There are several companies that you will discover do a very professional job of showing you this area. The main walks ( with their differences) that overseas travelers come to New Zealand to see are below. I good start to planning your holiday would be to get a copy of this book. Tramping in New Zealand by Lonely Planet
Milford track the 5 day guided walk.
Traversing the heart of New Zealand’s wild fiord country, the MilfordTrack has long been described as “the finest walk in theworld”. Since Quintin Mackinnon pioneered the route in 1888,everyone from hardened trekkers to novices sporting their firstpair of boots has taken up the challenge of the Milford Track.
The Milford Track Guided Walk is a 5 day / 4 night Queenstown to Queenstown all-inclusive guided walk through the heart of Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. The package includes all transport, accommodation, meals, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets. Accommodation is in luxury lodges (there is a limited number of private bedrooms and bathrooms) and you will be led by expert guides. The distance is 43 km with approximately 20 – 25 hours of walking. The big bonus with this tramp is that you get to see the Milford Sound early in the morning when not many people are there.
The Routeburn Walk the 3 day guided walk.
The Routeburn Track starts in the middle of the Southern Alps. The first 2 days is a slow but stead climb up to and over theHarris Saddle. To me it is more like walking through the Alpsrather than up and over them as it is with the Milford Track. The Alpine walk is 39 km with approximately17- 20 hours of walking. The Routeburn Day Walk Guided – There are two main companies that will guide youupto the Routeburn flats hut. This is a fairly challenging walk as it is mostly up hill. This walk is mostly in the valley so you are protected from the winds. The option of continuing on another 3km to the Routeburn Falls gives you the reward of a breathtaking view of the valley.
The Grand Traverse, the Greenstone Valley Walk – the 6 day guided walk
The Ultimate Hikes Company has a guided walk called the Grand Traverse. This is a loop walk that goes up the Greenstone valley and down the Routeburn valley. Points of interest being that the Greenstone valley is reknown for it’s Fly Fishing, and your 3rd day on this trip is spent in the Lake McKellar area, with you staying 2 nights in the same hut. The trip departs twice weekly, with 75 kms to walk.
The Keppler Track the 4 day walk
The Kepler is a 67 kilometre loop track that usually takes four days to complete. Much of the walk on day two is along very exposed ridges. The track shouldn`t be undertaken lightly, as snow is a regular feature of these mountains. A day walk is possible of the first section – which is very nice.
You can walk these valleys and the others unguided. We call it freedom walking. You carry everything you need and you have the option of staying in Dept. of Conservation Huts for a nightly hut fee. Or if you prefer you can camp in tents as long as you are a reasonable distance from the river and the walking track
Hollyford Valley guided or unguided walk 3 Days/2 Nights
Open all year round. The Hollyford valley is part of your journey to Milford sound. You will find this valley almost at the top of the Milford road. Drive down this scenic road for approximately 30kms, to the start of the walk. The Hollyford track is 56 kms / 35 miles and would require 4 days, visitors will experience the relative isolation of the Fiordland bush, dramatic views of the mountains, lakes and the Hollyford River and then the sand and wind swept beauty of Martins Bay. The DOC hut has been described as one of the most dramatically located DOC huts in the southern region.
This walk is a valley walk deep in the native beech forests of the Fiordland National Park and is suitable for anyone of moderate fitness. You follow the Hollyford Valley right to the Tasman Sea. Explore Lake Alabaster where you take a scenic boat ride. At Martin’s Bay you can have a bit of luxury at one of this countries most remote bed and breakfast accommodations.
Day and Half day walks unguided – Immediately around Queenstown.
3 hours return Easy walk.
1/2 an hour
Skyline Gondola walk
Take the ride up for the view and the photo and walk down. 1.5 hours
Mount Ben Lomond Walk
6 – 8 hours return to the summit, a high level of fitness needed.
Moonlight Track to Arthur’s Point via the Saddle
(6 hour hike): This trail is one of the most popular in the region. This can be a full day walk so take extra clothing, drink and food. Take the gondola to Skyline, follow the signs to the saddle then the descent on your right down to the Moonlight Track. Turn right and follow the historic Moonlight Track back to Arthur’s Point. A good level of fitness is required.
Mount Crieghton loop walk
3.5 hours – very popular as it gives you a bit of everything. This is a good walk to take a picnic lunch, with good views of Lake Dispute and Wakatipu from the top. The first part of the walk is to Sam Summers Hut The larger loop track is known as the Twelve Mile Loop Track. You can choose to walk to the hut and back, or continue around the loop. Medium fitness is required.
This track winds through some beautiful native forest. Gold fever attracted many hopefuls to this area. It was mined periodically between the 1860’s and 1930’s.A large sluiced canyon, a tailrace tunnel and an old stone hut are a few of the relics to be found here. The track climbs through native beech forest, high above 12 mile creek gorge. The track crosses 12 Mile Creek behind the Sam Summers hut and climbs up to a ridge overlooking Lake Dispute. Here you have a number of choices: you can either follow the track back to the car park. Or you can follow the fenceline on your left ( past the open wetland area) down to Lake Dispute and out onto Glenorchy road.
This is probably the most popular of the half day walks that our guests walk. We suggest you take a picnic lunch and have it on the seat at the top , where you can take in the view of the two lakes.
