A Taste for Kiwi - Page 2
Treading the Milford Track
To reach the trailhead of the Milford Track, dubbed the finest walk in the world" for its spectacular vistas, we cruised for an hour on Lake Te Anau, past mountains streaming with waterfalls and an array of rainbows.
Hearty trekkers take four days to complete the legendary 34-mile trail, but with limited time we opted for Trips n Tramps day-long adventure. Our 6.6-mile loop wound through beech tree forests feathered with mosses and ferns, past huge rimu trees, to a lunch spot alongside the fast-moving Clinton River. A boardwalk trail through wetlands opened up into a fairytale-like glade rimmed with the green peaks of the Castle and Wick mountain ranges. Te Anau, a small lakeside town, serves as the base for Fiordland National Park explorations.
Milford Track: Trips 'n' Tramps: ($69 per person, includes picnic lunch; +18.104.22.16881; www.milfordtourswalks.co.nz)
Te Anau Hotel & Villas: ($188 USD per night; +22.214.171.12409; www.teanauhotel.co.nz)
Relaxing at a Country Lodge
A sheep ranch and luxury hotel, Grasmere Lodge spreads out on 13,000 acres ringed by the Southern Alps. At this 13-room country lodge, we played billiards before dinner, strolled by pastures green with rye, met some sheep, swam in the pool, and admired the spray of stars in the inky black sky. While I read by the fire, Matt and Alissa rode horses into the hills.
Grasmere also offers trout fishing in two lakes, nature trails, and easy access to nearby Arthur's Pass National Park. This relaxing getaway proved a welcome respite in our hike and drive vacation.
Grasmere Lodge's rates start at $920 USD per night based on double occupancy, and include a full breakfast, five-course dinner, and a 90-minute four-wheel-drive tour of the farm (+64.3.318.8407; www.grasmere.co.nz).
For more information on travel to New Zealand: 866.NEW.ZEALAND; www.NewZealand.com