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“Magnificent. This was second hike with UH and we are already planning third”

Ultimate Hikes Guided Walks
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USD 287.14*
and up
Ultimate Nature Experience from Queenstown: Dart River Jet Boat Ride and Lake...
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Owner description: The only operators of multiday guided walks on the famous Milford & Routeburn Tracks: operating in New Zealand's stunning World Heritage Area, providing range of all-inclusive guided walks from 1-8 days. Trek through rainforests, past mountain peaks and over remote alpine passes on a unique experience without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Accommodation on overnight walks is in luxury lodges, with meals, hot showers and snug beds. All walks include transport, food, equipment and expert guides. Single day excursions must be booked 24 hours in advance.
London, UK
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Magnificent. This was second hike with UH and we are already planning third”
Reviewed 6 March 2012

Words are not sufficient to describe the magnificence of the hiking tracks in Southland, New Zealand. This is true whether you hike them independently or with Ultimate Hikes. But hiking them (the Milford, the Routeburn, the Grand Traverse) with Ultimate Hikes permits you to fully appreciate the incredible beauty that they offer, without having to worry about anything (getting lost, carrying a heavy pack, planning, preparing, or cleaning up after meals,...) and with the camaraderie of the other hikers, a hot shower, and a comfortable bed to look forward to at the end of the day. The guides always have a can-do, no worries attitude, which means they are not only helpful but are also a pleasure to have as company along the way. Back in 2000, my husband and I had an unforgettable time on the Grand Traverse thanks to Ultimate Hikes, and in February 2012 I had another unforgettable time on the Milford Track with my 10-year-old daughter, again thanks to Ultimate Hikes. We are already planning a trip back to NZ in order to do the Grand Traverse (yes, for me, again), and of course without question we'll do that with Ultimate Hikes. We can't wait!

Visited February 2012
Thank Curiousgeorgette100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Well worth it- top notch logistics and staff”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

You can do the Milford Track as an independent walker or guided with the help of Ultimate Hikes. I did the walk with UH and have no regrets shelling out NZD2k for the experience.

What do you get for $2,000?:
- A lighter backpack as there is no need to carry food or cooking equipment
- Showers! Unless you're ready to go without one for 4 days, feeling refreshed after a long day of walking is priceless
- Comfy bunk accommodations which like the showers are a godsend after a tiring day
- Amazing meals. This is the only hike that you'll probably gain weight at the end of it. Together with the snacks and generous helpings for breakfast and lunch (DIY sandwiches), I was never hungry
- Professional guides and staff. The entire experience is very well-planned and the logistics behind taking care of everyone's needs is mind-boggling but yet it ran without a hitch. Special thanks to our guides Mel, Don, Alex and Chantelle and all the backend staff for making our walk unforgettable.

What could have been better (maybe I'm nitpicking, but I could only think of 2):
- Washing machines at the lodges would have been nice :) Maybe I'm asking too much but hand laundering with cake soap can really be a chore...
- I can never fathom this out and perhaps it is a legacy of the past, but why do the wash basins in most lodges have 2 taps that dispenses freezing cold or scalding hot water separately? Simple things like brushing teeth or washing the face become difficult because the water you need is not at the correct temperature.

Overall, doing the walk with UH was well worth it. Looking back, I could never do it as an independent walker (just thinking about carrying the extra weight up and down Mackinnon Pass scares me!). Thank goodness for UH!

Visited February 2012
1 Thank SoloTravelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Milford Track”
Reviewed 2 March 2012

Slick operation. This organisation is professional and does a great job managing large groups on this track. Scenery was spectacular and the overall experience was great.
Well worth the money, pack only what is written on the list, do not take any extra food, train for this walk and the rewards will come !! Being part of a larger group was a lot of fun.
Our guides Moon, Kelly (old ) Kelly (young ) were just fabulous. They put up with 7 women who had left husbands and families for a week of girl power. They deserve a medal.

Visited March 2012
Thank BonnieWilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
180 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Great guided Milford track hike”
Reviewed 1 March 2012

I hiked the Milford Trek in a smaller guided group (26 people) and we were lucky enough to have sunshine during the entire hike. Our guides were great, the food was excellent, and everything was well organized. We had three guides; one up front with the fast hikers, one in the middle with the intermediate hikers, and one in the back with the the slower crowd. I borrowed a daypack, a sleepsack, and a raincoat, which are supplied free of charge if you need them. Poles are for hire for NZ25 per stick for the hike. I do recommend poles, especially for the difficult descent from McKinnon Pass. If you need hiking clothing, you can buy it at their office in Queenstown, but bear in mind that it is significantly more expensive there then it would be in the US since the exchange rate is not in your favor. I am 53 and fit, but did find that my training for this hike paid off. You should definetly do some training if you plan to go on this hike. I trained in the gym on the stairstepper with maximum incline and resistance and a 15 bound pack on my back for 30-40 minutes at least every other day prior to leaving for New Zealand. If you are younger and active you may not need that much. But know that the guides dont push you, take as long a time as you need to do the hike and enjoy it. It is always a good idea to take out trip insurance -- just in case.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank TheBirdSpokane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geelong, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Grand Traverse - breathtaking!”
Reviewed 27 February 2012

What an amazing week we had! I cannot thank our guides enough - Marky, Karen, Tom and Jo - for looking after us so well.
It surprises me that other reviewers complain about the accommodation. We stayed in clean lodges with hot showers, drying rooms, wood heaters and a 3 course meal at the end of each day. Two of the lodges even had hairdryers - that far exceeds my expectations for a BUSH walk!! Perhaps some people are more suited to a resort holiday.
Others have complained of the expense but I felt it was definitely money well spent. It is not only the food, accommodation, bus trip, equipment. It is also the peace of mind, the knowledge of the guides and the ability to relax from all decision making and just enjoy the walk.
This is a truly beautiful part of the world and I feel privileged to have been able to see it in such comfort and in the company of my good friends.
Everyone knows about the Milford Track but I urge you to hike the Grand Traverse.
Thanks so much Ultimate Hikes!!

Visited February 2012
Thank wait4us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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