Step back in time and experience gold mining history while enjoying lake and mountain views. Walk through native beech and manuka forest to visit a historic mining hut built in 1930. This walk is perfect for those with limited time who want a snapshot of Queenstown’s local history and native environment.
Starting from Twelve Mile Creek bridge, this loop track passes through the Mount Crichton scenic reserve. An area rich in goldmining history, evidence of this industrious past remains in the preserved hut and tools once utilised by miners working down in the Twelve Mile Creek Gorge. There is an opportunity to examine the historic Sam Summers gold mining hut, a large sluiced canyon from mining between the 1860′s and 1930′s and a spectacular tail race tunnel that is 24 metres long, 1 metre wide and 10 metres high. Impressive to say the least!
There is a wide variety of vegetation and bird life to enjoy along the track, which runs through thick mountain beech and manuka forest. Our friendly and knowledgeable guides are happy to provide information on the area’s history, flora & fauna and recent development.
The trip maintains a moderate pace, with some changes in elevation, and has approximately 2 hours of walking. This allows for regular photo stops and the chance to enjoy refreshments in the wilderness only a few kilometres from downtown Queenstown. A superb morning or afternoon.
Arrowtown – a town born of gold.
Explore Arrowtown on this half day guided walk. Gold was first discovered here 150 years ago and has left the town with a rich legacy. Your knowledgeable guide will describe the area’s fascinating history and ecology, unique history and environment while you admire the ever-changing scenery, from rushing rivers to rugged hills. Evidence still remains of the early gold prospecting, with stone ruins and water races still visible. Abundant with varied trails, we can tailor this trip to your ability; whether you prefer a relaxed interpretative walk or to hike high above the town, rewarding yourself with spectacular views.
Lake Sylvan Trail
This relaxed forest walk includes a fascinating look into early local history, native plant and birdlife and environmental sustainability projects. Try to spot the elusive Mohua (yellowhead) bird and our smallest native bird the Rifleman.
Wander among the trees in the beech forest, exploring your surroundings and hearing the gentle sounds of the streams, trees and birds while being transported to a world of peace and tranquillity. Arrive at the Lake Sylvan outlet- this pristine alpine lake reflects the surrounding mountains and allows for some wonderful photos. On the return it may be possible to follow the old rail line used for the logging of the beech trees. For many years these were used to build the boats which were the only way for travellers to get to Queenstown.
Along with entertaining and informative commentary, your guide will also provide trail mix snacks along with bottled water;and day packs, rain jackets and walking poles where required.
Drive the spectacular Glenorchy Rd alongside Lake Wakatipu, with several stops on the way, to the world-renowned Mt. Aspiring National Park for the day. After your morning walk on the Routeburn Trail, our guides will escort you to Kinloch Lodge, at the head of Lake Wakatipu, to enjoy a hearty lunch. The afternoon promises excitement when you are collected from the wharf at Kinloch and taken jet boating up the Dart River before your journey back to Queenstown.
Access to the Routeburn Track is via a swing bridge and you are immediately immersed in the stunning native beech forest. The wide variety of flora and fauna on display is sure to impress. Our guides will also share information about the historical significance of the Routeburn Track and how it was used by Maori and European pioneers. There are plenty of waterfalls to enjoy and lots of places to rest along the river. The trail is moderately paced, rising gradually towards stunning snow-capped peaks.
Having worked up an appetite there’s no better place for lunch than the deck at Kinloch Lodge on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy the scrumptious meals while drinking in the view. From their incredible Kinloch Club Sandwiches on home made Ciabatta rolls to home made soup and salad, there is something for everyone.
From Kinloch you are taken by boat to experience more breath taking scenery and exciting jet boating on a braided, glacier fed river. Your Dart River Safaris jet boat trip is an exhilarating and spectacular journey further into the heart of Mt Aspiring National Park with the only jet boat operator allowed on the Dart River. Enjoy stunning views, rich commentary and another short walk in this beautiful World Heritage Area before your return journey on a backroad tour of Paradise where you will recognise scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings,The Hobbit movies and others.
Return to Queenstown.
An authentic New Zealand experience to an untouched world.
Heliworks will fly you and your guide by helicopter into this most remote and spectacular of locations on mighty Mount Earnslaw. The Earnslaw Burn has lots of wow factor, with big waterfalls and a hanging glacier.
This is a few hours of not too challenging walking, minimal elevation change and a gourmet picnic lunch. Walk along unformed trails in an alpine basin while enjoying the diversity of alpine plants and grasses above the tree line. Arrive at the spellbinding Earnslaw Burn where huge waterfalls cascade all around and a hanging glacier looms above. This area also recently featured in the Hobbit movies.
This is a relaxed 3 hour guided walk – but an awesome adventure and a true wilderness experience.
We recommend that clients wear appropriate footwear ( boots or shoes) and warm layers all year round.
Wilderness Guided Walks is an all weather activity and rain jackets can be supplied. Tours operate all year round, track conditions permitting.
Please inquiry about the availability.