We will collect you from a central city location in Christchurch around 08:00am before we drive south to Fairlie and inland to Lake Tekapo for lunch. We drive along Tekapo's lakeside to Mt Gerald station and then hike 3-4 hours into the Rex Simpson Hut, (a 12 bunk private hut on the station). To greet us are stunning vistas across the lake and into the rolling tussock landscape that surrounds the area. (Up to 3-4 hours walking).
As day turns to night we savour the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky - one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere and enjoy a hearty meal prepared by your guides.
The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 12 participants and 2 guides in total. There are no showers and the toilet is a traditional longdrop loo with a view! The hut is fully equipped with pot belly stove, firewood, gas, and solar lighting. Sleeping bags, pillows and mattresses are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided each trip. It provides a comfortable and unique place to call home for the night.
Note: Please remember we will be staying in an alpine hut on this first evening, you will not need to take all your luggage with you and we suggest packing a small overnight bag with clothing suitable for staying in an alpine environment. If necessary we can provide small overnight packs and walking poles.
From the hut we climb onto a broad easy spur which gradually gains height showcasing breathtaking views back down the lake and across to the Southern Alps with the prominent east faces of Mt Cook and Tasman. For the strong trekker, the summit of Beuzenberg Peak at 2070m is a just reward. Back at the hut we pack up and return to our vehicle for the short drive back to Lake Tekapo and our motel accommodation. (Up to 6-8 hours walking).
Mt Cook beckons as we drive 90 mins to the heart of the National Park. From here a number of hikes are available dependant upon weather conditions and fitness levels from the previous day. Mt Sebastopol and the mountain tarns are a favourite as is the Hooker Valley with its profuse vegetation. (Up to 4-5 hours walking). Nearby Red Tarns with stunning views directly onto Mt Sefton involves the treadmill of the staircase that climbs quickly to this stunning view point. From here we get views directly up the Hooker valley and back down the Tasman Valley. Tonight's accommodation is within the Mt Cook Village itself with outstanding views of the sun setting on the peaks.
In the morning we have a further walk in the area, usually dictated by what we achieved yesterday. For some the Hooker Valley hike will be a delight, while for others the nearby Sealy Tarns awaits. After a late lunch we drive south and onto Lake Ohau Lodge for the overnight before a short bush walk to explore the beech forest remnants in the area.
Leaving the Mackenzie basin we cross 'water-sheds' and drive through to Wanaka. Here we take a boat trip to land on a remote beach and enjoy the next 3 hours hiking on the trail with stunning views back to Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. In the late afternoon we drive the short distance back to our accommodation.
From an early start we drive to the helicopter base for today's heli-hike. Across the Matukituki Valley at 1500m is a series of small mountain lakes with great reflections and views of Mt Aspiring. After a time to take in the spectacular views we hike through the tussocklands to other vantage points. Around us the vistas are amazing as we look into neighbouring valleys and the headwaters of Lake Wanaka. Returning to the welcoming tarns there may be time to swim and relax before rejoining our helicopter for the short flight back to base. On landing we drive to Queenstown and deliver you to your accommodation of choice.