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6 Day Best of Southern Alps Trek

Days
6

Pricing From
$2595

Difficulty

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Overview

Some of the best treks in New Zealand are not featured in the guidebook. If you are looking for a truly unforgettable Southern Alps experience while enjoying the views without the crowds, this 6 Day Best of Southern Alps Trek is the trip that will bring you there. This fantastic tour features plenty of highlights, and includes ascent of two 2000m peaks from where you can explore a stunning lake and valley system. A scenic helicopter transfer also puts you high up a remote mountain ridge from where magnificent views of Tititea Mount Aspiring and Aoraki Mount Cook open up.

The tour starts with a scenic drive to Lake Tekapo – a highland lake famous for its milky-turquoise waters – which marks the start of your delightful trek. Overnight on the trail at Rex Simpson Hut, and wake up to magical lakeside and alpine scenery. Before jumping off the next day, fuel up for your first 2000m-peak. Head east and follow the ridgeline on your way to the summit.

Undoubtedly the highlight of this trek, the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park offers unparalleled hiking experience. Walk around the park for a day, and hike on a high ridge which looks down to the Hooker Glacier and directly across Mt. Sefton with its roaring avalanches of rock and ice. We spend the night in a remote Lake Ohau Lodge from where you can also enjoy shorter hikes before moving on to Wanaka for a marvellous cruise, and hiking on a magnificent lake located at the foothills of the Southern Alps.

No trek to the Southern Alps is ever complete without a helicopter ride to nearby tarns from where you can start your ridge-top day walk for your ascent to the second 2000m-peak. From this remote vantage point, you’ll see the spectacular Lake Wanaka, the “glistening peaks” of Tititea/Mount Aspiring, and the wonderful Matukituki Valley spreading out below.

Best of Southern Alps Trek

Best of Southern Alps Trek

Best of Southern Alps Trek

Best of Southern Alps Trek

Best of Southern Alps Trek

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Rex Simpson HutUp to 3-4 hours hiking (L,D)

We pick you up from your hotel at about 8AM after which we drive to Fairlie in the south, and inland to Lake Tekapo for lunch.

From here, it’s a lakeside drive to Mt. Gerald station where we get off for a 3-4 hour hike into the 12-bunk Rex Simpson Private Hut. You will be greeted with magnificent views across the lake and into the expansive tussock terrain surrounding the area (up to 3-4 hours of walking). 

Please take note that we will be staying in an alpine hut on the first evening, so you only need to pack a small overnight bag and not bring your entire luggage with you. Just make sure you have clothing appropriate for staying in an alpine environment. Just in case you need a small overnight pack or walking poles, we can supply these for you.

Day 2Rex Simpson Hut to Lake TekapoUp to 6-8 hours walking (B,L,D)

A lookout point back down the lake and across to the Southern Alps can be reached from the hut by climbing onto a broad, gradually ascending spur from where Tasman and the iconic east face of Mt. Cook can be seen.

The fitter trekker can hike up the summit of Beuzenberg Peak at 2070m and enjoy more exhilarating views from there.

Afterwards, we descend to our hut and pack up for the brief drive back to Lake Tekapo and our motel accommodation for the night. (Up to 6-8 hours walking).

Day 3Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook VillageUp to 4-5 hours walking (B,L,D)

Mt Cook looms large as we make the 90-minute drive to the heart of the National Park. From here, a variety of hikes are available according to your fitness level and distance covered the day before.

Mt. Sebastopol and the mountain tarns are easy favourites among non-mountaineers as well as the Hooker Valley with its lush vegetation (up to 4-5 hours of walking). Close by is Red Tarns where you can view directly into Mt. Sefton (Takiroa), which according to Maori legend is the guardian of Aoraki. The climb requires navigating the treadmill of the staircase that ascends quickly into this fantastic view point. From here, we enjoy unobstructed views up the Hooker Valley and back down the Tasman Valley. 

We overnight in an accommodation within the Mt. Cook Village itself boasting of spectacular views of the sun setting on the peaks.

Day 4Mt Cook Village to Lake OhauVariety of short walks (B,L,D)

Spend the morning exploring the area, maybe picking up where you left off the other day. Hooker Valley proves to be popular while others find Sealy Tarns more appealing.

Enjoy late lunch before driving south and onto Lake Ohau Lodge for your overnight accommodation. You also have some time to discover the beech forest remnants located nearby before nightfall.

Day 5Lake Ohau to Wanaka3 hours walking (B,L,D)

We leave the Mackenzie Basin and cross “water-sheds” as we make our way through to Wanaka. We pause for lunch before boarding a boat which will bring us to a remote beach where you jump off for a 3-hour hiking on a trail that offers superb views back to Wanaka and the surrounding mountains.