Bob’s Cove Bridle Walkway
there is a short version and a long version both go along a very scenic part of the lake. This is a very good flat bush walk. Being in the trees this is protected from the wind and the rain to some extent. Only 10 minutes by car from Queenstown.
Lower Shotover River – Domain Road
By parking your car at the Historical Ferry Crossing bridge. You can walk across the bridge and then back up the river for 500m then up the track to Domain road. this walk is another good one for those with dogs. It also a walk that gets you out of the wind if need be, it also offers shade in the summer. 1/2 an hour return.
Kelvin Heights Walkway
Good for being in the winter sunshine and out of the wind 1 – 1.5 one way. Turn off into Willow place road and go to the end of it. The walk starts there. This walkway has been upgraded recently and is relatively flat walking.
The One Mile Walkway to Sunshine bay
Easy bush walk, Ideal for those with a dog. It gives thar dogs some places to sniff. 1.5 hour return.
Moke Lake to Arthurs Point Track
Medium fitness , 4 – 5 hours. This walk will take you from Moke Lake to Sefferstown, then joins up with the Moonlight track to lead you back to Arthurs Point. You can take this walk from Trelawn Place and have a Taxi meet you at the other end. The track crosses private land, please respect this area.There are two tracks to choose from to get from Moke Lake to Sefferstown.
You can take the farm road, on the right above Moke Creek, or you can cross the creek at the Moke Lake Recreation Reserve and follow the old road up the creek bed. This second option will leave you with wet feet, but it is a great way to see the large Schist boulders and tunnels, which have been excavated for gold and copper. In about an hour and a half you will reach McConochie Creek.
Follow the road up the hill to where you will see the old Moke Creek school building. Today, only a few buildings remain of Sefferstown, the gold mining village established in 1880. Walk towards the school and join up with the Moonlight Track to Arthurs Point.
Atleys alpine walk.
This is off the the Coronet Peak road. 3 hours return, good foot wear required.
Walk down to the light house on the Skippers road, wonderful scenery, 2 hours return. Or take the DOC walking track upto Mt. Dewar, for amazing views of the Skippers canyon to the west and views of the Wakatipu basin to the east.
Arthurs Point river walk.
From the northern end of the residental area there is a very good loop walk down to the Shotover river and then back up. Allow an hour, pets allowed.
Unguided walks from Arrowtown
The Arrow river loop walk
You can walk this in 2 hours – this is a good one for getting out of the sun in summer. From Arrowtown you can walk up the old track to the top of the crown terrace, great views, take some water.
Saw Mill Gully loop walk.
This is just up river from the town by a few minutes. 3/4 hour.
Arrow River track to Mace town,
It’s a half day trip for the 4 wheel drive people, so walk as far as you like. Those that are fit can do the 22kms return in 8 – 10 hours.
The Arrowtown township
it’s self offers some lovely gardens to view from the road. Lake Hayes walkway One way 2 hours. Great views of one of New Zealand’s most photographed lakes.
Probably the easiest walk is the one hour board walk around the Glenorchy swamp, immediately behind the Golf course.
The Rees valley
This valley is breath taking for it’s scenery. Take a 20 – 25 minute drive beyond Glenorchy up a high country valley, through beech forest, and then enjoy a flat valley walk with the Mount Earnslaw Glacier above you.
The Routeburn Valley walk
This is a good choice, if it’s windy or a wet day, as you are protected by the bush. Again you need to drive for about 25 minutes beyond Glenorchy to get to the start of the walk. A Beech forest walk, with a gin clear river, water falls thousands of feet above you. A very popular day trip is to go up to the first hut on the flats, take a picnic lunch.
Lake Sylvan loop walk
This walk is in the Routeburn valley, this is ideal for the bird watchers and those that like a flat walk.
The Caples Valley
This walk offers you a day walk with the option of fishing for big trout.
If you do the Dart Safari Jet boat ride, that trip includes a short walk up the side of the Dart river through the bush.
Guided day and half day walks.
Milford Track – Day Trip
You can do a short day trip to see the start of the Milford Track guided. Many people just don’t have the four days available to walk it all. The opportunity to join this popular option can be had by contacting milford tours walks $125 for the day trip with you back at Te Anau at 6.30pm
Hiking begins with a gentle forest walk, to a picnic spot with lake and mountain views.The descent is through classic Fiordland rainforest to rejoin the main track beside the emerald Clinton River.
On the up river stroll to Clinton hut, your guide reveals secrets of the forest and tells of the track’s past. See a wide variety of native birds, trout feeding in the gin clear water. Afternoon tea, coffee is provided in the hut. Return, via the historic Glade House, to the waiting boat. The late afternoon cruise back to Te Anau Downs is a time to relax and reflect on a great day well spent in Paradise – The guided trip is operated in association with Fiordland Travel.
Guided Nature Walks
Guided Day walks are a specialty of Guided Nature Walks they can show you a interesting day which if you wish can include activities such as the Fun Yaks, Dart Safari Jet or bird watching. The Mount Earnslaw Heli-Hike goes into a magical area surrounded by high peaks covered in ice and snow, alpine plants abound, very few people go there. There are lots of options available to you.