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Spanning the length of New Zealand’s South Island, the Southern Alps are a mighty backbone rising high above the ocean and hiding more natural peculiarities than you can imagine. With over 3,000 glaciers, volcanic mountains, eternally snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes, and rolling tussock hills, the highest range in Australasia doesn’t hold back on its endless riches.  By joining this guided 6-day hiking and biking adventure, you’re about to witness the best these mountains have to offer! Climb up 2,200 steps of Sealy Tarns, pedal the legendary Alps 2 Ocean trail, or take a breather with a view of New Zealand’s highest peak Aoraki. Warning: this trip will expose you to a profusion of visual splendor, so make sure you make enough room in your photo gallery!

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Adventure highlights

  • Hike and bike the best of the Southern Alps by day, unwind in your cozy lodges by night

  • An explosion of colors: ice-carved peaks, tussock slopes, purple-hued lupine flowers, and sky-blue lakes

  • Constant views of New Zealand’s highest mountains, including Aoraki at 12,218 ft

Available itineraries

Guided Hiking and Biking Tour in the Southern Alps

There’s no better way to explore New Zealand’s highest mountains than on foot and by pedaling. And this guided hiking and biking tour gives you just that—6 days of uncovering the mountains’ gems, including Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park and Mt. Aspiring National Park. Walk through tussock slopes, stroll along sky-blue lakes, feel the fragrant wildflowers, and enjoy panoramic views of highest peaks in Australasia. All meals and transportation are included in the price of the trip, as well as top-notch accommodations in lodges—just kick back and enjoy!

  • Departing from Christchurch, drive across the Canterbury Plains to your first hike at Mt. Somers. This volcanic mountain and the adjoining range stand out with its rock formations and a deep canyon. Climb through beech forest and high tussock slopes until you reach Woolshed Creek Hut, your lunch stop. Return on the Rhyolite Ridge Track, featuring views deep into the canyon as you climb high above on the slopes of Mt. Sommers. As the day draws to a close, settle in the village of Methven, usually a ski town in the winter and a cool rural Canterbury town the rest of the year. There’s also a restaurant and a bar there.
    Meals: Lunch and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 5-6 hours
    Accommodation: Ski Time Methven

    Mt. Somers, New Zealand

  • Get transferred to the edge of Canterbury Plains at first, and then into the Mackenzie Country and Lake Tekapo. The lake is famous for its turquoise waters and the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd, set against the backdrop of zigzag peaks. Once you reach Aoraki/ Mt. Cook, go for a hike up the Hooker Valley, where you get to marvel at views of glaciers looming above on Mt. Sefton and The Footstool, as well as the imposing south face of Aoraki beyond your turnaround at Hooker Lake. The next two nights are spent in a lodge in the village that boasts views of Aoraki.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 3-4 hours
    Accommodation: Mt. Cook Lodge

    Aoraki view, New Zealand

  • Walk up the famous steps (2,200 of them!) to Sealy Tarns, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the views of the Hooker and Mueller glaciers, as well as the ice-carved peaks of Aoraki, Mt. Sefton, and The Footstool. If conditions permit, continue hiking up on to the Sealy Range and along to Mueller Hut. Before descending back down, rest for a while and enjoy panoramic views of the glaciers, ice cliffs, and vertical rock faces of New Zealand’s highest mountains. You also have the option this afternoon to join the Glacier Explorers boat tour on the Tasman Glacier Lake, which is a spectacular experience where you get close to New Zealand’s longest glacier. This is an optional activity, so let us know if you’d like to go!
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 6-7 hours
    Accommodation: Mt. Cook Lodge

    Tasman Glacier under Mt. Cook

  • Continue driving south to nearby Twizel and get fitted for your bikes to cross a section of the impressive Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Pedal along quiet canal roads before crossing the Lake Ohau weir and circling your way around the lake along cycle tracks. There will be plenty of time for breaks, photos, and admiring the mountains set against the glacially-fed Lake Ohau. Leave your bikes at the Ohau Lodge and meet your vehicle before going on an afternoon hike—another great opportunity to soak in the views of mountains, lakes, and rivers.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 5 km / 4 miles | 2-3 hours
    Cycling: 38 km / 24 miles | 3 hours
    Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge

