• Three stunning Parks – Richmond Forest Park, Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi National Park
• Five superb soft adventure activities – helibiking, sailing, sea kayaking, helihiking, and helirafting
• Four scenic helicopter flights – Mt Richmond Forest Park, Abel Tasman & Kahurangi National Parks
One of the best multiactivity trips in the world, this unique and memorable, fully guided, continuous 4 day adventure Journey, is ideal as a “once in a lifetime” holiday vacation and shared experience for active families, small groups of friends, or small corporate groups.
The Journey travels across the wonderful and varied landscapes of Richmond Forest Park, Abel Tasman National Park and Kahurangi National Park, in the northwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand, through a stunning scenery of sweeping golden beaches, turquoise seas, superb native bush, imposing mountain ranges, wilderness rivers and the remote and spectacular coastline of the Heaphy Track .
Two to three nights are spent in lodges and one aboard our 50 ft yacht “Simply Wild”.
After collecting you from your accommodation in Nelson, we’ll head into the wilderness behind Nelson City to meet the helicopter which will fly us to 1000 metres in Mt Richmond Forest Park behind Nelson City. After enjoying the stunning views of the top of the South Island, we’ll walk for half an hour to collect our mountain bikes for the exhilarating 15 kilometre downhill through native bush on the Dun Mountain Trail, a classic ride, now part of the National Cycle Trail Network, which follows the route of New Zealand’s first railway.
Descending through open alpine country, then beautiful native forest, you will ride back to Nelson City and the marina to meet “Simply Wild”, our 50ft, 4 cabin Beneteau cruising yacht, with lunch served as we leave the harbour.
An alternative if you prefer cycling on easier trails, rather than mountain biking, is to cycle on the new “Great Taste Trail” before joining our yacht.
You can relax or get involved in sailing the yacht for the 4 hour sail across Tasman Bay to Anchorage in Abel Tasman National Park, where we spend the night. Our chef will be on board to prepare dinner.
Today we spend the day in sea kayaks exploring of the famous Abel Tasman coastline, one of the best sea kayak destinations in the world. We’ll take time to enjoy paddling along the rocky coastline, golden beaches, tranquil inlets and native bush, before making our way to Awaroa Lodge at Awaroa in the National Park where we spend the night.
After breakfast you board our luxury Eurocopter helicopter for a scenic trip through the heart of the 500,000 hectare Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand’s second largest. Flying alongside jagged peaks, you’ll land on a broad ridge high in the park, then beautiful, glacial Boulder Lake at 3000ft, before descending to the Heaphy River near the Tasman Sea, where you’ll walk the last day of the famous Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.
It’s a 5 – 6 hour walk along the stunning, rugged and remote western coastline to the end of the track at Kohaihai and the small isolated village of Karamea, where we’ll spend the night.
We start the day with a short helicopter trip into the Karamea River. Known as one of the world’s great wilderness multi-day rafting trips, we raft the last section through the Karamea Gorge. Rafting grade 4-5, this is what we call cerebral rafting – long boulder gardens and powerful water require great teamwork from guides and paddlers.
Because of its remote location, the Karamea River is seldom rafted, and we are unlikely to see anybody else on the river. At the end of the day you have the option of flying by fixed wing aeroplane back to Nelson, staying an extra night in Karamea or we can arrange for a rental car so you that can begin the superb drive down the South Island’s West Coast to the glaciers and Queenstown.
All accommodation, yacht and meals
Guides, helicopters, planes, bikes, national park fees, sea kayaking, rafting, transfers
Not included – Alcohol, which may purchased on the Journey
How physical is the trip?
The trip can be adjusted to suit your fitness and inclination. Sections can be shortened, or for instance you can substitute the helibike for easy cycling on the Great Taste Trail. Because this is a private trip, the pace is up to you and your group.
The trip is well within the reach of anybody with moderate fitness. We have also run a more extreme version, with every section lengthened to make it more like adventure racing.
How long does each section take?
The helibike takes around 2-3 hours from the time we collect you to the time you reach the yacht marina.
Sailing across Tasman Bay takes around 3 – 4 hours. The sea kayaking takes about 4 hours, and the helicopter trip is around 1 1/2 hours before you begin walking on the Heaphy Track. The walking section is 16 kilometres and takes around 5 – 6 hours.
What happens if we have a family or group member who doesn’t wish to do each section (particularly the active sections) but wants to be part of the trip?
During the helibike, that member can enjoy the helicopter ride, and walk if they wish to the start of the ride, before flying back in the helicopter. During the sea kayaking, that person can remain on the yacht, which will accompany the sea kayaking. On the Heaphy walking section that family member can enjoy the scenic helicopter trip, then be dropped at the Karamea accommodation by the helicopter along with the baggage.
How long and how hard is the helihike?
It’s around 19 kilometres (12 miles) and takes around 5 – 6 hours with stops for lunch. It is mostly flat walking along the coastline with occasional bluffs where it rises moderately.
What grade is the rafting?
It is mainly graded around 4 but depends very much on river flow. Two rapids are often 4. 5 to 5 and are portaged.
What happens in the event of bad weather?
We will sometimes change the sequence of the Journey to work around the weather, but we will consult you on both our judgement around safety and your comfort before we make final decisions onproceeding with any section of the trip. If a section is cancelled due to bad weather we will refund that portion of the trip.
We have a family/group member with specific diet requirements. Can you accommodate this?
We have our own chefs and prepare our all our own food. We can accommodate most needs with advance warning.