Whitewater adventures in New Zealand


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Week of November 14-20, 1996
Cozy vacation rentals in Europe
Getting away from the beach in Manzanillo
Exploring Chile’s Lake District on two wheels
Whitewater adventures in New Zealand
Fat-tire fun near Phoenix

Whitewater adventures in New Zealand
Question: Can you recommend any paddling or rafting adventures close to the Te Anau/Queenstown area of New Zealand? I’m looking for a scenic, adventurous, and hopefully pristine wilderness experience. Sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking (Class II in hard-shell or Class III in inflatable), and paddleboat rafting are all acceptable trips. I’ll be
there in mid-December. Since I’ll be on my own, I am looking for a guided trip(s) for safety. Thanks in advance!

Evelyn Rodriguez
Salt Lake City, UT

Adventure Adviser: Mind-bogglingly scenic, yes (what on New Zealand’s South Island isn’t?). Adventurous and pristine, well, practically. I’m talking about the two-day sea kayaking trip into Fiordland National Park’s Doubtful Sound. Rest assured: There’s nothing dubious about this paddle, with its spectacular U-shaped valleys that rise up out of
the valley for nearly a mile and 300-some-odd miles of hiking trails ripe for post-kayak exploration.

Fiordland Wilderness Experiences (011-64-3-249-7700) will meet you in Te Anau, drive you to Lake Manapouri for a whopping 20-mile boat trip across the water followed by a 13-mile drive across rough, four-wheel-drive terrain and over Wilmot Pass to–finally–your put-in at Deep Cove. From here, you paddle down Doubtful Sound, past crested-penguin-infested Rolla Island, to a
detour up the eerily quiet Hall Arm. Back on the Sound, you head to Elizabeth Island; keep your eyes peeled for fur seals, bottlenose dolphins, and little blue penguins. Turn around here, put your sails up, and pray for wind–a stiff breeze will blow you back to Deep Cove with little effort on your part.

Fiordland’s guided trips go for $163 per person, or if you’re feeling ambitious, rent a kayak from them and strike out on your own. If you’re strapped for time, consider signing on with Rosco’s Milford Sound Sea Kayaks’ six-hour sea kayak outing ($51 per person; 011-64-3-249-8840) in postcard-perfect Milford Sound. For additional details about Fiordland NP (the country’s
largest, by the way) and the Queenstown area, call the visitor center at 011-64-3-249-7921 and check out “From Here To Antipodes” in Outside‘s 1996-97 Winter Travel Guide.

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