Wooden building with mountains in backgroundHikers walking on wooden bridge with waterfall in background

Southern Alps Trekking Adventure (2022/23′ Season)

Queenstown, New Zealand

Trip Highlights

  • Remarkable Hikes
  • Boat Rides, Float Planes & Kayaking
  • Optional Heli Hike on Glacier
  • Comprehensive Experience of New Zealand's South Island
  • Remote Backcountry Huts
  • Incredible Diversity of Landscapes
  • Guides Choice Trip


Kia Ora from New Zealand! On our 10-day Wildland Hut to hut Hiking Adventure, we will take you through three of New Zealand’s most famous National Parks! From snow-capped mountains and dense beech forests of Mount Aspiring National Park to the lush rainforest of the rugged Westland and the open braided rivers of the Canterbury high country, this New Zealand scenery is truly awe-inspiring!

This tour combines fantastic day hikes with more adventurous self-supported backpacking days to provide us with a well-rounded perspective of the New Zealand backcountry. We’ll stay in a mixture of comfortable lodges and more basic backcountry huts, to get really off the beaten track and away from the crowds.

We hike to glacial lakes littered with icebergs and enjoy a jet boat ride back down the river. Additionally, we get to experience natural hot springs nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps, while taking in the solitude under the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. The highlight of this trip is every day!

Read more …
10 Days


Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Hut to Hut Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 10 Days
Distance: 55MI / 89KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

Be prepared for a variety of moderate hiking with some long distance days and significant but not extreme elevation gains and losses.

Hiking Distances:

Up to 12 mi

Backpack Weight:

25-35 lbs


Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 3,610 ft

Heights Exposure:


Physical requirements:

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 25-35 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, uneven terrain
  • River and creek crossings
  • Hiking with occasional, moderate heights exposure


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this New Zealand hike a solitude 3. You can expect to several hours of solitude at a time.


For this New Zealand trek you will need to fly into Queenstown Airport on Day 1 in time for the 5PM orientation meeting and dinner. It’s best to arrive before 4PM. Flights to Queenstown (day 1) and from Christchurch (final day) are the guest’s responsibility. Multiple airlines operate flights into Queenstown and out of Christchurch, most connecting through Auckland or major Australian cities. All international airports in the USA fly either direct or with connections to Auckland and/or major Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

Your flight out will be from Christchurch, and should leave after 5PM on the final day. Another option is to travel from Christchurch back to Queenstown for your return flight. Several bus companies service this route, and the drive time is 6-8 hours.

Minimum of 4 Guests

We require a minimum of 4 guests to confirm this trip. If a trip date is not confirmed yet, you can register and will be notified when the trip is officially confirmed. We recommend not making final travel arrangements until your trip meets the minimum number of guests and is confirmed.

In most cases, if a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 45 days before the departure date.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-10 People: Rate x 1.15
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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Welcome to New Zealand! Today we will pick you up at the airport and shuttle you to our first night’s lodging. We will start our trip by meeting for our orientation briefing at 5pm at our hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand.

We will have our meet and greet to get to know everyone and our guides will facilitate our orientation meeting. This is your chance to ask any questions and prepare for the adventure ahead! We will then enjoy a delicious welcome dinner served up by one of talented local chefs Queenstown is known for. There will also be time for sightseeing, relaxing, or strolling around the shores of Lake Wakatipu before or after dinner.


  • Driving Duration: 90 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles (6.4 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1920 feet (585 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1920 feet (585 m)

On this New Zealand trek we begin with a taste of our first dose of the dramatic landscapes of central Otago, as we travel up and over the Crowne Mountain Range, through the Cardrona Saddle to the charming, lakeside town of Wanaka. We’ll begin our first hike of the trip and head up the Rocky Mountain Summit Trail, enjoying a steady climb and a beautiful reward with stunning 360-degree views of Mt. Aspiring, Roy’s Peak and beautiful Lake Wanaka. We will then head back to our hotel in Wanaka, have dinner and our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

River with green mountains


  • Driving Duration: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.3 miles (8.5 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1800 feet (548 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1800 feet (548 m)

If you fancy the idea of staying in one of the most isolated mountain huts in New Zealand, today will be a highlight for you!

We start out the day after breakfast by traveling to the small village of Makarora, where we will board a small plane and fly to the secluded Siberia Valley, in the heart of the Southern Alps. Once we land in the valley, we have a short hike to our lodge for the night. We will drop our bags in the hut and set out on a hike to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacier lake on top of a mountain. The views from this place are absolutely amazing! We will then head back to our hut and enjoy a candle lit dinner before heading off to sleep.

