(This program dovetails into The Abel Tasman Explorer with Mike Wood starting on 21st February 2022.)
This fantastic program traversing New Zealand’s Southern Alps, from mountain peaks, remote lakes and valley systems has been put together especially for Mike Wood at Peregrine Travel in Perth.
During the day you will trek in stunning locations, amongst world class scenery including the splendour of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring from high vantage points, whilst returning to comfortable and well located 3 and 4 star hotels and lodges most nights.
The adventure begins with a drive across the Canterbury Plains for a trek up a local peak that affords a terrifically unexpected panorama of the Southern Alps. We continue to Aoraki/Mount Cook where we spend time hiking in the National Park, with options to reach high points on the ridges overlooking the Hooker Glacier, the spectacular Mt Sefton with its sheer walls of ice and rock.
From our hike in Wanaka we admire 360 degree views from Rocky Mountain into the Mount Aspiring National Park and across the vast lake. We then head to the exclusive Ben Lomond Station for 2 days trekking and relaxing in a stunning setting before travelling to Queenstown at the end of our adventure. This trip has been designed to push you to meet your hiking potential, whilst enjoying amazing scenery and comfortable lodgings at the end of every long day.
About your local leaders
Our guides are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of
these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. They come from all walks of life
but they all have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, heaps of fun and
lots of fond memories to take home with you. We provide you with the services of two guides
for many of our trips, (this may depend on the size of the group). All are certified in first aid and
CPR and many are advanced mountain guides.
Read more about your Group Leader, Mike Wood, here:
At a glance
DAY 1 ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH
DAY 2 CHRISTCHURCH TO METHVEN
DAY 3 METHVEN TO MOUNT COOK VILLAGE
DAY 4 MT COOK VILLAGE – MUELLER HUT
DAY 5 MT COOK TO LAKE OHAU
DAY 6 LAKE OHAU TO WANAKA
DAY 7 WANAKA FREE DAY
DAY 8 JETBOAT RIDE SHOTOVER CANYON, HIKE TO BEN LOMOND STATION BACK
DAY 9 BEN LOMOND STATION HIKE
DAY 10 HIKE BEN LOMOND SADDLE, GONDOLA TO QUEENSTOWN
DAY 11 DEPART QUEENSTOWN
Journey escorted by Mike Wood
10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
8 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
2 nights in a private mountain lodge
Professional qualified driver/guide
Private vehicle transport
Jetboat and Skyline Gondola ride
Water and snacks while trekking
Packs and poles (on request if required) ‑ please let our staff know in advance
Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
What’s not included
International or domestic flights and taxes
Arrival and departure transfers
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
All beverages, other than breakfast
Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own drink bottle or hydration system)
Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
Visa (if required)
DAY 1 Arrive Christchurch
We meet mid morning at the group hotel in Christchurch for a tour briefing. We then
drive the short distance to the Port Hills to embark on our first walk following the
crater rim of an extinct volcano. We will head out to Godley Head, home to the WWII
coastal defence battery that sit atop sheer 120m cliffs. Our walk affords wonderful
views into Lyttelton Harbour and out to the Pacific Ocean, continuing to Taylors
Mistake and over to the beach suburb of Sumner where we meet our vehicle for the
drive back to Christchurch. We settle into our comfortable accommodation and meet
again for our first group dinner, where we have the chance to get to know each other
and discuss the weeks hiking itinerary.
Overnight Pavilions Hotel
DAY 2 Christchurch to Methven
This morning we start with a drive over the vast Canterbury Plains towards Lake
Coleridge. Our walk today takes us to the summit of Peak Hill (1244m) high above
the lake. At the top we are rewarded with sweeping views of snowy alps and the
impressive Rakaia and Wilberforce river valleys, providing a wonderful introduction
to New Zealand’s high country landscapes.
In the late afternoon we can enjoy another walk through the Rakaia Gorge along
glacial and river-carved terraces to a stunning lookout point. Here there is an option
to take an invigorating jet boat ride through the Rakaia Gorge back to the start of the
track (additional expense).
Once at the bus, we drive to nearby Methven and check into our lodge. Tonight we
are free to explore the small town and make our own dinner arrangements.
Overnight Ski Time Methven
DAY 3 Methven to Mount Cook Village
After breakfast we drive from Methven over Burke’s Pass to Mackenzie Country.
After visiting the famous Church of the Good Shepherd overlooking the vivid emerald
Lake Tekapo we drive to Mt Cook Village. The backdrop of a snow covered Aoraki/Mt
Cook (NZ’s highest peak) against turquoise waters is a sight you’ll never forget. After
lunch, we head to the World Heritage area, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and enjoy
one of a number of walks determined by the weather. Walks could include a hike up to the Red Tarns or along the amazing glacial Hooker valley to admire the alpine
environment, other options include a walk to see Tasman Glacier and to traverse
alongside the lateral moraine. We spend the next two nights in Mount Cook Village
nestled under the highest peaks in the country.
