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Tekapo Guided Trek

Pricing From
$610

Difficulty

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Overview

Hike above worry level in the foothills of the Southern Alps. Be inspired by the magic light of the Mackenzie High Country across golden tussock, snow-capped peaks and the turquoise of Lake Tekapo. Climb a 2070m peak and return to a cosy mountain hut to savour the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky - one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere.

The Tekapo Trek is in the newly created Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, which encompasses the spectacular landscapes of ice-steepened mountains and broad glaciated valleys of the Two Thumb Range.

The Tekapo Trek is also available in winter as a guided trip on snowshoes.

Trekking Fitness & Experience

  • Ideally you should have previous tramping or hiking experience, because much of the trek is across untracked terrain and you need to be sure-footed.
  • However, if you are relatively new to tramping, then this is an ideal introduction, especially for families, as long as you are fit and walking 6-8 hours in a day would pose no problems.
  • Your pack will contain just your clothing and a few items of fresh food to be carried to the hut on Day 1. Non-perishable food and sleeping bags are at the hut.

Tour Grading: C

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!

Hiking on Snake Ridge

On Snake Ridge looking towards Beuzenberg Peak

Alpine Scree Weta

Strolling along Snake Ridge

looking south along Snake Ridge to Lake Tekapo

Black Daisy near Beusenberg Peak

High above the morning fog over Lake Tekapo

Grass Hoppers on Snake Ridge

The hike from Rex Simpson Hut to Beuzenberg Peak

The track along Snake Ridge to Beuzenberg Ridge

View from the top of Beuzenberg Ridge

View from the top of Beuzenberg Ridge

Spaniard near Beuzenberg Peak

Returning along Snake Ridge

Returning to Rex Simpson Hut

Rex Simpson Hut

The peaks of the Main Divide of the Southern Alps

Little Mountain Heath

Musterer's Hut in Camp Valley

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson HutHike 3 hours

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

Options

  • 2 DAYS: starts at 1pm on Day 1 and finishes around 5pm on Day 2.
  • 3 DAYS: starts at 10am on Day 1 and finishes around 1pm on Day 3.

We recommend the 3 day option in most cases, as the second day of the 2 day option is long; however it is a good option for fit hikers on a tight schedule (most buses arrive in Tekapo from Christchurch between 12pm and 1pm).

Itinerary for 3 day option

Meet at our office for a gear check.

From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to a typical high country sheep station. Three hours' hike with a climb of 550m/1805ft (about 7km) brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1300m/4265ft. The only sounds to be heard are the skylarks singing, or the chirp of an occasional pippit. This peacefulness is one of the first powerful impressions, giving a real sense of isolation and remoteness. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive. Evening entertainment regularly comes in the form of an inspiring sunset behind the alps and/or spectacularly clear displays of our Southern Hemisphere stars.

Day 2Beuzenberg Peak (2073m)Hike 6-8 Hours

We trek along a 6 kilometre-long ridge-top, nicknamed "Snake Ridge", that was formed by ice-age glaciation, and ascend Beuzenberg Peak (2073m/6800ft). The terrain is untracked with a moderate gradient.

As we hike higher the splendour of the Southern Alps unfolds with the East Face of Mount Cook dominating the western skyline. To the northeast Braun-Elwert Peak, named after Alpine Recreation's founder, watches our progress up Snake Ridge.

Unique alpine scree plants and maybe an alpine weta can be spotted by the observant. Early summer the tussock will be interspersed with mountain daisies (Celmisia Lyallii). In late summer the red berries of Little Mountain Heath (Pentachondra Pumila) dot the ground, along with white and pink snowberries.

Walk back down to Rex Simpson Hut to be well fed and entertained by your guide (6-8 hours walking, 770m in altitude to ascend and descend).
Those on the 2 day option will have a long day, returning to Lake Tekapo the same day (8-9 hours walking, with an additional 550m to descend after returning to the hut).

Day 3Rex Simpson Hut to Lake TekapoHike 3 Hours

There is an option to 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. (About 8km distance, 3-4 hours hiking).

Finish about 1pm in Lake Tekapo. 

Itinerary for 2 day option

As above except the trip starts at 1pm at Lake Tekapo. (Most buses arrive in Tekapo from Christchurch before this time.) Days 2 and 3 get condensed into one day and you come straight back to Lake Tekapo after returning to Rex Simpson Hut.

Obviously the second day is quite a long day then (8-9 hours walking) but for fit hikers is a good option when your travel itinerary cannot allow so much time.

Cost per person

November 2020 - April 2021

  • 2 Day: NZ$610*
  • 3 Day: NZ$930*

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

* On public holidays a surcharge of NZ$100 per person per day applies

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson HutHike 3 hours

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

Options

  • 2 DAYS: starts at 1pm on Day 1 and finishes around 5pm on Day 2.
  • 3 DAYS: starts at 10am on Day 1 and finishes around 1pm on Day 3.

We recommend the 3 day option in most cases, as the second day of the 2 day option is long; however it is a good option for fit hikers on a tight schedule (most buses arrive in Tekapo from Christchurch between 12pm and 1pm).

Itinerary for 3 day option

Meet at our office for a gear check.

From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to a typical high country sheep station. Three hours' hike with a climb of 550m/1805ft (about 7km) brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1300m/4265ft. The only sounds to be heard are the skylarks singing, or the chirp of an occasional pippit. This peacefulness is one of the first powerful impressions, giving a real sense of isolation and remoteness. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive. Evening entertainment regularly comes in the form of an inspiring sunset behind the alps and/or spectacularly clear displays of our Southern Hemisphere stars.

Day 2Beuzenberg Peak (2073m)Hike 6-8 Hours

We trek along a 6 kilometre-long ridge-top, nicknamed "Snake Ridge", that was formed by ice-age glaciation, and ascend Beuzenberg Peak (2073m/6800ft). The terrain is untracked with a moderate gradient.

As we hike higher the splendour of the Southern Alps unfolds with the East Face of Mount Cook dominating the western skyline. To the northeast Braun-Elwert Peak, named after Alpine Recreation's founder, watches our progress up Snake Ridge.

Unique alpine scree plants and maybe an alpine weta can be spotted by the observant. Early summer the tussock will be interspersed with mountain daisies (Celmisia Lyallii). In late summer the red berries of Little Mountain Heath (Pentachondra Pumila) dot the ground, along with white and pink snowberries.

Walk back down to Rex Simpson Hut to be well fed and entertained by your guide (6-8 hours walking, 770m in altitude to ascend and descend).
Those on the 2 day option will have a long day, returning to Lake Tekapo the same day (8-9 hours walking, with an additional 550m to descend after returning to the hut).

Day 3Rex Simpson Hut to Lake TekapoHike 3 Hours

There is an option to 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. (About 8km distance, 3-4 hours hiking).

Finish about 1pm in Lake Tekapo. 

Itinerary for 2 day option

As above except the trip starts at 1pm at Lake Tekapo. (Most buses arrive in Tekapo from Christchurch before this time.) Days 2 and 3 get condensed into one day and you come straight back to Lake Tekapo after returning to Rex Simpson Hut.

Obviously the second day is quite a long day then (8-9 hours walking) but for fit hikers is a good option when your travel itinerary cannot allow so much time.

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