The Southern Bays - 3 days


This walk takes in flights through Milford Sound and the three beautiful sweeps of Kaipo Bay, Martins Bay and Big Bay.


Distance: 13 km (5-6 hours)

Accommodation: DOC hut at the rivermouth, or camping.

Difficulty: Easy. Mostly beach walking with some minor rocky coastline.

Depart Queenstown early for the scenic drive to Milford Sound where we board our helicopter flight out of this most dramatic of fiords and north along the coast to land at Kaipo Bay. Left alone in a Fiordland Bay we hike around a rocky sandy coast into Martins Bay at the opening of the Hollyford Valley. This bay featured in early Maori and European settlement and remnants, such as Gunn's Camp and Chief Tutoko's habitat, still exist. We continue along a virgin New Zealand beach past the ancient earth and human history and across the Hollyford River to our first night's stay at the rivermouth.


Distance: 14 km (6-7 hours)

Accommodation: DOC hut at Big Bay, or camping.

Difficulty: Average. Morning is mostly stoney beach and some rocky coast. Afternoon is sandy beach walking.

We head out past Long Reef with its impressive seal colony, followed by a morning wandering and exploring the beaches and coves around and along the coast towards Big Bay for lunch. We pass a myriad of streams and waterways running over the shoreline to the sea and do our best to locate some seafood for the evening's meal along this stretch of coast. The afternoon brings a leisurely walk along the broad expanse of sandy beach to the cosy hut behind the dunes at Big Bay for the night.


Distance: 8 km (3 hours)

Difficulty: Average. Mostly rock and boulder-hopping.

We head out of Big Bay over the Awarua River and along the rocky coast to Awarua Point. This is the southern end of the Tehei Mauri Ora pounamu route and has seen earlier prospectors pass along in search of riches, always to end in an early trip home. New Zealand's largest recovered pounamu boulder was discovered on this coast in the 1990's. Awarua Point sticks out into the deep blue southern Tasman Sea. From here we are collected for the helicopter flight back to Milford Sound and drive back to Queenstown.

Cost $2,295 per person.
Departures On demand, please enquire.
Minimum Numbers 3 people.
  2 people additional cost $495 per person.



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