Aotearoa Alpine Adventure

About the Experience

“I’m going to New Zealand.” This little phrase has been tucked away with your other daydreams for years. You’ve tried to imagine actually strolling through the majestic splendour of this landscape like you are on a quest to find an unspeakable treasure.

You’ve seen the vast skies and jaw-dropping vistas in movies and shows filmed in New Zealand – scenes from Lord of the Rings and Xena the Warrior Princess haunt your imagination. It seems to always be the setting for a magical, fantastical place on the big screen. Staring at the astounding white tipped majesty of Aoraki, the highest mountain in New Zealand – your head thrown back in awe – you can see why.

The feeling of adventure is palpable everywhere. The way your heart pounds as you reach the peak of the towering Ben Lomond.  The thrill as you coast over Mount Aspiring on a small plane, or the night in the high country, when you walk into the darkness and the sky above is an explosion of stars.

Once home, you will remember the gentle rock of the kayak in the cobalt waters of Milford Sound with dancing dolphins around your boat. And at night, when you close your eyes, you will see the mystical light of the glowworm caves, and remember how it felt as if you were visiting your own private galaxy.

One of the greatest adventures of your life is out there – waiting for you. It is time.

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Aotearoa Alpine Adventure

About the Experience

“I’m going to New Zealand.” This little phrase has been tucked away with your other daydreams for years. You’ve tried to imagine actually strolling through the majestic splendour of this landscape like you are on a quest to find an unspeakable treasure.

You’ve seen the vast skies and jaw-dropping vistas in movies and shows filmed in New Zealand – scenes from Lord of the Rings and Xena the Warrior Princess haunt your imagination. It seems to always be the setting for a magical, fantastical place on the big screen. Staring at the astounding white tipped majesty of Aoraki, the highest mountain in New Zealand – your head thrown back in awe – you can see why.

The feeling of adventure is palpable everywhere. The way your heart pounds as you reach the peak of the towering Ben Lomond.  The thrill as you coast over Mount Aspiring on a small plane, or the night in the high country, when you walk into the darkness and the sky above is an explosion of stars.

Once home, you will remember the gentle rock of the kayak in the cobalt waters of Milford Sound with dancing dolphins around your boat. And at night, when you close your eyes, you will see the mystical light of the glowworm caves, and remember how it felt as if you were visiting your own private galaxy.

One of the greatest adventures of your life is out there – waiting for you. It is time.

 

 

 

 

DAY ONE: MOUNT COOK

Your trip starts in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, where your wild women group will meet you and head south towards Aoraki/Mt Cook – New Zealand’s highest mountain.

On the way, we’ll pass by the dazzling azure blue waters of Lake Tekapo where we’ll stop to explore the lakefront and the iconic church of the good shepherd. We then stretch our legs on a short hike up Mt John for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

From here, we’ll continue to our wonderful home for the evening in Mt Cook Village, where we can enjoy a drink while we watch the sunset over the towering peaks of Mt Cook and Mt Sefton.

  • Hike Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Hike Distance: 8.05 km +1,080/-1,080ft

 

DAY TWO: GLACIER HIKE

Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, there is a stunning and little-­known day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. It’s a challenging hike, but you will remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks for the rest of your life! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts.

If you aren’t able to do the Mueller hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier.

We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and drinks as we sit outside and watch the sun set on Aoraki/Mt Cook.

  • Hike Duration: 5 – 6 hours
  • Hike Distance: 7.2 km, up 1019m/3346 ft then down 1019m/3346 ft

 

DAY THREE: MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK

Today we’ll travel south over the dramatic Lindis pass towards Mount Aspiring National Park and Makarora.

Once there we’ll get a dose of the stunning native Beech forest as we do a short hike to explore the ‘Blue Pools’ of the Makarora River. The deep crystal clear water of this gorge is magical against the backdrop of the green forest above its rock walls, it’s a stunning sight.

Tonight, we’ll rest our heads in Makarora ready for the big adventure tomorrow.

