Gay and Gay friendly adventurers.
South Island, New Zealand is an outdoor adventurer’s dream- snow capped mountains, golden sand beaches, majestic fiords, and wonderful food and wine. There are few places on earth that pack as much punch per square km.
Although you really need a month to do the South Island justice you can see the very best at a relaxed pace in 2 weeks. New Zealand is outside the Squares home base and there is nothing more satisfying than showing others our adventure playground.
This is a trip for those who love getting outdoors, rather than the cities, and it will suit people that like walking in nature, but who don’t fancy the hiking with big packs on their backs (which our ”Great Walk” trips entails). So demographic 40 – mid 60′s, people who enjoy walking and for whom a 5-6 hours walk a day is manageable, terrain is modest but not flat. We will do about 4 full day walks, and the rest will be short walks to see a valley or glacier etc. This is an active trip, no sitting in a coach seeing the sights!
Arrive Christchurch – Depart Queenstown
Both Christchurch and Queenstown are international airports and well connected to Auckland hub for easy fly in and out from Australia Asia and USA and the world.
Daily Itineraries can change but here is a overview.
Our trip will start in the garden city of Christchurch, (still being rebuilt after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011) with a drive and walk in the port hills, overlooking the city followed by an evening welcome meal out at a local restaurant as we get to know each other.
The next day we will head north to Kaikoura with time enough for the 2 hour spectacular coastal walk around the headland, (watching seals and if we are lucky dolphins at play) before heading on to Picton for the night, ready for our morning boat transfer to the start of the Queen Charlotte coastal walk.
We have 2 full days walking, and 2 nights on this wonderful walk, walking with just day packs carrying our lunch and drinks, whilst our luggage is transported by boat between the lodges. (anyone not up to walking for the day can take the boat as a option) After breakfast on our second night we take the boat back to Picton and drive on to Nelson and this vibrant centre of arts.
From Nelson we head slowly down the west cost of the island, with another spectacular day’s walking north of Karamea on our favourite section of the Heaphy track, before heading down the coast, stopping at the many sights as we head down to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Here we stay in a gay managed motel, and rest up in the hot pools under the stars at night.
We continue on crossing the Southern Alps at the Haast Pass, then on to Wanaka and Queenstown (the adventure capital of the south, with its great bars and restaurants). We will have 2 nights here, and it sure is a highlight, often called the ”dude” capital of the world, with eye candy everywhere. Unfortunately there is no gay bar, but the international crowd is friendly and welcoming.
We will spend 2 full days exploring the wonders of Fiordland with an overnight in the national park at Milford sound being a highlight and weather permitting some spectacular walks in the Alpine region.
Accommodation on this trip is an eclectic mixture, of lodges, gay homestay and B&B, guest houses, and hotels, all twin share, and mostly with en-suite (if solo we will buddy you up with a mate or pay a small single supplement to have a room of your own guaranteed) Wherever possible we stay in gay owned or managed accommodation, and as always on our trips we choose character value places over ”Glam”, around 3* with a central location. Depending on numbers we use Gay home or farm stays, and our lodge in the national park at Milford sound is shared bathrooms. All are clean and comfortable and give you a real Kiwi feel. No chain hotels here, so again think adventure rather than tour group bland hotels. Some places will include breakfast and sometimes we will make our own continental style.
On this trip you will need a pair of good walking boots, a light day pack, and a rain jacket for or walking days and a swimming costume for when the sea looks too tempting to resist.
The south island has little commercial gay life in the places we visit. Mostly, with 6-10 people travelling together, we’ll create our own environment and we will stay in gay owned places where possible.