluded mountain landscape, Minaret Lodge offers a level of comfort and style never before available in New Zealand’s wilderness.
Included in your stay are a full a la carte breakfast, lunch (picnic or seated), pre-dinner canapés and a gourmet three-course evening meal. Beverages are also part of the experience.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Accommodation: Minaret Station
Minaret Station allows guests to experience the breathtaking yet otherwise inaccessible wilderness of the Southern Alps. Your options to take in this fantastic landscape are endless. From scenic flights and picnics in secluded alpine meadows to heli hiking and heli biking, the wide range of heli-adventures will help immerse you in your surroundings. Other choices include hunting, fishing, and high country farm tours.
Driving time Wanaka to Te Anau 3.5 hours or heli transfer 45 minutes
Situated at the edge of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau is the gateway to New Zealand’s largest untouched wilderness. The vertical peaks and heavy rainfall have kept this breathtaking region free from human habitation, and the only way to truly experience its majesty is by helicopter.
Start your stay in Fiordland with a visual feast – a three-hour helicopter tour that pays visits to all of the most spectacular destinations in Fiordland. Your exclusive helicopter tour takes in the most spectacular destinations in Fiordland, including Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound, and the iconic Milford Sound, with three landings along the way to allow you to soak in the captivating scenery. At one of your landing locations, enjoy a gourmet picnic with the finest New Zealand produce and drinks.
Your accommodation tonight is at the well renowned Fiordland Lodge. Set amidst stunning mountain and lake scenery, Fiordland Lodge offers a secluded retreat on the doorstep of the national park. Your stay includes a complimentary mini-bar, pre-dinner canapés, a four course dinner, and breakfast.
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Accommodation: Fiordland Lodge
Experience the finest of Fiordland today with a wilderness adventure. Choose from a day of fly fishing in one of New Zealand’s best trout fishing rivers, a truly unforgettable free dive for crayfish and other prizes off the rich fiords of the west coast, or a leisurely day exploring a high country farm.
Driving time Te Anau to Milford Sound – 2.5 hours
Embark on an unforgettable scenic journey to Milford Sound today. The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. No other road in Fiordland offers such a diverse glimpse into New Zealand’s alpine zone.
On arrival in Milford, board the Fiordland Jewel, a luxury vessel that will give you an exclusive taste of Milford Sound as you spend a night in the ‘eighth wonder of the world.’ You will be guided by the expert crew, who will share with you the incredible natural wilderness and wildlife, which can include seals, dolphins, and penguins.
Your stay includes an exquisite three-course evening meal as well as a full cooked breakfast. During your immersive Fiordland experience, you will have the chance to explore by kayak or tender boat, and the top-deck hot tub awaits you for a relaxing evening soak.
Stay 1 night in Milford Sound.
Accommodation: The Fiordland Jewel
Driving time Milford Sound to Glenorchy 5 hours or heli transfer 45 minutes
Today your journey takes you to Queenstown, the ultimate luxury destination on New Zealand’s South Island. From world-class luxury lodges to indulgent spa experiences, superb cuisine and exclusive tours, Queenstown is a delight to experience.
Your accommodation near Queenstown is at Blanket Bay Lodge, in the picturesque and remote Glenorchy region. Voted one of the world’s best luxury lodges, Blanket Bay is nestled amidst the rugged snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. All rooms at Blanket Bay are positioned to take full advantage of the magnificent lake and mountain vistas. Natural materials are showcased throughout, echoing the lodge’s integration and interaction with the environment. Your stay includes breakfast, pre-dinner cocktails and dinner.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Accommodation: Blanket Bay Lodge
Explore the Queenstown area today on a heli wine tour. You will enjoy a scenic helicopter flight which includes a Queenstown landing high up on the Remarkables Mountain Range for dramatic views overlooking Queenstown.
Land at Peregrine Winery for a complimentary wine tasting in the picturesque Central Otago wine region.
Please enquire for private tasting and tour options.
Today is spent at your leisure, either relaxing at Blanket Bay and perhaps indulging in one of the spa treatments on offer, or adding another activity from the wide array on offer in Queenstown. Options range from guided nature walks and private cruises on Lake Wakatipu to more adrenaline-fuelled activities such as jet-boating and rafting.
As your unforgettable holiday draws to a close, soak in the views one last time before departing Queenstown at your leisure.
Read more about our wilderness itineraries here.
Our South Island wilderness retreats offer an intimate experience of untouched nature, from the rolling tussock lands of Lindis Pass to the still waters of Milford Sound.
Whether you have come for magnificent scenery, a chance to disconnect and rejuvenate, or an opportunity to enjoy outdoor adventures, we will spoil you with the very best New Zealand has to offer.
Contact New Zealand Luxury Escapes today to plan your wilderness experience.
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