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6
Moderate to Challenging
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 2 nights motel
  • 1 night private lodge
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 1 Lunch
  • 1 Breakfast

Price

4 daysfrom

$1250NZD

Trip Code: GQB

Trip highlights


  • Exclusive backcountry hiking on private property away from any crowds
  • Jet boat ride on the Shotover River in the rugged Skippers Canyon
  • Stunning mountain scenery
  • Historical remnants from the gold rush era
  • Spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu from Ben Lomond Saddle
  • Kiwi warmth and hospitality from the station owners and their family
  • Gondola ride (one way) above Queenstown

Revel in the isolation of exclusive hiking, with stunning alpine panoramas, in a location far from the trails others tread but surprisingly close to vibrant Queenstown. The location is Ben Lomond Station, a working high country sheep and cattle property. After a spectacular road transfer, arrive at the property by jetboat through the dramatic gorge carved by the Shotover River. Explore the vast, rugged landscapes of rocky ridgetops, tussock slopes, beech forest and historic water races from the gold mining era. Marvel at mountain peaks and deep valleys scourged by fast-flowing rivers all around. Enjoy the comforts of a private lodge in the middle of nowhere, plus delicious meals, stories and kiwi hospitality from your local landowner hosts. Finish back in Queenstown via the iconic Ben Lomond massif from which the station takes its name.


Itinerary

Make your own way to stunning Queenstown, one of several vibrant adventure playgrounds of New Zealand, and check-in to your accommodation any time after 2:00pm. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore and take in the natural beauty of this idyllic location. In the evening, dine (own expense) at one of a multitude of cafes, restaurants and wine bars and maybe enjoy a stroll along the waterfront. You will need to purchase supplies for your own packed lunch tomorrow. Please allow time for this today as there is limited time in the morning due to an early departure.

Meals:  Nil

After an early breakfast (own arrangements) transfer from Queenstown along a narrow, winding and spectacularly dramatic road through the Shotover River Valley. Originally an early Maori trading route to the West Coast, the valley became known for its gold in the late 1800's with several small mining settlements establishing along the river, one of these called Skippers. A scenic jetboat ride takes you up the river through Skippers Canyon with its sheer cliffs towering either side. Marvel at the tenacity of early gold prospectors to not only search for the precious metal but also to live in such an unforgiving landscape. At one of the earliest and richest alluvial gold mining beaches along the Upper Shotover River, leave the jetboat to commence hiking. Passing evidence of once-used mining machinery and old sluice piles, you will follow trails through the 33,000 acre Ben Lomond high country sheep station via Stoney Creek water race. This ingenious feat of landscape engineering was used to transfer water from the creek to gold sluices. Leaving the main digging sites, the walk also takes you through beautiful native beech forests and tussock grassland before reaching Moonlight Lodge, situated on a wide plateau with impressive mountain vistas all around. A cold drink greets you on arrival, followed by a hot shower, a delicious home-cooked meal and warm hospitality from the Foster family, your hosts and New Zealand owner-operators of Ben Lomond Station.

Meals:  D

After a hearty breakfast transfer by 4WD through scenic grazing land and beneath craggy bluffs towards the old gold mining settlement of Sefferstown. Nowadays only a couple of historic buildings remain but in its heyday of the 1860's, more than 3,000 people lived there. From here commence walking with a gradual ascent to the Ben Lomond Saddle (1326m) from where there are breathtaking panoramas over Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkable and Richardson Ranges in the distance and over the high country regions from where you have come. Rest awhile to breathe it all in then descend, leaving Ben Lomond Station, until you reach the upper terminal of the Skyline Gondola on the edge of Queenstown. A ride down to the base is a fitting conclusion to a fabulous day. Walk back to your hotel, where your luggage will be waiting, for a well deserved shower. This evening is at leisure to enjoy a celebratory dinner (own expense) at your choice of local restaurant. OPTION: depending on timing and weather, it may be possible to do the extra walk to the summit of the Ben Lomond massif (1748m). This section of the track becomes steeper and rougher and a high level of fitness is required. The reward is 360o panoramic views but note that this will add an additional 2km (2-3hrs) to the total walk today.

Meals:  B,L

Enjoy breakfast at your leisure at a cafe of your choice this morning (own expense). Check-out time from the hotel is 10:00am. There are no guided services today. You may like to spend more time in and around Queenstown with its many historical and cultural attractions plus other outdoor activities and vibrant night life. We are happy to assist with additional accommodation if required.

Meals:  Nil

Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.



Inclusions

  • 2 nights motel accommodation in Queenstown, twinshare with ensuite bathroom
  • 1 night private lodge accommodation on Ben Lomond Station, twinshare with ensuite bathroom
  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Luggage transfer between Queenstown and Ben Lomond Station
  • Professional guide
  • Transfer from Queenstown to Skippers Canyon
  • Jet boat ride in Skippers Canyon
  • Skyline Gondola Queenstown, one way

  • Travel to Queenstown on Day 1 and onwards from Queenstown on Day 4
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and trail snacks
  • Drinks other than water (limited selection of wine and beer available for purchase at Ben Lomond Station)
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades (such as single supplement)
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Daypack
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface


Accommodation


Grading

Moderate to Challenging  
6

MODERATE TO CHALLENGING - GRADE 6 This trip grading involves a combination of what is described in our MODERATE and CHALLENGING levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with several challenging stages. Expect to walk up to 6 hrs a day, with possibility of up to 9hrs on one or two days. You will need a good to excellent level of fitness and must be in good health. Treks may involve carrying a full pack around 15 - 20kg. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Suggested preparation: We recommend one hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. Day walking, including hills and/or stairs with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended at least once a week.


Departure dates

Daily from November to April

Notes

1
Departures are on demand subject to availability. The trip does not run over the weekend of the annual Shotover Moonlight Marathon (second last weekend in February)
2
All departures require a minimum of 5 people. We recommend getting a group of friends or family together before you book as we cannot secure bookings for less than 5 people.
3
This trip is suitable for active children aged 12 years and above

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Total Priceper person from

$1250NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementNZD$260
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Queenstown High Country Guided Walk trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.

Kaitiakitanga

A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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