Suspension bridge over blue water


  • Driving Duration: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.1 miles (6.6 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 460 feet (140 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1,050 feet (320 m)

After a delicious breakfast, we’ll head out for an early start as we spend the morning hiking to Kerin Forks. At the Wilkin River we will meet our jet boat for a thrilling ride back to Makarora. From there, we’ll check out the famous Blue Pools which are deep, crystal clear pools of pure glacial water gathered from the mountains. Stopping on our way to the town Haast, we’ll hop out for a nice hike at Fantail Falls to check out a beautiful 75 ft. waterfall, which drops into the perfectly clear, Haast River.

Beautiful river with lush backdrop


  • Driving Duration: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 12 miles (19.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,380 feet (420 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 130 feet (40 m)

Our hike today is challenging, heading alongside the Copland river up a valley with gradual elevation gain, that is absolutely worth the work! We will be carrying backpacks with sleeping bags, some camp clothes and a share of the group food. We stay in another spectacular backcountry hut, where we can relax and soothe our muscles in the amazing natural hot springs that give the place its name “Welcome flats”. We will soak our bones under the amazing Southern Hemisphere sky, while our amazing guides cook us dinner in the hut. This is usually a highlight of our trip! Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Hut with mountains in background


  • Driving Duration: minimal
  • Hiking Mileage: 8.6 miles (13.8 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1410 feet (430 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1410 feet (430 m)

This morning after a hearty breakfast, we will continue up the Copland track from the Welcome Flat Hut to Douglas Rock for more incredible alpine views. We will see multiple hanging glaciers and the views are stunning! Of course, if you do not want to hike today, you are most welcome to grab a good book and have another soak in the hot springs until the group returns. Our guides will whip up another gourmet backcountry meal and provide the plan for the next day until you head off to sleep.

Blue river with rocky shore


  • Driving Duration: 45 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 12 miles (19.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 130 feet (40 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1380 feet (420 m)

After breakfast, we will have another early start and will be back on the trail, refreshed and revitalized after a wonderful couple of nights away from the buzz of reality! We will enjoy the quiet and fresh morning air as we hike back to the trail head. We will have a rest as we board our transportation for the scenic journey up the coast to the charming township of Franz Josef, for where we will stay for the next couple of nights in the heart of glacier country. We will check into our accommodation, have some free time to rest until meeting up for a delicious and rewarding dinner. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

River in deep mountain valley


  • Driving Duration: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles (4.8 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 394 feet (120 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 394 feet (120 m)
  • Sea Kayaking Duration: 2-4 hours

This morning after a hearty breakfast, we’ll have a short journey to a tiny, little-known beach community called Okarito. Upon arrival in Okarito, we will meet our sea kayak guides for a thorough briefing before heading out on the water in a picturesque lagoon, which is home to a White Heron colony as well as many other bird species. We will kayak for a couple hours during the morning before having lunch around mid-day. In the afternoon we will hit the trails and hike through lush, coastal forest to a beautiful look out and 3 mile lagoon, where you can dip your feet in the lovely Tasman sea.

Kayakers on water with mountains


  • Driving Duration: 2 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles (8 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 3610 feet (1100 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 3610 feet (1100 m)

Today we have 2 options. This morning after breakfast, we can either choose option A or option B:

Option A. consists of spending the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the native forest to Alex Knob where we’ll witness the beauty of ice and the glaciers. When we are ready, we will descend back down for our delicious lunch and then have the option to hike to the Tatare tunnels.

Option B. consists of getting up close and personal with an optional Heli-hike of the Franz Josef Glacier (helicopter company has a max weight of 250 pounds per passenger). This is the less strenuous option of the two also. Our glacier guides are specialists and will lead us through ice formations, crevasses and glacial tunnels. (No Previous Experience is Required.) The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different. Our guides will cut steps in the ice and provide an amazing, up close and personal tour of the Franz Josef glacier. NOTE: Optional Heli-hike adds US $405. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so if you want to attend Option B, then we need advance reservations with the helicopter operators and glacier guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you. NOTE: If the Heli-hike is cancelled due to inclement weather, you will be refunded the US $405.

After either option A or B, we will have the option to hike to the Tartare tunnels, which are famous from the historic New Zealand Gold Rush. The tunnels were created by digging through bedrock to supply water to the Waiho River sluice face. During this 80 minute walk we often have the chance to see glow worms in the dark. After the hike we will transfer to our hotel right on the beach in Hokitika. We will have free time until dinner is served.

