The Southern Alps Adventure
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The Southern Alps Adventure

Need to know

  • Best time to travel: November - April
  • Group size: 10–18 travellers
  • Challenge grade: 3/5
  • Accommodation: Twin-share rooms in lodges
  • Minimum age: 18 (younger ages considered on application)

Tour from AUD: Price Available upon request

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    Trip at a glance

    From Christchurch to Queenstown, as part of this adventure, you’ll experience the history and majesty of Aotearoa New Zealand’s scenic South Island. Travelling north to south, by day you’ll trek and cycle through awe-inspiring landscapes, from native bushland and expansive plains to cities, canyons, countryside and coast.

     

    You’ll gaze upon the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, marvel at glaciers on Mount Sefton and stand in the shadow of Aoraki/Mount Cook, Aotearoa New Zealand’s highest mountain. You’ll cycle along quiet canal roads before crossing the Lake Ohau weir, and weaving your way around this glacially-fed natural wonder. 

     

    In Wanaka, you’ll explore vast wilderness areas of beech forest intersected by crystal clear rivers and alpine lakes, and enjoy 360º views from Isthmus Peak. Finally, following the Rob Roy Track, you’ll make your way towards Queenstown, set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. 

     

    Give back

    We know travel is better when you can give back as much as you get. That’s why we have designed our trips around contributing, supporting and participating in local projects and community initiatives that have a positive social and environmental impact.

     

    Each of our tours provide a unique way to get up close and personal with the destination and incorporate a fundraising target or donation  into the travel costs, which enables travellers to connect, give back and travel with purpose. 

     

    If you are a charity, corporate or a private group interested in the Southern Alps Adventure, please get in touch with amanda@soulfulconcepts.com

     

    Itinerary

    Day 1: Saturday, 25 March 2023 — Christchurch to Methven
    Welcome to Christchurch! Your local guide will meet you at 8am at the Rydges Latimer Christchurch, located at 30 Latimer Square, Christchurch Central City. 

     

    From Christchurch, we drive across the Canterbury Plains to our first hike at Mount Somers. Of volcanic origin, this mountain and the adjoining range stand out from the neighbouring mountains with stunning rocky tors and a deep canyon. The hike climbs through beech forest and traverses high tussock slopes that have a distinctly ‘Middle-earth’ feel. Stopping for lunch at the well-placed Woolshed Creek Hut, we then follow the Rhyolite Ridge Track, enjoying spectacular views down into the canyon as we climb high above on the slopes of Mount Somers. In the afternoon, we arrive at our accommodation in the nearby village of Methven, a ski town during the winter and a chilled rural Canterbury town for the rest of the year. Tonight you’re free to relax before a team dinner.

     

    Accommodation: Ski Time Lodge

    Meals: L,D

    Trekking distance: 5–6 hours, 10km

    Day 2: Sunday, 26 March 2023 — Mackenzie Country and Lake Tekapo
    Today, we drive south along the edge of the Canterbury Plains before heading into Mackenzie Country towards Lake Tekapo, famous for its stunning turquoise waters and the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd perched daintily by the lake. On arrival at the base of Aoraki/Mount Cook, we stretch our legs on a relatively flat hike up the Hooker Valley, enjoying spectacular views of the glaciers looming above on Mount Sefton and The Footstool. We take time to take in the imposing south face of Aoraki/Mount Cook before turning around at Hooker Lake.

     

    Accommodation: The Hermitage

    Meals: B,L

    Trekking distance: 3–4 hours, 10km 

    Day 3: Monday, 27 March 2023 — Hooker and Mueller Glaciers
    Today we hike up the famous steps to Sealy Tarns (all 2,200 of them) to soak up the vista of the Hooker and Mueller Glaciers and the ice-carved summits of Aoraki/Mount Cook, Mount Sefton and The Footstool. If conditions permit, we can continue up onto the Sealy Range and along to Mueller Hut. Here, we can rest for a while and enjoy the rewards of our climb – 360º views of the glaciers, ice cliffs and vertical rock faces of Aotearoa New Zealand's highest mountains. 

