Taste multiple Great Walks in one holiday: The Fiordland Sampler
24 Mar 2021
If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a travel list as long as your arm that’s packed full of dreamy walking holidays in every pocket of the globe. But as we’re all spending the foreseeable future here in New Zealand, enjoying our own backyard as domestic tourists, we’ve got a must-do to add to your list: taste-testing multiple Great Walks in one go.
What are the Great Walks?
There are 10 world-famous New Zealand Great Walks. You’re likely familiar with them all as a passionate walker, or at the very least, have heard of the term. In a nutshell, they’re ten locations across the country marked by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as significant tracks for exploration and protection. There are three in the North Island, six in the South Island, and one on Stewart Island. Regardless of which walk you choose, you’re in for stunning scenery, interesting terrain and a real sense of accomplishment at the end.
Can I complete more than one in a single stretch?
Yes - IF you’re planning an extended holiday; each Great Walk takes multiple days to complete, and even tracks that start in similar locations are varied in their route and end point. Getting space in the huts or campsites is also an issue, so you must be organised, as they book out months in advance. If you’re looking for a good school holiday option, with a mixed group of children and adults (and the varying skill level that combination comes with), you’re better off sticking with a single Great Walk adventure.
But for more variety and to push yourself a little bit, an even better idea is to simply sample multiple walks rather than completing one set Great Walk end-to-end. And with more than one Great Walk situated in Fiordland, that’s the spot to pin on the map.
So, what’s in my Great Walks Fiordland sampler?
Typically beginning and ending in Te Anau, you’ll actually start your Kepler Track Great Walk at Luxmore Hut, thanks to a helicopter ride. From here you’ll tramp through an ever-changing landscape with unparalleled mountain views, before descending through native forest to the welcoming beach of Brod Bay, taking a water taxi back to Te Anau for the night.
Next in your Fiordland sampler is a trek to the famed Giant Gate Waterfall, a photographer’s ideal spot on the Milford Track Great Walk. Starting with a brief trip by boat, you’ll arrive at Sandfly Point to kick things off – enjoy a gorgeous walk along the banks of Arthur River to the stunning Giant Gate Falls. Finish the day off with a scenic treat: a leisurely boat cruise to take in the postcard perfection of Milford Sound.
The Routeburn Track Great Walk is unlike any other, with rainforest and a grand mountain experience all rolled into one. The most succulent parts are included in the Fiordland Great Walks sampler. While the Key Summit is the focus, enjoying a gourmet sandwich beside Lake Howden is a pretty spectacular to-do as well.
At Trips & Tramps, we’ve taken the hassle out of plotting and mapping your Fiordland Great Walks sampler. We’ve got a 3-day package sorted, a perfect way to finish off the summer.