Overnight Aoraki Court Hotel
DAY 4 Mt Cook Village – Mueller Hut
Today we can enjoy one of a number of walks in the Mount Cook Valley depending
on fitness levels and how our legs are feeling from the previous day. Our first choice
will be to walk up to the Mueller Hut for spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook.
We will have an early breakfast and drive to the start of the track. We climb up a
series of steps to the Sealy Tarns gaining 450m in the first hour. From here there are
awesome views around the neighbouring valleys, the Mt Cook Range and Mt Sefton.
Then the path becomes less defined, a little rocky in places, and as it gets higher and
starts to leave the alpine scrub and tussock, it enters boulder fields. The final ascent
to the ridge line is up a steep-ish scree slope. At around 1600m, the view opens up to
an amazing vista of Mt Sefton and the Mueller Glacier far below. Mueller Hut is then
about a kilometre away, at an altitude just short of 1800m. The route to the hut is
marked by poles, across boulder fields, and requires some rock-hopping, but later
on crosses a couple of small basins before reaching the hut. The hut is located at a
unique vantage point with more 360 degree views of uninterrupted alpine beauty. It
makes a wonderful location for lunch before returning the same way.
For those who prefer a more relaxed walk, options are to walk as far as the Sealy
Tarns or Kea Point and to relax in the amazing alpine environment.
Mueller Hut – 6-8 hours / 10.5km or 6.5miles / 1045m ascent
Overnight Aoraki Court Hotel
DAY 5 Mt Cook to Lake Ohau
After breakfast we leave the Mt Cook valley after a short walk to the Tasman Glacier
view point and drive to the remote Lake Ohau and Hopkins Valley. We have the
option to enjoy a beech forest loop of Temple Stream or those who are looking
for a more challenging route, could embark on the remote Dumb-Bell Lake hike.
Those who choose this difficult option must be confident traversing loose stones,
scree and boulders. From the tops we can admire amazing views and snowy peaks
in all directions; in a moonscape with its colourful rocky landscape and vivid blue
Lake Ohau way below. We can also relax at Lake Ohau Lodge with a glass of wine
in the spa pool overlooking the lake and the impressive Ben Ohau Ranges. A hearty
evening meal is prepared by our hosts.
DAY 6 Lake Ohau to Wanaka
Leaving the Mackenzie basin we cross ‘water-sheds’ and drive over the Lindis Pass
through to to the lakeside town of Wanaka. After lunch we enjoy a walk to take in
stunning panoramic views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. We
start by climbing gently around the east side of Rocky Mountain to the summit
offering a superb vista into the Mount Aspiring National Park. We descend via the beautiful Diamond Lake and then drive back to Wanaka and our accommodation for
the next two nights. We are free to explore the town centre or enjoy a stroll on the
lakefront before heading for our group dinner.
Overnight Clearbrook Motel
DAY 7 Wanaka Free Day
Today is a day at leisure in Wanaka. Here we are free to relax, enjoy a walk along
the lake or up Mt Iron or Mt Roy to recharge our batteries. There are also shops and
galleries to visit, numerous cafes and restaurants, if not partaking in a bungy jump,
a sky dive, jet boating, kayaking or another adrenalin activity! Bikes can be hired
to cycle out along the lakeside road to Glendhu Bay and up the Matukituki Valley,
returning the same way, or follow the lake outlet track alongside the Clutha River to
Overnight Clearbrook Motel
DAY 8 Jetboat ride Shotover Canyon, Hike to Ben Lomond Station Back Country Lodge
Today we leave Wanaka and head out on Skippers Canyon Road carved out of a
sheer cliff face by miners during the gold rush. We travel into an opening and join
a thrilling jet boat ride along Shotover Canyon. At the conclusion of the ride, we
begin hiking through the Ben Lomond High Country Station, following trails that
were once 1860s gold mining water races. The stunning diversity here on the trek is
amazing, mountain peaks, beech forests andhuge tussock fields abound. Reaching
the backcountry lodge, our hosts share the history of the station and merino wool
sheep farming practices.
Overnight Ben Lomond Stn Moonlight Lodge
DAY 9 Ben Lomond Station hike
Today we will base ourself at the station and you have the option to enjoy the
stunning beauty of the surrounding countryside on a hike or to relax and explore
the station and comfortable lodge. Our hike will be nearby on gently graded tracks
through beech forest or along treeless ridgelines with unobstructed views of the
surrounding valleys. Whether hiking or relaxing, the solitude and beauty of this
mountainous slice of New Zealand will not disappoint. Hiking options will depend on
the group, weather and trail conditions.
Overnight Ben Lomond Stn Moonlight Lodge
DAY 10 Hike Ben Lomond Saddle, gondola to Queenstown
After a hearty breakfast, we pack up and hike to the Ben Lomond saddle (1316m).
From here we can see our earlier route from Skippers and Shotover Canyons, the
expanse of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu. The Remarkables Mountain Range
rises up to the south above Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown below. We descend until
we reach a gondola, which provides a quick ride into town. This evening we dine
together and celebrate our summit successes! All meals included
Overnight Kamana Lakehouse