Welcome to the South Island, where you’ll hike and bike amidst sublime forests, mountains and lakes.
DISTANCE: 87KM/54 MILES
PER PERSON: US$2,999
The South Island is the real life caricature of THE perfect combination of majestic landscapes all rolled into one small land mass. Turquoise lakes, sparkling glaciers, snow capped peaks, rolling tussock meadows and pristine forests greet you on every day of this epic hiking and biking adventure with our experienced local guiding team.
DAY 1 - Arrive Christchurch, Hike Mt Somers
Our trip begins in Christchurch where we’ll meet at a central location in the city centre. If you’re arriving on the first morning of the trip, we’ll swing by the airport and pick you up straight from there. Once we’ve done our meet and greet, we’ll drive across the vast Canterbury Plains to our first hiking stop of our adventure in the Southern Alps – the Mt Somers track. Of volcanic origin, this mountain and the adjoining range stand out from the neighbouring peaks with stunning rocky tors and a deep canyon. The hike climbs through beech forest and traverse’s high tussock slopes with a distinctly “Middle-earth” feel. We’ll stop for lunch at Woolshed Creek Hut before returning on the Rhyolite Ridge Track, with spectacular views down into the canyon below.
Later we’ll drive a short distance to nearby Methven – a small ski town in the foothills of the Southern Alps.
ACCOMMODATION: Methven Ski Time, Methven DISTANCE: 10km/6.2 miles MEALS: (L,D)
DAY 2 - Hike Hooker Valley, Mt Cook
We’ll head further south this morning, along the foothills where the Canterbury Plains meet the Southern Alps, before heading into the interior of these mountains. The scenery becomes more dramatic as we head through the Mckenzie Country and to the shores of Lake Tekapo – famous for it’s stunning turquoise waters and alpine backdrop. A short distance further brings us to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand’s highest peaks, namely Aoraki Mt Cook – the highest mountain in New Zealand, standing at 3724 metres. On arrival at Aoraki/Mt Cook we’ll hike up the Hooker Valley where we get to marvel at views of glaciers looming above on Mt Sefton and the imposing south face of Aoraki beyond our turnaround at Hooker Lake, laden with floating icebergs from the glaciers above.
ACCOMMODATION: Aoraki Lodge, Mt Cook Village DISTANCE: 9.6km/5.9 MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 3 - Hike Mueller Ridge
Today we’ll hike arguably the greatest day hike in New Zealand (or in Phil’s opinion – anywhere in the world!). Setting out from our lodge we’ll walk a short distance along the flat valley floor at the foot of the Sealy Range before tackling the 2200 steep steps up to Sealy Tarns – a ridge area rest stop dotted with alpine pools. After a short rest, we’ll continue up to Mueller Ridge, where we’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree panorama encompassing glaciers, ice cliffs, vertical rock faces and New Zealand’s highest peaks.
HELI HIKE OPTION: Alternatively, you may want to join a guided heli hike on New Zealand’s longest glacier – the Tasman Glacier. Ask us for more information!
ACCOMMODATION: Aoraki Lodge, Mt Cook Village DISTANCE: 10.4km/6.4 MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 4 - Cycle Alps to Ocean Trail
After breakfast, we continue our journey south with a short drive to nearby Twizel where we’ll get fitted out with bikes to ride a section of the impressive Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. We’ll ride along the quiet canal roads before crossing the Lake Ohau weir and weaving our way around the lake on a purpose-built cycle track. The views are amazing and there will be plenty of time to stop, take photos and admire the mountains and the amazing blue of the glacially fed Lake Ohau.
We’ll complete our ride at the amazing Ohau Lodge. We’ll relax here, enjoying the views from the balcony for the afternoon or if you prefer, join your guide for an afternoon hike – a great opportunity to enjoy more of the majestic mountains, lakes and rivers.
We dine together in the lodge restaurant tonight.
ACCOMMODATION: Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau DISTANCE: 38km/23.6 miles MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 5 - Lake Wanaka, Hike Isthmus Peak
After a hearty breakfast we’ll drive over the stunning Lindis Pass into the Central Otago region and on to Wanaka – a resort town set alongside its namesake lake. Wanaka is the gateway to a vast wilderness area of pristine beech forests, glaciers, gin-clear rivers and spectacular lakes.
We’ll arrive late morning, allowing time to relax and enjoy lunch and a quick stroll along the lakefront before heading off on the afternoon’s hike to Isthmus Peak. This is a well-marked trail that climbs 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 VERY hard to beat.
We base ourselves in Wanaka for the next two nights.
ACCOMMODATION: Altamont Lodge, Wanaka DISTANCE: 9km/5.6 miles MEALS: (B,L)
DAY 6 - Hike Rob Roy Glacier, Queenstown
Today we hike one of New Zealand’s most diverse and beautiful trails. We start off with a stunning drive up the Matukituki Valley, passing through large sheep, cattle and deer farms along the way.
Our hike starts from Raspberry Flat and crosses a suspension bridge over the Matukituki River before climbing through beech forest alongside the raging boulder strewn Rob Roy River. Eventually we’ll emerge above the tree line into a stunning alpine meadow with a superb view of the Rob Roy Glacier. We’ll take lunch here and soak in the views before heading back down the valley.
Later, we’ll drive over the iconic Crown Range and down into Queenstown.
ACCOMMODATION: Pinewood Lodge, Queenstown DISTANCE: 10km/6.2 miles MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 7 - Depart or Explore Queenstown
Today is the last day of your Conqueror Adventures hiking exploration of New Zealand’s greatest and most iconic day hikes. Our aim is to create incredible moments that count with like minded people, and build lifelong friendships through physical activity and shared experiences in some of the worlds most beautiful places.
If you’re flying out today, we’ll drop you at Queenstown airport in time for your flight to either Auckland or Christchurch and onward flight home. If you’re staying on in Queenstown, we can offer a tonne of suggestions for optional activities.
2022: November 25th
2023: March 13th, March 25th
All meals as per itinerary * All transport and shuttles * Guiding and hosting * All park entrance fees * All accommodation * Luggage transfers
International and domestic flights * Travel Insurance * Personal hiking gear * Luggage * Personal snacks * Alcoholic beverages
We understand the importance of a good nights rest. We have carefully chosen only locally owned lodgings that understand the importance of a place to unwind and share the experience with your fellow travelers. While you won’t be glamming it up at the Ritz (that’s not our style), you’ll enjoy a comfortable accommodation with amazing local hosts.
GETTING THERE – FLIGHTS
Arriving in Christchurch is simple. International flights into New Zealand arrive into Auckland, where you can easily add a domestic flight to Christchurch. Becuase this tour begins in the morning, we recommend you arrive by 9am at the latest on day 1, or the night before. The tour ends in Queenstown on Day 7. There are numerous flights leaving throughout the day, returning to Auckland. Talk to us about flight arrangements – we’re here to help!
“This was truly a special trip for me. Phil and his team made the difference between it being great to absolutely unforgettable”