Hikers on massive glacier

DAY 10

  • Driving Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 1.2 miles (1.9 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 330 feet (100 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 330 feet (100 m)

On our last day together, we will board our transportation and make our way to Christchurch traveling over the wondrous Southern Alps via Arthurs Pass. This is a drive full of dramatic scenery which will take us from the lush forests of the west coast, the high scree and tussock mountains of Arthurs Pass and finally, into the open farming plains of Canterbury. En route, we’ll stop to hike to the Devil’s Punchbowl waterfalls, a beautiful hike to stretch our legs and get some last minute pictures of the surrounding New Zealand beauty. If we’re lucky we may also see the ‘Kea’ here, New Zealand’s native alpine mountain parrot! After lunch, we’ll arrive into Christchurch to say our final goodbyes in time for flights after 5pm. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: lodging/campground availability, extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking


Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book


This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast


This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation


This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

No trip dates are scheduled at the moment. Please check back soon.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details


  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Hotel, lodge and hut accommodations for the duration of the tour.
  • Gear including multi-day backpack, trekking poles and more
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • Professional, certified Wildland New Zealand hiking guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!


  • Flight to/from New Zealand
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $100,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (required)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills, wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, rain gear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuity for guide(s) – tipping is not routinely expected in New Zealand but is always appreciated. Many of our clients do choose to tip their guides at the end of an awesome trip, and in this instance US$100 per person per guide is the local industry standard. USD or local currency is acceptable.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.


All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Cooking gear & stoves
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)


We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!


When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics


Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!


You’ll meet your hiking guide and group in Queenstown, New Zealand on Day 1 for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM. Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip to coordinate the rendezvous.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.


Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it’s important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


This trip is led by expert, local Wildland guides. Our approach to international travel is to combine the best of two worlds: the dialed-in details, professionalism and consistency Wildland trips are known for; and the cultural immersion and intimate regional knowledge that only locals can provide. To excel with this approach, we vet and hire the best local guides, welcome them into the Wildland family and train them to meet our standard of excellence with every aspect of a trip. But along with managing logistics and safety, your guides will teach you about the area’s history and culture, and provide a level of familiarity and intimate detail only locals can.

Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


The standard group size on this hiking tour is 10 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


For your protection, the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance with coverage of at least $100,000 is required in New Zealand. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


New Zealand weather varies significantly by latitude, including big variations on the North Island versus South Island. This trip is entirely on the South Island, which is, during summer months (Dec-Feb) quite temperate but potentially chilly in the higher mountains. Because New Zealand is surrounded by ocean, its temperatures stay quite moderate, but inland areas (i.e. mountains) can see dramatic and sudden temperature and weather shifts. We will likely experience many micro climates, changing frequently (like 4 seasons in one day) and it is best to be prepared for anything!

Below are overall average highs, lows but precipitation is separated for two of the places you will visit during the summer months, you will notice there is a stark contrast in precipitation and this is to highlight how wet the West Coast can be. Bear in mind that New Zealand has a very complex climate and average temperatures don’t realistically reflect the different weather you may encounter. You might encounter a high of 100° F or a low of 30°F. So, again, come fully prepared for all four seasons!

Welcome Hut
2.7in (69mm)
15in (382mm)
2.8in (72mm)
15in (380mm)
2in (52mm)
10.7in (270mm)






Crowne Plaza Queenstown helps guests to not only soak up the breathtaking scenery from the hotel but also to experience the heart of town and the beauty of Lake Wakatipu.




On the shores of Roys Bay on Lake Wanaka is this perfectly located, wonderful hotel with spacious, clean rooms and spectacular views of the lake.




This rustic, isolated hut deep in Mount Aspiring National Park is serviced with 20 bunk beds. Accommodations are communal. It has bathrooms but not showers.




Surrounded by towering mountains, pristine rivers, beaches and rainforest, this hotel is an idyllic spot for exploring the Haast region and Blue Pools.




This amazing 31-bunk hut is located in a stunning mountain valley with hot springs close by. It has bathrooms, no showers and cozy, communal accommodations.




Rainforest Retreat is in the heart of Franz Josef Village on the West Coast of the South Island. With wonderful accommodations set in an idyllic rainforest setting, this lodge is amazing.



With it’s unique location on the shores of the Tasman Sea and in the centre of Hokitika, this boutique hotel is a perfect way to celebrate our last night in New Zealand.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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