New Zealand’s premier guided walking company launches its 2011-2012 season tomorrow (November 1) as the first walkers set out along tracks billed as the ‘finest walks in the world’.
Queenstown based Ultimate Hikes operates guided walks on the Milford, Routeburn and Greenstone Tracks traversing the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks. Tomorrow’s first walkers go out on the Milford and Routeburn Tracks. The Grand Traverse walkers set out on Wednesday morning (November 2).
Ultimate Hikes General Manager Noel Saxon said he and the 110 staff who contribute to ensuring every walker has a fantastic experience were excited to have the season underway after months of preparation.
“We’ve just completed our staff training which followed a thorough setting up process on the tracks and in the lodges. Our set up went well with good weather allowing us easy access and plenty of time to prepare our lodges for our guests. We’re now very much looking forward to a great season ahead.”
The journeys of the first walkers begin, after a bus ride from Queenstown, at Te Anau Downs (Milford Track) and The Divide (Routeburn Track) with guests spending their first nights at Glade House and the Lodge at Lake Mackenzie respectively.
“The lodges are incredibly comfortable and hospitable and located in idyllic, awe inspiring surroundings,” says Mr Saxon. “We welcome people with refreshments, hot showers, a three course meal and of course, a very comfortable bed.”
Up to 10,000 people will walk through Fiordland, and Mt Aspiring National Parks with Ultimate Hikes this year and Mr Saxon says the company is committed to ensuring every one of those people take home a memorable experience of a lifetime.
“We apply decades of experience to ensuring people’s enjoyment and safety on these iconic walking tracks. We offer a range of multiday and single day walks and make experiencing the wilderness do-able by people of all ages and most fitness levels.”
The Ultimate Hikes season runs from November until late April. All walkers are accompanied by expert guides and all walks include transport to and from Queenstown, accommodation, meals, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets.