NEW ZEALAND CLIMBING
The Tekapo Trek is ideally for those with previous tramping or hiking experience, as 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 and groups.
The Tekapo Trek can be either a 2 or 3-day guided alpine hike through open tussock country in the Two Thumb Range, above Lake Tekapo. With panoramic views of New Zealand's Southern Alps and the Mackenzie Basin. This area is famed for its exceptionally clear skies and intense light, highlighting the turquoise-blue glacial lakes, golden grasses, and white snow-capped peaks.
Dates: November - April by arrangement.
New Zealand Public Holidays 2016: New Year 1/1 & 4/1, Waitangi Day 8/2, Good Friday 25/3, Easter Monday 28/3 Anzac Day 25/4, Queen's Birthday 6/6, Labour Day 24/10, Christmas Day 25/12, Boxing Day 28/12.
New Zealand Public Holidays 2017: New Year 2/1 & 3/1, Waitangi Day 6/2, Good Friday 14/4, Easter Monday 17/4, Anzac Day 25/4, Queen's Birthday 5/6, Labour Day 23/10, Christmas Day 25/12, Boxing Day 26/12.
Included in Price: Guide, hut accommodation, all food & transport ex Lake Tekapo, all equipment and boots if required, Department of Conservation licence fee, 15% GST.
Fitness & endurance: You need to be fit and able to walk 6-8 hours in a day without problems.
Pack weight: 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.
Itinerary for Two-Night Option
Day 1: Start: 10am at Alpine Recreation's office, 30 Murray Place Lake Tekapo. From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to a typical high country sheep station. Three hours' hike with a climb of 430m/1400ft brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1280m/4200ft. The only sounds to be heard are the skylarks singing, or the chirp of an occasional pippit. 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 our Southern Hemisphere stars.
Day 2: We trek along a 6 kilometre-long ridge-top, nicknamed "Snake Ridge", that was formed by ice-age glaciation, and ascend Beuzenberg Peak (2073m/6800ft). The terrain is untracked with a moderate gradient. As we hike higher 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. Walk back down to Rex Simpson Hut to be well fed and entertained by your guide. 6-8 hours walking.
Day 3: We trek to 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 2pm in Lake Tekapo.
After your return to Lake Tekapo we recommend a scenic flight with Air Safaris over the Southern Alps (not included in price).
Itinerary for One-Night Option
As above except the trip starts at 1pm at Alpine Recreation's Office, 30 Murray Place Lake Tekapo. (Most buses arrive in Tekapo from Christchurch before this time.) Days 2 and 3 get condensed into one day and you come straight back to Lake Tekapo after returning to Rex Simpson Hut. Obviously the second day is quite a long day then (8-9 hours walking) but for fit hikers is a good option when your travel itinerary cannot allow so much time.
WHO IS THE TEKAPO TREK FOR ?
Young and older fit walkers (who no longer want to carry heavy packs) and everybody who wants an active holiday, especially for families and outdoor groups. 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 off-the-beaten-track, then this is definitely the place to go – it is rare to encounter any other people outside your own group.
FITNESS: 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, as long as you are fit and walking 6-8 hours in a day would pose no problems. 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.
ACCOMODATION: Rex Simpson Hut belongs to Alpine Recreation. It has a woodburner, solar lighting , gas cookers and well-equipped kitchen. Firewood and non-perishable food are helicoptered in once per year. The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 10 participants and 2 guides in total. Sleeping bags are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided 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!
BOOKING: We recommend to settle guiding dates well in advance since peak season times are often booked up. Please allow extra time in case you are held up in the mountains due to weather. Book now
INSURANCE: New Zealand's Accident Compensation scheme will provide some assistance to visitors to New Zealand who are injured, but 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. More information re Accident Compensation.
(1) A non-refundable deposit NZ$350.00 (per person) is payable to secure a booking. Full payment is due 60 days prior to the departure date.
3. Fitness Failure
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