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3 Day Lake Tekapo Snowshoe Guided Hike

Pricing From
$830

Difficulty

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Overview

The foothills of the Southern Alps undergo a magic transformation in winter. A covering of snow turns these tawny tussock lands into an extensive playground, not just for skiers, but also trampers on snowshoes. On the Lake Tekapo Snowshoe Guided Hike, it takes 3 hours up to our cosy mountain hut at the snowline (1280m) and use this as a base to explore a New Zealand winter wonderland of ice-covered streams, curving ridges and snowy valleys.

Here in the foothills of the Southern Alps you are in the newly created Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park of the Two Thumb Range with grand views across the Mackenzie Basin and of the major peaks of the Main Divide, Mounts Cook and Tasman.

We recommend 3 days as an optimum time for sampling snowshoeing, but for those limited to weekends 2 days will certainly give a refreshing break; and there are plenty of trail options for those who are able to spend 5 days.

How difficult is snowshoeing?

The snow evens out the bumps and hollows of the summer terrain and makes it easy to walk over the surface without having to negotiate rocks or tree roots as you often have to do when tramping. With the addition of ski poles it makes for enjoyable walking, taking in the scenery, instead of watching where you are placing your feet.

If you enjoy bushwalking, tramping or just ordinary hiking, then you'll enjoy walking over the snow on snowshoes. You don't sink into the snow as you would with just boots on. Using snowshoes is very straightforward - it's as simple as strapping them onto your normal hiking boots, grabbing a pair of ski poles and walking!

You need to have good tramping stamina and at least average fitness. If you enjoy going for longer walks, you'll enjoy snowshoeing.

Rex Simpson Hut

Is an ideal base for trekking in the summer and snow shoeing and ski touring in the winter. Located in a beautiful setting, with great views of the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Fully equipped with pot belly stove, firewood, gas, solar lighting, sleeping bags and non-perishable food. The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 12 participants and 2 guides in total. Sleeping bags are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided each trip. There are no showers, but warm water and basin can be provided for washing - or you can find a private spot somewhere along the alpine stream. The toilet is a traditional longdrop loo with a view!

Tour Grading: C

Climbing onto Snake Ridge overlooking Godley Valley

Climbing up Snake Ridge towards Beuzenberg Peak

Climbing up Snake Ridge towards Beuzenberg Peak

Snowshoeing makes a great family holiday

Snowshoer leaves Rex Simpson Hut at first light

Snowshoers above Mt Gerald Stream

Snowshoers on Snake Ridge

Snowshoers on Snake Ridge

Snowshoers setting out on a day trip

Sunset over Rex Simpson Hut

Mt Cook from Snake Ridge

Snowshoeing Itinerary

Make sure you book your Lake Tekapo accommodation, as you will need to stay here the night before and after.

Day 1: Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson Hut

  • Hike 3 hours

Meet at our office at Lake Tekapo at 8am. From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to the top of Lake Tekapo. 3 hours' hike with a climb of 430m/1400ft brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1280m/4200ft. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive. Time permitting we may do one of the shorter trails (e.g. Mt Gerald Stream) in the afternoon or head up onto the ridge behind the hut to admire the view.

Relax with a hot drink beside the pot belly stove as your guide prepares a tasty dinner. Watch the sun set behind the alps and enjoy spectacularly clear displays of our Southern Hemisphere stars. No light or air pollution up here!

As the hut is fully stocked we only need to carry some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat) and our personal clothing and equipment.

Options on Subsequent Days

Based at Rex Simpson Hut, we will explore the winter wonderland around Mt. Gerald, Camp Stream Valley, Snake Ridge, Beuzenberg Peak and the Southern Terraces. Please refer to the "Trail Options" below:

Mt Gerald Stream:

From hut, around the corner, up Mt Gerald Stream and onto the plateau of Mt Gerald itself, with views down to Lilybank Station and up the Godley Valley and across Lake Tekapo. Return same way or cross Snake Ridge and follow down to hut. 3-4 hours return.

Snake Ridge - Beuzenberg Peak:

Up to saddle looking into Camp Stream, then up onto Snake Ridge, following all the way up to Beuzenberg Peak, 2070m and return via ridge or via Camp Stream. Great views of East Face of Mount Cook, Mt Tasman and other Main Divide peaks as you cruise along the ridge top. 6 hours return.

