3
Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 7 day trek
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel/motel
  • 2 nights private backcountry hut
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days$4095NZD

Trip Code: SAT

Trip highlights


  • Hike to some of the most secluded ridges in the Southern Alps
  • Experience an overnight in a private backcountry hut with stunning views of the Mackenzie Basin & Lake Tekapo
  • Admire the majesty of NZ's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook from a high vantage point
  • Hike to admire the unbridled views of Lake Wanaka & Tititea Mount Aspiring from above
  • Take a spectacular gondola ride into Queenstown overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Ranges

Embark on an extraordinary journey through New Zealand's hidden gems with our exclusive trekking adventure. Discover breathtaking landscapes untouched by guidebook pages as we traverse mountain peaks, remote lakes, and majestic valleys, all while soaking in the awe-inspiring vistas of Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring.

Our expedition commences with a scenic drive to the highland haven of Lake Tekapo, where the first two nights are spent in a private backcountry hut, offering unparalleled views of alpine splendor and serene lakeside panoramas. Trekking eastward along a rugged ridgeline, we ascend to heights of around 2000 meters, before transitioning to the iconic Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

Immerse yourself in a day of exploration amidst the rugged beauty of the Hooker Glacier, with Mt. Sefton casting its imposing presence across the landscape, its icy avalanches echoing in the distance. Continuing our adventure, we journey to the lakeland paradise of Wanaka, where a hike above its picturesque shores unveils the Southern Alps in all their glory.

As our remarkable trek draws to a close, ascend the majestic Ben Lomond, traversing open tussock flats amidst breathtaking mountain vistas, culminating in a gondola descent into the vibrant town of Queenstown. Join us on this unforgettable expedition off the beaten path, where each step reveals the hidden wonders of New Zealand's untamed wilderness.


This morning we drive south through the Canterbury Plains to Fairlie and inland to Lake Tekapo for lunch. We drive along Tekapo's lakeside to Mt Gerald station and then hike 3-4 hours into the Rex Simpson Hut, (a 12 bunk private hut on the station). To greet us are stunning vistas across the lake and into the rolling tussock landscape that surrounds the area (up to 3-4 hours walking). As day turns to night we savour the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky - one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere and enjoy a hearty meal prepared by your guides. The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 12 participants and 2 guides in total. There are no showers and the toilet is a traditional longdrop loo with a view! The hut is fully equipped with pot belly stove, firewood, gas, and solar lighting. Sleeping bags, pillows and mattresses are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided each trip. It provides a comfortable and unique place to call home for the first 2 nights. Note: Please remember we will be staying in an alpine hut, you will not need to take all your luggage with you and we suggest packing a small overnight bag with clothing suitable for staying in an alpine environment. If necessary we can provide small overnight packs and walking poles.

Meals:  L,D

After breakfast, we head out from the hut and climb onto a broad easy spur which gradually gains height showcasing breathtaking views back down the lake and across to the Southern Alps with the prominent east faces of Mt Cook and Tasman. For the strong trekker, the summit of Beuzenberg Peak at 2070m is a just reward. We return back to the hut for another hearty meal and spectacular sunset should the weather play ball (up to 6-8 hours walking).

Meals:  B,L,D

Today starts with a walk back down to the road end from Rex Simpson hut. There's time to look around Tekapo and pick up a coffee and packed lunch before heading to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village. This afternoon we'll choose from a number of short walks in the area dependent upon weather conditions and fitness levels from the previous day. A walk to the Red Tarns, named because of the red pond weed, offers stunning views directly onto Mt Sefton. Its a short steep climb with a number of steps that take us quickly to this panoramic high point. From here we can rest and take in the views directly up the Hooker Valley and back down the Tasman Valley. The Hooker Valley walk is also a favourite weaving under the towering peaks and across swing bridges to a beautiful glacial lake. (Up to 4-5 hours walking). Tonight’s accommodation is within Aoraki/Mt Cook Village itself with outstanding views of the sun setting on the surrounding mountains.