We take a short ride back to our overnight accommodation in the late afternoon.

Day 6Wanaka to QueenstownHelihike Buchanan Range (B,L)

We start the day early and make our way to the helicopter base for today’s heli-hike. Matukituki Valley is home to a collection of small mountain lakes located at 1500m from where to enjoy scenic reflections and splendid views of the “glistening peak” of Mt. Aspiring, New Zealand’s tallest mountain outside the Mount Cook region.

We then make our way through the tussock lands to the ridgeline as we push for the summit of Buchanan Peaks at 2004m. From here, we peer into the neighbouring valleys and the headwaters of Lake Wanaka and simply take in the fantastic views.  We then return to the tarns to relax, swim and enjoy a late snack.

Finally, we rejoin our helicopter for the brief flight back to base where we board our transport for Queenstown and to your accommodation of choice.

Cost per person

November 2017 - April 2018

  • NZ$2,695
  • Single supplement: NZ$650

Public Holiday supplement: NZ$50

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Rex Simpson HutUp to 3-4 hours hiking (L,D)

We pick you up from your hotel at about 8AM after which we drive to Fairlie in the south, and inland to Lake Tekapo for lunch.

From here, it’s a lakeside drive to Mt. Gerald station where we get off for a 3-4 hour hike into the 12-bunk Rex Simpson Private Hut. You will be greeted with magnificent views across the lake and into the expansive tussock terrain surrounding the area (up to 3-4 hours of walking). 

Please take note that we will be staying in an alpine hut on the first evening, so you only need to pack a small overnight bag and not bring your entire luggage with you. Just make sure you have clothing appropriate for staying in an alpine environment. Just in case you need a small overnight pack or walking poles, we can supply these for you.

Day 2Rex Simpson Hut to Lake TekapoUp to 6-8 hours walking (B,L,D)

A lookout point back down the lake and across to the Southern Alps can be reached from the hut by climbing onto a broad, gradually ascending spur from where Tasman and the iconic east face of Mt. Cook can be seen.

The fitter trekker can hike up the summit of Beuzenberg Peak at 2070m and enjoy more exhilarating views from there.

Afterwards, we descend to our hut and pack up for the brief drive back to Lake Tekapo and our motel accommodation for the night. (Up to 6-8 hours walking).

Day 3Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook VillageUp to 4-5 hours walking (B,L,D)

Mt Cook looms large as we make the 90-minute drive to the heart of the National Park. From here, a variety of hikes are available according to your fitness level and distance covered the day before.

Mt. Sebastopol and the mountain tarns are easy favourites among non-mountaineers as well as the Hooker Valley with its lush vegetation (up to 4-5 hours of walking). Close by is Red Tarns where you can view directly into Mt. Sefton (Takiroa), which according to Maori legend is the guardian of Aoraki. The climb requires navigating the treadmill of the staircase that ascends quickly into this fantastic view point. From here, we enjoy unobstructed views up the Hooker Valley and back down the Tasman Valley. 

We overnight in an accommodation within the Mt. Cook Village itself boasting of spectacular views of the sun setting on the peaks.

Day 4Mt Cook Village to Lake OhauVariety of short walks (B,L,D)

Spend the morning exploring the area, maybe picking up where you left off the other day. Hooker Valley proves to be popular while others find Sealy Tarns more appealing.

Enjoy late lunch before driving south and onto Lake Ohau Lodge for your overnight accommodation. You also have some time to discover the beech forest remnants located nearby before nightfall.

Day 5Lake Ohau to Wanaka3 hours walking (B,L,D)

We leave the Mackenzie Basin and cross “water-sheds” as we make our way through to Wanaka. We pause for lunch before boarding a boat which will bring us to a remote beach where you jump off for a 3-hour hiking on a trail that offers superb views back to Wanaka and the surrounding mountains.

We take a short ride back to our overnight accommodation in the late afternoon.

Day 6Wanaka to QueenstownHelihike Buchanan Range (B,L)

We start the day early and make our way to the helicopter base for today’s heli-hike. Matukituki Valley is home to a collection of small mountain lakes located at 1500m from where to enjoy scenic reflections and splendid views of the “glistening peak” of Mt. Aspiring, New Zealand’s tallest mountain outside the Mount Cook region.

We then make our way through the tussock lands to the ridgeline as we push for the summit of Buchanan Peaks at 2004m. From here, we peer into the neighbouring valleys and the headwaters of Lake Wanaka and simply take in the fantastic views.  We then return to the tarns to relax, swim and enjoy a late snack.

Finally, we rejoin our helicopter for the brief flight back to base where we board our transport for Queenstown and to your accommodation of choice.

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