Skippers Canyon

Our fully equipped 4WD vehicles venture down the Skippers Road – hacked by hand and clinging to the sheer cliffside high above the Shotover River. Enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery from high above the gorge or down on the shores of the Shotover River, known as the richest river in the world in the days of the gold miners.

 

Skippers Canyon Highlights

  • Travel the Skippers Canyon Road
  • Cross the Skippers Suspension Bridge
  • Visit the restored Skippers township
  • Gold pan in the Shotover River

Skippers Canyon Trip info

Departs: 8:15am & 1:30pm
Allow: 4 hours
Bring: Water, a camera, and a sense of adventure!
Includes: Gold panning & refreshments. Pickup from Town Centre or Queenstown accommodation.

Full Itinerary

Nomad Safaris offers a complete 4WD tour into the historic Skippers Canyon. The Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon adventure is a half-day heritage tour that travels along the rugged and treacherous Skippers road. As your guide navigates along this awe-inspiring canyon you will visit many historic sites such as the historic Skippers suspension bridge and the historic township of Skippers. Visit the restored school house where you will gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment. British Automobile Association voted Skippers Canyon road as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world. Travel the road that was hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley making this an exciting adventure the whole family will enjoy.

Trip Details

The Skippers Canyon 4WD tour departs from Queenstown heading out towards Coronet Peak. As you head up the peak towards the entrance to this spectacular canyon you will stop at Plane Table, which gives a stunning panoramic view of the Wakatipu Basin. After entering Skippers Canyon you will travel to Lighthouse Rock, which gives a dramatic lookout over the entire canyon. Follow in the footsteps of many adventurers and discoverers as this historical winding road brings you to the historic Skippers Bridge, which provides a stunning photo opportunity.

Carefully travelling over the bridge, the road continues into the historical township of Skippers. Long since abandoned many original building still remain waiting for you to explore. Indulge in morning or afternoon tea at the Skippers Schoolhouse. Immerse yourself in the history of this stunning place as the restored schoolhouse divulges a wealth of information through photos and artefacts from the early days of this settlement. The cemetery depicts a more gloomy and dangerous life for these gold prospectors.

Returning along the road you will stop at Deep Creek where you can immerse yourself in the heritage of the local area by turning your hand to a spot of gold panning. Our trained guides will teach you techniques to successfully pan for gold on one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Some may also recognise spots along the Skippers Road as being featured in The Lord of The Rings.

Pricing

Max 6 per vehicle
Adult: $185 Child: $90

Max 4 per vehicle (Forward facing seats and that little extra leg room!)
Adult: $275 Child: $180

Half day Private Charter: $925 per vehicle

Full day Private Charter: $1850 per vehicle

Child rate: 4-14 years old when accompanied by an adult. 0-3 years free of charge.
Cancellation: within 24 hours full charge, no shows full charge.

Prices valid from 01/10/16 to 30/09/17

FAQs

What is at the end of the road?
These trips journey into the past along high and narrow roads hacked into the sheer cliffs and visit abandoned gold mining towns that were once bustling with miners. You have the chance to explore renovated buildings and old mining equipment.

How much off road driving is there?
The Skippers trip uses the original narrow gravel road travelled by the miners from the 1860s.

Will we go gold panning?
You will stop at a suitable place on the river where, before giving you your own gold pan, the driver will demonstrate the techniques used by the early prospectors. Small flakes of gold can still be found.

Do you provide refreshments?
Hot drinks, biscuits and cakes are provided. You are welcome to bring your own cold water.

Is any walking involved?
Not a lot of walking is required. Some of it may be on uneven ground but it is not necessary to get out of the vehicle.

How long are the trips?
4 hours to Skippers.

Type of vehicle?
The Iconic Land Rover Defender and Toyota Landcruiser are used for Skippers tours.

Reviews

“Worth every cent”

Amazing drivers and the nature is just beautiful! Seeing pictures of the road we were going to, I was a bit nervous, but the drivers are so skillful and they really know what they’re doing. If you want to go to Skippers Canyon, this is the company to go with! – Anna K, Oslo, Norway   “Amazing heart pounding trip” They take you to places that I will never drive. The road to skipper canyon was terrifying yet exciting – so glad we did that trip. The young lady who drove us was a superb driver and very knowledgeable. If you are scared of heights don’t look down.

– Abu K, Baltimore, Maryland  

 “Thanks NOMADS and Graham. Great fun, stunning views”

I really enjoyed my trip with NOMADS, we had a great bunch of friendly people on board and the driver Graham was an awesome guy, very informative and great fun. The drive up the mountains was an experience and the views were incredible. We got lots of opportunities to stop and take photos whilst admiring the views all around. We couldn’t actually get into the skippers canyons due to the slip that had happened on the mountain so instead at the end of the tour we went down to the rivers and drove through them in the 4×4 which had us all screaming with laughter. This more than made up for not getting into skippers canyon. Thanks again guys!

– Kelly T, United Kingdom


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