Best of Southern Alps Trek

Best of Southern Alps Trek information and booking

  • Duration
    6 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
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Schedule Details

  • 4 nights motel/hotel
  • 1 night hut accommodation


  • Overnight in a private hut with views of the Mackenzie Basin
  • Ascend a 1944m peak via a spectacular ridgeline walk as views of the Southern Alps unfold
  • Explore the history and landforms of Aoraki Mt Cook with its connections to Sir Edmund Hillary
  • Lunch beside a remote mountain lake far from fellow travellers and surrounded by numerous peaks and ranges
  • Access a beautiful lakeside track by launch and spend the afternoon hiking with panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and surrounding peaks
  • Experience an exciting helicopter flight to a remote ridgeline with stunning views of lakes and Mt Aspiring

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This is the best trek to not feature in any New Zealand guide book. Packed full of highlights, this stunning tour includes the ascent of two 2000m peaks, exploring a remote lake and valley system as well as admiring the splendour of Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring from high on remote ridges - thanks to a spectacular helicopter transfer. Your trip begins with a drive to the highland lake of Lake Tekapo, the starting point of this outstanding trek. The first night on the trail is spent at Rex Simpson Hut where you'll enjoy the superb alpine and lakeside vista. The next day you'll trek east along a ridgeline to the summit of your first 2000m peak. At Aoraki Mount Cook we spend a day walking in the National Park, hiking high on the ridge overlooking the Hooker Glacier and directly across from the spectacular Mt Sefton with its rumbling avalanches of ice and rock. Accommodation in the secluded Lake Ohau Lodge accesses shorter hikes before we move onto Wanaka where we take a cruise and hike on the picturesque lake that sits at the base of the Southern Alps. This amazing trek ends in sensational style as you enjoy a breathtaking helicopter ride to nearby tarns from where your ridge top day walk begins along to your second 2000m summit overlooking the stunning Matukituki Valley, Lake Wanaka, and Mount Aspiring. If you want spectacular Southern Alps scenery without the crowds, you've found your trip.

What's included

  • All breakfasts (excluding day 1), 6 lunches, and 5 evening meals
  • A great guide and transport
  • Packs and poles if required - please our staff know pre tour
  • Accommodation as detailed based on a twin share basis with private bathroom facilities
  • 1 night in a private mountain hut (shared facilities)
  • Heli hike on day 6 of tour (weather dependent)
  • Access and concession fees paid to the department of conservation
  • Nz goods and service tax (gst)


Day 1 <a href="" class="partner" title="Christchurch">Christchurch</a> to Rex Simpson hut
Important: The night before your tour is to depart your guide will call your pre tour accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying). If you are not around when your guide calls they will leave a message at reception – its really important that you check with reception if you have not heard from your guide directly. If for any reason you have not heard from your guide by the morning of the tour please call us in the NZ office on 0800 00 11 66 (from within NZ). We collect you from your accommodation site around 8.00am 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). 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.
Day 2 Rex Simpson hut to Lake Tekapo
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).
Day 3 Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook Village
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 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.
Day 4 Mt Cook Village to Lake Ohau
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.
Day 5 Lake Ohau to Wanaka
Leaving the Mackenzie basin we cross 'water-sheds' and drive through to Wanaka. After lunch, 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.
Day 6 Wanaka to Queenstown
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 head up through the tussocklands to the ridgeline and then make our way across to the summit of the Buchanan peaks at 2004m. Around us the views are amazing as we look into neighbouring valleys and the headwaters of Lake Wanaka. Slowly returning to our welcoming tarns we have time to swim and relax and enjoy a late snack before its time to rejoin our helicopter for the short flight back to base and a drive across to Queenstown and your accommodation of choice.