     

    Accommodation: The Hermitage

    Meals: B,L 

    Trekking distance: 6–7 hours, 10km

    Day 4: Tuesday, 28 March 2023 — Alps to Ocean cycle and Lake Ohau
    ​​After breakfast, we continue our journey south to make the most of the outdoor opportunities on offer. Driving to the nearby town of Twizel, we pick up our bikes* and ride a section of the impressive Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. Along quiet canal roads, we ride across the Lake Ohau weir before weaving our way around the lake on a purpose-built cycle track. The views are amazing and there’s plenty of time to stop, take photos and admire the mountains and the beautiful blue of the glacially-fed Lake Ohau. Our ride ends at Ohau Lodge, where we can relax or head off on a guided afternoon hike, a great opportunity to enjoy more incredible views of the surrounding mountains, lakes and rivers. In the evening, we enjoy another team dinner together at the lodge restaurant.

     

    Accommodation: Ohau Lodge

    Meals: B,L,D

    Cycling distance: 3 hours, 38km

    Trekking distance: 2–3 hours, 5km

    Day 5: Wednesday, 29 March 2023 — Lakes Wanaka and Hawea
    After a hearty breakfast, this morning we drive over Lindis Pass into the Central Otago region and on to Wanaka, a resort town set alongside its namesake, Lake Wanaka. This town is the gateway to a vast wilderness area of beech forests, glaciers, pristine rivers and spectacular lakes. Arriving in the late morning, we have time to relax and enjoy lunch and a quick stroll along the lakefront before heading off on our afternoon hike to Isthmus Peak. Following a well-marked trail, we climb steeply on to the main range between Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. From the summit, the views of the lakes and mountains of Central Otago are spectacular. 

     

    Accommodation: Altamont Lodge

    Meals: B,L

    Trekking distance: 5–6 hours, 9 km

    Day 6: Thursday, 30 March 2023 — Rob Roy Track to Queenstown
    On the final day of our adventure, we hike one of Aotearoa New Zealand's most beautiful trails, the Rob Roy Track. Starting off with a stunning drive up the Matukituki Valley, passing large sheep, cattle and deer farms along the way, we then trek from Raspberry Flat across a suspension bridge over the Matukituki River. From here, we climb through beech forest alongside the raging boulder-strewn Rob Roy Stream. Eventually, the track emerges above the tree line in a delightful alpine meadow with a superb view of the Rob Roy Glacier. We enjoy lunch here before wandering back down the valley to our waiting vehicle. Via the Crown River Range, we make our way to Queenstown, a city famous for its majestic vistas, vineyards and adventure activities. Arriving at approximately 4:30pm, we recommend booking return flights no earlier than 7pm although also recommend staying a few extra days to soak up Queenstown if you are able. 

     

    Meals: B,L

    Trekking distance: 4 hours, 10km

    • What's included:
    • Local guides (mountain safety first aid-trained)
    • Transport, including pickup in Christchurch and drop off in Queenstown
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary, with snacks throughout the day
    • Twin-share accommodation
    • Bike hire with helmet
    • National park entry fees
    • What's not included:
    • Pre and post-tour accommodation
    • Airport transfers
    • Airfares
    • Single supplement
    • Optional tours and excursions
    • Tips and gratuities
    • Travel insurance and vaccinations
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Other services not listed in the inclusions column

    * Travellers are responsible for valid visas throughout the duration of the trip

    View full itinerary  
    Contact us  

    Need to know

    • Best time to travel: November - April
    • Group size: 10–18 travellers
    • Challenge grade: 3/5
    • Accommodation: Twin-share rooms in lodges
    • Minimum age: 18 (younger ages considered on application)

    Tour from AUD: Price Available upon request

      Get in touch with us

      Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you soon

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