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Days: 3 days
(alpine hiking with uneven terrain)
Start/Finish: Start: Edelweiss Lodge, 8 Erebus Place, Lake Tekapo, 10.00 am (3 day option)
Finish: Approximately 1.00 pm in Lake Tekapo (3 day option)
April 2019: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22
Period 1st May 18 - 30th Apr 20
The 2 day hike begins at Edelweiss Lodge, 8 Erebus Place, Lake Tekapo at 1pm, and finishes at approximately 5 - 6pm the following day.
We recommend the 3 day option in most cases, as the second day of the 2 day option is long; however it is a good option for fit hikers on a tight schedule (most buses arrive in Tekapo from Christchurch between 12pm and 1pm).
A public holiday surcharge of NZ$100 pp applies to any trip which includes a public holiday such as Easter, Christmas, New Year or the local NZ Anniversary Day. Please enquire if you're not sure if this surcharge applies to your travel dates.
From Lake Tekapo township the drive along the lakeshore takes you to a typical high country sheep station. Three hours walking with a climb of 550m/1805ft brings you to the cosy and private Rex Simpson Hut, at 1300m/4265ft. The only sounds to be heard are the skylarks singing, or the chirp of an occasional pipit. This peacefulness is one of the first powerful impressions, giving a real sense of isolation and remoteness. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive. Evening entertainment regularly comes in the form of an inspiring sunset behind the alps and/or spectacularly clear displays of the Southern Hemisphere stars.
Trek along a 6 kilometre-long ridge-top, nicknamed "Snake Ridge", which was formed by ice-age glaciation, and ascend "Beuzenberg Peak" (2073m/6800ft). The terrain is untracked with a moderate gradient. As you gain height the splendour of the Southern Alps unfolds with the East Face of Mount Cook dominating the skyline. Unique alpine scree plants and maybe an alpine weta can be spotted by the observant. Early summer the tussock will be interspersed with mountain daisies, (Celmisia lyallii). In late summer the red berries of little mountain heath (Pentachondra pumila) dot the ground, along with white and pink snowberries. Return to Rex Simpson Hut to be well fed and entertained by your guide.
Visit an old musterers' hut before walking back down through the farm and returning to Lake Tekapo. The hut door carries part of a dog collar, dated 1898, and the interior could be reminiscent of Scott's hut in Antarctica. Finish approximately 1pm (3 day option ) or 5pm (2 day option) in Lake Tekapo.
Average 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 8 hours on longer days.
Pack weights of 8-10kgs on some days.
Altitude gains of up to 800 metres.
Some uneven track surfaces and river crossings.
Agility and fitness required.
Ideally you should have previous tramping or hiking experience, because much of the trek is across untracked terrain and you need to be sure-footed. However, if you are relatively new to tramping, then this is an ideal introduction, especially for families. Your pack will contain just your clothing and a few items of fresh food to be carried to the hut on Day 1. Non-perishable food and sleeping bags are at the hut.
The following items must be brought by you (these are not provided):
The following items can be provided if you do not have your own:
*Please note that currently boots available for hire range from European size 37 - 48, so if you have feet outside this range and do not have suitable boots of your own, you should let us know and we can offer advise as who to contact to arrange hire.
**Compeed and Leukoplast are recommended, available at chemists
Transport from the meeting point in Tekapo to the start of the Tekapo Hike and return is included in the price. Transport is normally by small minibus.
All food is provided for on the Tekapo Trek. Please advise us if you are a vegetarian. A catering manager prepares the food: fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, quality cheeses and meats. Together with the gourmet skills of the guides, this ensures a consistently high standard cuisine. All snacks are included. Non-perishable food is at the hut.
Because food quantities are carefully planned and prepared there is minimal waste to be carried out at the end of the trip and minimal effect on the environment.
Rex Simpson Hut belongs to Alpine Recreation so it is a private hut. It has a woodburner, solar lighting, gas cookers and well-equipped kitchen. Firewood and non-perishable food are helicoptered in once a year. The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping ten participants and two guides in total. Sleeping bags are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided for each trip. There are no showers, but warm water and basin can be provided for washing - or you can find a private spot somewhere along the alpine stream. The toilet is a traditional longdrop loo with a view!
You should book accommodation in Lake Tekapo for the night before your walk. Please let us know if you would like assistance. Guide can also pick you up from your accommodation at 9.50 am from your accommodation in Lake Tekapo on the morning of departure.
There are no additional costs on the Tekapo Trek.
The Tekapo Hike guides are extensively experienced in both hiking and mountaineering, and are familiar with the terrain you will encounter on your hike. Guides are all licensed to drive passenger service vehicles and have mountain safety and first aid qualifications.
Who is the Lake Tekapo High Country Trek for?
The young and the old (who no longer want to carry heavy packs) and everybody who wants an active holiday. You should consult with us first if you have anybody in your group younger than 10 and older than 70. Fitness is more important than age! To climb a peak over 2000m is both challenging and rewarding. If you enjoy challenges and a good physical workout in a scenic environment, then this trek is for you. If you appreciate getting away from where everybody else is going, then this is definitely the place to go - it is rare to encounter any other people outside your own group.
The operators reserve the right to alter, amend or cancel any tour, should weather or any other situation demand this.
The operators and its agents finalise all arrangements for these tours upon the express condition that they shall not be liable for loss of life, injury, illness, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of weather or any defect in any vehicle or aircraft or through the acts of default of any company or persons engaged in conveying the passengers or carrying out of arrangements of the tours. All clients have to complete a waiver form before starting their tour.
Guide, all meals on tour, hut accommodation, transport from Lake Tekapo and return, 15% GST.
Meals and accommodation before and after tour.
For bookings 4 or more months in advance of the departure a 25% deposit can be paid with the remainder due 65 days prior to your trip. For bookings within 4 months of the departure, full payment is required.
More than 50 days prior to departure: full refund less $300 cancellation fee applies
Between 50 and 31 days prior to departure: 50% refund of the total trip price
30 days or less prior to departure: no refund.
No refund for any services not utilised after tour has started.
If a client needs extra services due to lack of fitness and inability to continue with the group, additional fees may apply.
You are strongly advised to have full travel insurance to cover such things as your cancellation if an injury prevents you taking part on the trip; and medical insurance in case you become ill. World Nomads Travel Insurance provides online quotes.