  • Hike Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Hike Distance: 0.64 km, +130/-130 ft

 

DAY FOUR: SIBERIA VALLEY

This morning, you’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. From here, you’ll hike downstream along the Wilkin River, through beautiful silver beech forests to a jet boat rendezvous.

Then, it’s a thrilling ride back to Makarora where we’ll have dinner.

  • Hike Duration: 2 – 3 hours
  • Hike Distance: 6.4 km, up 131ft/81m then down 340m/1115 ft

 

DAY FIVE: DIAMOND LAKE

Wanaka and its surroundings are blessed with spectacular, varied natural beauty. You’ll walk above one of its tussocky valleys and up to the secluded Diamond Lake. High peaks of the Southern Alps give way to sweeping wide grassland valleys. While surrounded by massive mountains, the valley is broad – this is a big wide open country and a gift to the senses.

Later, you’ll visit a locally owned family winery and sample some of the region’s best wines, including Pinot Noir, for which the Central Otago region is world-famous.

Your last stop for the day and destination for the evening is Makarora, on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park.

  • Hike Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Hike Distance: 7.24 km, +1,230/-1,230 ft

 

DAY SIX: SAM SUMMERS

This morning, we’ll take a short drive over the spectacular Crown Range that brings us to Queenstown-the adventure capital of the world! We’ll first take a detour to explore Arrowtown, a quaint, little town where we can see remnants of the 18th-century gold-mining community on the banks of the mineral-rich Arrow River.

After lunch, we’ll head to a trail through a stunning beech forest to Sam Summers hut, providing a fascinating glimpse of life as a gold prospector at the turn of the century.

Tonight, you’ll have the chance to explore the bustling town of Queenstown with its numerous café’s, restaurants and bars.

  • Hike Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Hike Distance: 5.47 km, +722/-722 ft

 

DAY SEVEN: BEN LOMOND OPTION

Today you have two options – a full day hike or a free day to yourself. For those keen for an alpine hike, you’ll meet your guide at the reception at 9 am, ready to head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, we’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 metres (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there, we’ll head out along the trail through alpine tussock-land towards the summit of Ben Lomond. From this vantage point, you’ll find yourself immersed in amazing views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, which are themselves dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, including Mt Aspiring.

As an alternative, you can have a free day to explore on your own. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilization are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. Or, you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Y

Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.

  • Hike Duration: 4 -5 hours
  • Hike Distance: 8.05 km, +3200/-3200 ft

 

DAY EIGHT: ROUTEBURN TRACK

This morning, we’ll escape the bustle of Queenstown to experience the solitude of Fiordland, our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park. We travel south past Lake Wakatipu and Lake Te Anau and enter into wonderfully lush beech forest and snow-capped peaks. Here we’ll to Key Summit on the Routeburn Track for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina. This steep climb up to the views are certainly worth it!

We’ll then take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into the deep inky water.

  • Hike Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Hike Distance: 5.95 km, +1475/-1475 ft

 

DAY NINE: KAYAK MILFORD SOUND

Most people see Milford Sound from the deck of a ship but we’ve got a better way – gliding along in sea kayaks, causing very little disruption and providing us with an excellent chance of meeting friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. We have an early start for this awesome trip and the paddling here is equally suitable for beginners and experts. After kayaking the Sound, we’ll enjoy a tasty lunch before heading out to explore more of Fiordland’s wilderness on foot.

This afternoon we’ll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Beginning at Rainbow Reach, we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It’s an awesome hike with spectacular views!

Tonight we’ll stay on the edge of Lake Manapouri, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.

  • Kayak Distance: 7.24 km, +65/-65 ft
  • Hike Distance: 7.24 km, +65 / -65 ft, 2 – 3 hours

 

DAY TEN: GLOW WORM CAVES

After breakfast, we’ll head out onto Lake Te Anau by boat, where we’ll take a trip to the lake’s incredible glow worm caves. Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you’ll be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glow worms, unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

Afterwards, we’ll head back north to Queenstown, arriving in time for flights after 5 pm. This is the end of your trip and will leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand!

 

 

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