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

6 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7641

Trip highlights


  • Take a spectacular gondola ride out of Queenstown overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Ranges
  • Hike to Rocky Mountain to enjoy unspoiled views of Lake Wanaka from above
  • Admire the majesty of NZ's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook from a high vantage point
  • Enjoy panoramic views from Lake Ohau Lodge overlooking the glistening alpine lake
  • Overnight in a backcountry hut with stunning views of the Mackenzie Basin
  • Hike to some of the most secluded ridges in the Southern Alps

This is the best trek to not feature in any NZ guide book. Packed full of highlights, this stunning tour includes mountain peaks, remote lake and valley systems and the splendour of Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring from high vantage points. This amazing trek starts in style with a gondola ride in Queenstown, followed by a hike through Ben Lomond, where we trek through open tussock flats surrounded by more incredible mountain and lakeland vistas. In Aoraki Mount Cook National Park we spend a day hiking on a ridge overlooking the Hooker Glacier and directly across from the spectacular Mt Sefton with its rumbling avalanches of ice and rock. We end the trip deep in the highland region of Lake Tekapo with the last few nights spent in a private backcountry hut with superb alpine and lakeside vistas and some fabulous trekking before journeying through to Christchurch.


You will be collected from a central Queenstown location first thing this morning to start your Best of the Southern Alps Challenge. The first day of this trip will be a highlight for many as we 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. We descend until we reach the Skyline Gondola, which provides a quick ride down into Queenstown. Following our walk we head over the Crown Range from Queenstown to Wanaka and our overnight accommodation. Hiking 14km, 1000m ascent (5-6 hours). Optional Ben Lomond Summit Climb 3km, additional 380m ascent

Meals:  L,D

This morning there is time to explore Wanaka's lakeside township, or perhaps a short walk before we depart. We will head over the Lindis Pass with a lunch stop along the way. This afternoon there will be an opportunity for a short walk in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, to assist in preparing us for the days ahead. It could be a Hooker Valley walk or visit to the Tasman Glacier View point, before a relaxed evening enjoying your surrounds. Tonight’s accommodation is within Aoraki/Mt Cook Village itself with outstanding views of the sun setting on the peaks.

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 before departing Aoraki/Mount Cook, we'll choose from a number of short walks in the area dependent upon weather conditions and fitness levels from the previous day. Mt Sebastopol and the mountain tarns are a favourite. Nearby Red Tarns with stunning views directly onto Mt Sefton involves the treadmill of the staircase that climbs quickly to this stunning view point. From here we get views directly up the Hooker Valley and back down the Tasman Valley. We will then drive through to Tekapo, where we will enjoy lunch, before our walk begins through to Rex Simpson Hut. 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. Up to 4-5 hours walking. Note: Please remember we will be staying in an alpine hut for the next few nights. 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. The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 12 participants and 2 guides in total. There are no showers and the toilet is a traditional long-drop 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 night.

Meals:  B,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

This morning we leave the stunning vistas of Rex Simpson Hut and make our way down through the rolling tussock landscapes, through to Mt Gerald Station. We drive along the lakeside through to Tekapo and then drive out towards the coast from Fairlie and through the Canterbury Plains through to Christchurch where you will be dropped off at a central city location. (up to 3-4 hours walking).

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 3 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 2 nights in a private mountain hut (shared facilities)
  • Professional qualified driver/guide
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Water and snacks while trekking
  • Packs and poles (on request if required) - please let our staff know in advance
  • Skyline gondola ride into Queenstown
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than at 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)
  • Tips

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  
5

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

BP

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

$NZD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Best of the Southern Alps Challenge 2023 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.


Trip reviews


Similar trips

Hiking along the ridge line to the top of Ben Lomond | Colin Monteath
New Zealand
 
40 Reviews
Trekking above Marlborough Sounds | Ross Daubney
New Zealand
 
16 Reviews
Aerial view over Long Reef and Martin's bay on the Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trek | Hollyford Track
New Zealand
 
17 Reviews
Stunning views over Lake Wanaka | Miles Holden
New Zealand
 
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips