What is one of your favourite things to do near your Park that people might not know about?
Wanaka: - Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain Track – only a 15 min drive from the park and a 3 hrs return hike at its longest, with shorter options available. Offering spectacular views over Lake Wanaka, the Matukitiki River and Mt Aspiring. And/or hire a kayak or paddle board from the lakefront and paddle out to Ruby Island, only 1km offshore. A scenic little island to explore and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Omarama: Clay cliffs are a goodie if you haven't been before. Otherwise catch your own Salmon at the Salmon farm or go for a swim in Lake Ruataniwha or Lake Benmore. Hooker Valley track near Mt Cook is also a breathtaking experience.
Kingston: There is an abundance of walks with fantastic views. Check out the Shirt Tail Track, or the Te Kere Haka Track! If you want to take it a step further, test your ability with some rock climbing – but make sure you do it with people who know what they’re doing!
Te Anau: Anna, one of the owners of Te Anau TOP 10 has told us that her favourite walk is the Lake Marian Track. Read a bit more about it here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/fiordland/places/fiordland-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/lake-marian-track/
Queenstown: Rally up the whānau and hop on your bikes! Arrowtown is not only a beautiful place to bike, but it is also family-friendly!
Oamaru: Everything about Oamaru is off the beaten track. Full of quirks, this town has a rich history and a heritage to be proud of.
Awesome! What about a hot tip for people planning to stay at your park? What do your guests need to know to make the most of your town?
Wanaka: - Book a private 1 hr in our spa and sauna room to relax after one of the many popular local hikes. A hot spa, cold spa and sauna will ease tired muscles.
Omarama: - Pre-book into the Omarama Hot Tubs before you arrive to avoid disappointment... an epic place for a soak after a long day.
Kingston: Keep an eye out for the beautiful wildlife in the Park! Kingston has a lot of native trees and bushes which means it’s easy to spot Bellbirds & Tui!
Te Anau: Te Anau TOP 10 is so close to all of the shops, restaurants and the lake which makes exploring by foot nice and easy!
Queenstown: We have hot tubs you can hire out, but if you’re a TOP 10 member you can get a free 30 minutes in the hot tubs. Which is the perfect place to relax in the middle of winter.
Oamaru: We were named the second most beautiful small town in NZ by World Atlas – make sure you take the time to enjoy our beautiful town. One night is simply not enough!
If all of this wasn’t enough for you, we asked our team to help break the stigma of the Lower South! What can you do in the Summer? Or what can you do in Winter if snow sports aren’t your thing?
Wanaka: – What can’t you do? Head outdoors for a hike or kayak. Try out Mountain Carting in the summer, or how about sky-diving and canyoning? If that’s a bit out of your comfort zone, enjoy the lakeside tracks, boat rides and unlimited greenery. Grab your camera, Wanaka is one of the most picturesque towns in Aotearoa New Zealand. After that, how about trying one of the many award-winning restaurants?
Omarama: Swimming in the many lakes here in the summer or heading up to the Ohau ski fields in the winter. Renting an e-bike (not from us) and experiencing the Alps to Ocean cycle trail is also an unforgettable experience.
Kingston: Play some golf! Or check out the Kingston Flyer Vintage Steam Train. It’s one of the country’s most famous vintage steam trains, relax and unwind on the 1.5-hour return journey while admiring the spectacular scenery.
Te Anau: In the summertime, get out on the lake and enjoy some swimming or boating! In the winter, check out the beauty of Milford & Doubtful Sounds. Or how about seeing the glow-worm caves? Or even check out some of the incredible day hikes in the warmer seasons!
Queenstown: Queenstown is full of things to do, it is the adventure capital of NZ for a reason. So no matter the weather, you’re sure to be entertained. Queenstown TOP 10 also offers a free shuttle service and they’re only 15 minutes away from the centre of town.
Oamaru: We have a fantastic 18-hole mini golf course on site! Get competitive with your travelling companions and make sure you putt, putt, putt your way to victory!
Right, now you’re hooked! Any last-minute tips to help plan your journey?
Wanaka: – One night is definitely not enough! There’s so much to see and do, but don’t rely just on what you have seen online! Ask the team at reception for local recommendations!
Omarama: - Be prepared for any kind of weather on your travels; Autumn can be very unpredictable. Be patient and be kind on the roads and to others. Enjoy the journey. Think forward and book things that you may like to experience for example the Hot Tubs in Omarama as they sell out fast!
Kingston: Don’t forget the kids! While you’re cooking in the log kitchen, the kids can enjoy their own space in the corner. So you can keep your eyes on them while you prepare an awesome meal!
Te Anau: Don’t let the rain stop you from enjoying The Sounds. The waterfalls really come to life!
Queenstown: If you’re planning on driving out to Milford Sounds, make sure you stop at Lake Mistletoe, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic!
Oamaru: Book early for the evening viewing of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Oh, and your Top 10 membership gets you 10% of your booking.
Now that you’re armed with a bit more information about the Lower South Island, where is your first stop going to be?