Southern Terraces:

Head south from hut, enjoying the view out over Lake Tekapo as far as Lakes Benmore and Pukaki, traverse back around into the lower end of Camp Stream, stopping off to take a step back in time with a visit to an old musterers' hut, before following up the gorge and back over the saddle to Rex Simpson Hut. 4-5 hours return.

Camp Stream Traverse:

Up to saddle behind hut, down into Camp Stream valley and up a peak, 1666m, on the eastern side for grand views into the next valley and a different perspective of the Main Divide. This trek can be extended into the next valley (subject to safe snow conditions). 3-4 hours return.

Camp Stream - Stag Saddle:

Great on a windy day to have the shelter of the valley. Amble beside the gurgling stream up to the bumps and basins at the head of the valley, before climbing up to Stag Saddle, 1925m. Return same way, or traverse up onto Snake Ridge and descend that way. 6 hours return.

Last Day

We trek to an old musterers' hut before walking back down through the farm and returning to Lake Tekapo. The hut door carries part of a dog collar, dated 1898, and the interior could be reminiscent of Scott's hut in Antarctica. Finish about 1pm in Lake Tekapo

Cost per person

July 2019 - September 2019

  • 3 Day: NZ$1,140
  • Day: NZ$830
  • Day: NZ$1,450
  • Day: NZ$1,760

A per person surcharge of NZ$100 will apply to all prices on New Zealand public holidays.

NZ$300 per person deposit on booking, balance 60 days before travel.

Individual bookings welcome. If you end up being the only person on a trip you will have the option of changing to another date or a full refund.

Snowshoeing Itinerary

Make sure you book your Lake Tekapo accommodation, as you will need to stay here the night before and after.

Day 1: Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson Hut

  • Hike 3 hours

Meet at our office at Lake Tekapo at 8am. From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to the top of Lake Tekapo. 3 hours' hike with a climb of 430m/1400ft brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1280m/4200ft. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive. Time permitting we may do one of the shorter trails (e.g. Mt Gerald Stream) in the afternoon or head up onto the ridge behind the hut to admire the view.

Relax with a hot drink beside the pot belly stove as your guide prepares a tasty dinner. Watch the sun set behind the alps and enjoy spectacularly clear displays of our Southern Hemisphere stars. No light or air pollution up here!

As the hut is fully stocked we only need to carry some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat) and our personal clothing and equipment.

Options on Subsequent Days

Based at Rex Simpson Hut, we will explore the winter wonderland around Mt. Gerald, Camp Stream Valley, Snake Ridge, Beuzenberg Peak and the Southern Terraces. Please refer to the "Trail Options" below:

Mt Gerald Stream:

From hut, around the corner, up Mt Gerald Stream and onto the plateau of Mt Gerald itself, with views down to Lilybank Station and up the Godley Valley and across Lake Tekapo. Return same way or cross Snake Ridge and follow down to hut. 3-4 hours return.

Snake Ridge - Beuzenberg Peak:

Up to saddle looking into Camp Stream, then up onto Snake Ridge, following all the way up to Beuzenberg Peak, 2070m and return via ridge or via Camp Stream. Great views of East Face of Mount Cook, Mt Tasman and other Main Divide peaks as you cruise along the ridge top. 6 hours return.

Southern Terraces:

Head south from hut, enjoying the view out over Lake Tekapo as far as Lakes Benmore and Pukaki, traverse back around into the lower end of Camp Stream, stopping off to take a step back in time with a visit to an old musterers' hut, before following up the gorge and back over the saddle to Rex Simpson Hut. 4-5 hours return.

Camp Stream Traverse:

Up to saddle behind hut, down into Camp Stream valley and up a peak, 1666m, on the eastern side for grand views into the next valley and a different perspective of the Main Divide. This trek can be extended into the next valley (subject to safe snow conditions). 3-4 hours return.

Camp Stream - Stag Saddle:

Great on a windy day to have the shelter of the valley. Amble beside the gurgling stream up to the bumps and basins at the head of the valley, before climbing up to Stag Saddle, 1925m. Return same way, or traverse up onto Snake Ridge and descend that way. 6 hours return.

Last Day

We trek to an old musterers' hut before walking back down through the farm and returning to Lake Tekapo. The hut door carries part of a dog collar, dated 1898, and the interior could be reminiscent of Scott's hut in Antarctica. Finish about 1pm in Lake Tekapo

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