SUP SOUTH ISLAND, NZ 2020
21-27 February 2020
6 nights/ 6 days
In 2018, SUP Wilderness Adventures undertook a road trip of epic proportions in New Zealand’s breathtaking South Island. In 2019, we’ll be returning to paddle even more and explore the land of milk and honey on a 6-night journey of discovery. Wanna come?
New Zealand’s South Island hosts one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. That's why it features in block-buster movies such as the Lord of the Rings; as it's akin to having Scandanavia and Switzerland all rolled into one.
Majestic scenes appear around each corner turned and the most over-used word soon becomes "WOW!" There are so many jaw-dropping places to explore that we've been hard-pressed to select just a few for this trip; but we've done out best...
Our adventure kicks off in Christchurch, friom where we head south-west to Lake Tekapo, before pushing south each day thereafter; dropping in to rivers and lakes along the way.
At Wanaka, the swift waters of the Clutha River beckon; as does the option to jump aboard a helicopter to SUP a lake high atop a mountain that looks across the spectacular Southen Alps.
The week concludes in picturesque Queenstown, where we allow free time for adrenalin junkies to indulge in bungee jumping, parapenting, parachuting or one of a squillion other hair-raising activities. Those who prefer to keep their hearts out of their throats, can go for a horse trek, paddle the Dart River, go jet boating, or simply explore the shopping and eateries of this historic town.
This one-week adventure gives you total freedom of movement. It will be undertaken in large mobile homes that sleep six (we will only accommodate a max of 4 people per vehicle).
The are fully self-contained campers feature a kitchen, shower and toilet; enabling us to park-up each night in a different wilderness location and be ready to paddle at the crack of dawn. (The Kiwis call this "Freedom Camping").
Not having to pack and unpack daily is a boon, as it means we get to maximise each day to its fllest and save money by self-catering for much of the trip. All linen is provided and the beds are large and comfy.
For those who love to fish; the rivers and lakes are stocked full of trout and salmon. Salmon farms, boutique cheesemakers and vineyards ensure bellies are kept full while driving between locations.
The lakes and rivers here gets their intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.
Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, the area surrounding our first stop (Lake Tekapo) is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve; making it the perfect place for stargazing by SUP while sipping on a mug of hot mulled wine.
Aoraki / Mount Cook presides over neighbouring Lake Pukaki. It's the highest mountain with the longest glacier in New Zealand. All around is alpine country; boastingh sky-scraping peaks and permanent snow fields that feed into the iceberg encrusted Tasman terminal lake.
The group will choose whether to visit Mt Cook and hike the Kea Track or to visit the Blue Pools on the Haast Pass. Each are as spectacular as the other.
Wanaka is a trendy resort town set on the southern end of a jaw-droppingly beautiful namesake lake. Paddling here is like being across the front of a box of Swiss chocolates; views of snow-capped mountains, pure blue waters and jade-green vegetation astounds.
The mighty Mata-Au/ Clutha River curls along the edge of town. Its swift waters make for a thrilling (yet safe) ride so - with the help of local guides - we'll drop in and go with the flow! This involves passing over grades one and two rapids but is achievable for most paddlers and it only takes a couple of hours to make our way 19km downstream.
Queenstown is the adventure epicentre of New Zealand. The town sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, which - weather permitting - we will paddle to find the perfect vantage point for checking out the soaring mountains that surround.
DRAFT ITINERARY (subject to weather and force majeure)
Day One: Depart Christchurch
We meet at the local airport in Christchurch and head west to Lake Tekapo (approx 2-3 hours drive away). On arrival, we visit the Hot Springs and enjoy a soak in thermal waters, overlooking the lake.
Afterwards, we continue half an hour south to Lake Pukaki and camp alongside the dazzling blue lake in the wilderness. If time permits, we will take our first paddle at sunset (8pm).
Day Two: Lake Pukaki
Weather permitting, we’ll get in a full day of paddling on this glorious lake; exploring it’s numerous hidden coves and beaches. The water here is a stunning milky blue as it has made its way from melting glaciers in the Southern Alps, through limestone rock and all the way to this iconic spot.