Meals:  B,L,D

The entire day awaits to explore Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and immerse ourselves in the awe inspiring landscapes and mighty peaks that surround. Today we climb up to the Sealy Tarns gaining 450m in the first hour. From here there are awesome views around the neighbouring valleys, the Mt Cook Range and Mt Sefton. Then the path becomes less defined, a little rocky in places, and as it gets higher and starts to leave the alpine scrub and tussock, it enters boulder fields. The final ascent to the ridge line is up a steep-ish scree slope. At around 1600m, the view opens up to an amazing vista of Mt Sefton and the Mueller Glacier far below. Mueller Hut is then about a kilometre away, at an altitude just short of 1800m. The route to the hut is marked by poles, across boulder fields, and requires some rock-hopping, but later on crosses a couple of small basins before reaching the hut. The hut is located at a unique vantage point with 360-degree views of uninterrupted alpine beauty. It makes a wonderful location for lunch before returning the same way. A second night in the village provides another opportunity to view these peaks at sundown and the incredible starry night sky that follows.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning there is another opportunity for a short walk in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, again largely dictated by what we've achieved the previous two days, it could be a Hooker Valley walk or visit to the Tasman Glacier View point. Leaving the Mackenzie basin we cross ‘water-sheds’ and drive over the Lindis Pass through to Wanaka with a lunch stop along the way. Take the time this afternoon to relax and explore Wanaka's lakeside township after a big few days of walking, or we can drop you to a nearby short walk to spend the rest of the afternoon.

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast we drive a short distance to Roys Peak Track to take in breathtaking views over Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring/Tititea and surrounding peaks. After a steep climb through alpine meadows and tussock grasslands to reach the summit on this popular track and day hike. The cheeky kleptomaniac Kea (mountain parrots) are fond of anything edible or not that you may leave unattended on a rock – just saying! After time to take photos on the summit, we return the same way to the bottom of the mountain, and meet again in the evening for our final group dinner. (NOTE: Roys Peak closes Oct - 10 Nov for lambing, alternative hike options: The Rocky Mountain loop and Glendhu Bay Track) Hiking: 16km 5-6 hours walking. 1,285m (804m to the lookout)

Meals:  B,L,D

The last day of this trip will be a highlight for many as we head over the Crown Range from Wanaka to Queenstown to hike in the extraordinary sub-alpine environment of Ben Lomond (1748m). From here there are awe-inspiring panoramas of Lake Wakatipu, the distant Remarkable and Richardson Ranges, along with the mountains and valleys we have been exploring over the past 4 days. We descend until we reach the Skyline Gondola, which provides a quick ride down into Queenstown and then a short walk to town. Hiking 14km, 1000m ascent (5-6 hours). Optional Ben Lomond Summit Climb 3km, additional 380m ascent.

Meals:  B,L

Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.



Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x6), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x7), two course restaurant dinners (x5) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 4 nights hand picked hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 2 nights in a private mountain hut (shared facilities)
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Private vehicle transport including trailer for luggage
  • Skyline gondola ride into Queenstown
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Transport from Christchurch to Queenstown
  • Packs and poles (on request if required) - please let our staff know in advance
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. They come from all walks of life but they all have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, heaps of fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you. We provide you with the services of two guides for many of our trips, (this may depend on the size of the group). All are certified in first aid and CPR and many are advanced mountain guides.


Accommodation


Grading

Moderate  
3

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip. While part of this itinerary does utilise formed tracks, some days the hikes involve untracked scree and tussock. Some of the walking involves gradual climbing without a formed track to follow. The sense of isolation and wilderness is a strong feature of this trip. For you to be able to really enjoy this trip we recommend that you are confident walking across uneven terrain and are able to walk comfortably for up 4-6 hours at a time (with breaks included) and enjoy walking uphill, with some steep sections.


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season
H
High Season

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$4095NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement (excluding Day 1 & 2)NZD$595
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Best of Southern Alps Trek trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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