We’ll pick up some fresh smoked salmon and enjoy a picnic on our boards; taking in the changing views as the sun makes its way across the sky.
Night spent parked alongside the lake.
Day Three: Blue Pools or Mt Cook
After breakfast, we’ll push a little further west and the group can choose to hike at Mt Cook or the Blue Holes along the Haast Pass. Both destinations are breathtaking to see and can be comfortably reached within 60-90 minutes.
Those who wish to may kayak or Jet Boat on the lake at Mt Cook as an optional extra activity.
Night spent alongside Lake Wanaka.
Day four: Clutha River
After breakfast, we’ll head to the Clutha River to paddle some swift water and low grade white water (rapids).
The afternoon is free to paddle Lake Wanaka, Heli SUP atop a mountain, or go horse riding as an optional extra activity.
Dinner in Wanaka township. Night spent alongside the lake.
Day five: Queenstown
Pushing further south again, we stop in at a vineyard to partake in a little wine tasting, visit a fromagerie to try gourmet cheeses, and top up our salmon supplies at one of the many salmon farms. Roaring Meg is en route, so we’ll also take a brief stop to say gidday before reaching picturesque Queenstown.
We’ll be staying at the base of Queenstown Hill, where there is opportunity to Parapent (jump off the side of the mountain with a parachute on), as an optional extra activity. Time and weather permitting, we will take the gondola up the hill and race each other back down again on the luge.
Dinner in town.
Day Six: Queenstown
This morning we paddle Lake Wakatipu and see Queenstown from a different angle. After lunch, you can choose to go zip lining, parachuting, try out a Segway, or bungee jump as an optional extra activity.
Day Seven: Departure
Today, we have the morning to paddle or play... it’s up to the group to decide. Those who wish to take the Dart River Funyak and Jet Boating day tour as an optional activity can do so today (but must book a flight out from Queenstown after 6pm or stay the night in a hotel).
Trip style: Adventure, road trip
Activities: stand up paddle boarding, hiking, photography, star gazing.
Group size: 8 people (max)
Minimum age: 15 years (must be accompanied by a responsible adult)
Fitness level: Low to moderate
Commences: Christchurch Ends: Queenstown
Fly in to: Christchurch Fly out of: Queenstown
Price: Au$2650 // USD1950 (approx)
6 nights shared motorhome accommodation
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, water, fruit juice
SUP & Sip gourmet cheese and salmon sunset picnic
Swift-water SUP clinic and paddle tour on the Clutha River (boards, wetsuits and safety gear provided)
Paddling on lakes: Tekapo, Pukaki, Wanaka, Wakatipu (own board required)
Thermal Hot Springs soak at Lake Tekapo
Blue Pools visit and hike OR Aoraki/ Mount Cook visit and hike
Roaring Meg visit
Wine tasting/ vineyard visit
Salmon farm visit
Queenstown gondola and luge package
Land transport once the trip commences
Group Leader/ driver
Swift-water paddle guide/ instructor
SUP Wilderness Adventures T-shirt & cap
Waterproof phone pouch
Flights, excess baggage, travel insurance
Visas, travel medicine
Optional extra activities
Meals (where not stated)
Pre-post tour accommodation
NB: SUP BOARDS
If you don't have your own inflatable SUP, you may rent one from us for the week at Au$200. The cost includes transport of the board to/ from the destination, adjustable paddle, leg rope and SUP bag (with wheels).
OPTIONAL EXTRA ACTIVITIES (additional cost):
Tandem sky diving
Dart River Funyak and Jet Boating
Kayak or Jet Boat on the Tasman Lake (Mt Cook)
We can accommodate couples on this trip, as all berths are large double or Queen in size.
This trip is a Road Trip and as such, an Air-conditioned ‘sleeps 6’ Motorhome is being used. This comes equipped with kitchen, shower/toilet, linen and beds for 6 people. We will keep the maximum headcount at 4 people per Motorhome and the group size to 8 people max (including staff).
GUEST: STAFF RATIO
There will be one English-speaking group leader to every three guests.
A 20% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place. All participants must first speak with us prior to any booking requests being accepted.
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