    Lake Ohau foreshore

  • Drive over to Lindis Pass in the Central Otago region and onto Wanaka, which is a resort town sitting next to the namesake lake. This is a vast wilderness area filled with beech forests, glaciers, rivers, and lakes. Arriving there in the late morning, you’ll have enough time to relax and enjoy lunch, even take a quick stroll along the lakefront before heading off on the afternoon hike along Sawyer Burn Track. Walking along a well-marked trail, you’ll veer off to the Kidds Bush Nature Walk and zigzag up through the forest to the bushline before sliding across to the Sawyer Burn Hut. From the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of Lake Hāwea and its surrounding mountains.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 8 km / 5 miles
    Hiking: 3 hours
    Accommodation: Oakridge Resort

    Lake Wanaka and its resort town

  • A special hike is saved for the last day—the Rob Roy Track. Start off with a drive up to the Matukituki Valley, where sights of sheep, cattle, and deer farms will follow you along the way. Start your hike from Raspberry Flat and cross a suspension bridge across the Matukituki River before climbing through beech forest alongside the raging boulder-strewn Rob Roy Stream. The track then emerges above the tree line in an alpine meadow with a great view of the Rob Roy Glacier. Have lunch before wandering down the valley to the vehicle. In the afternoon, drive over to the Crown Range and down into Queenstown where the tour ends. This region is known for its spectacular vistas, vineyards, and many adventure activities. Feel free to stay longer, just ask your guides for some recommendations!
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 4 hours

    Crown Range in Queenstown

Early Bird: Guided Hiking and Biking Tour in the Southern Alps 2025

There’s no better way to explore New Zealand’s highest mountains than on foot and by pedaling. And this guided hiking and biking tour gives you just that—6 days of uncovering the mountains’ gems, including Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park and Mt. Aspiring National Park. Walk through tussock slopes, stroll along sky-blue lakes, feel the fragrant wildflowers, and enjoy panoramic views of highest peaks in Australasia. All meals and transportation are included in the price of the trip, as well as top-notch accommodations in lodges—just kick back and enjoy!

  • Departing from Christchurch, drive across the Canterbury Plains to your first hike at Mt. Somers. This volcanic mountain and the adjoining range stand out with its rock formations and a deep canyon. Climb through beech forest and high tussock slopes until you reach Woolshed Creek Hut, your lunch stop. Return on the Rhyolite Ridge Track, featuring views deep into the canyon as you climb high above on the slopes of Mt. Sommers. As the day draws to a close, settle in the village of Methven, usually a ski town in the winter and a cool rural Canterbury town the rest of the year. There’s also a restaurant and a bar there.
    Meals: Lunch and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 5-6 hours
    Accommodation: Ski Time Methven

    Mt. Somers, New Zealand

  • Get transferred to the edge of Canterbury Plains at first, and then into the Mackenzie Country and Lake Tekapo. The lake is famous for its turquoise waters and the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd, set against the backdrop of zigzag peaks. Once you reach Aoraki/ Mt. Cook, go for a hike up the Hooker Valley, where you get to marvel at views of glaciers looming above on Mt. Sefton and The Footstool, as well as the imposing south face of Aoraki beyond your turnaround at Hooker Lake. The next two nights are spent in a lodge in the village that boasts views of Aoraki.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 3-4 hours
    Accommodation: Mt. Cook Lodge

    Aoraki view, New Zealand

  • Walk up the famous steps (2,200 of them!) to Sealy Tarns, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the views of the Hooker and Mueller glaciers, as well as the ice-carved peaks of Aoraki, Mt. Sefton, and The Footstool. If conditions permit, continue hiking up on to the Sealy Range and along to Mueller Hut. Before descending back down, rest for a while and enjoy panoramic views of the glaciers, ice cliffs, and vertical rock faces of New Zealand’s highest mountains. You also have the option this afternoon to join the Glacier Explorers boat tour on the Tasman Glacier Lake, which is a spectacular experience where you get close to New Zealand’s longest glacier. This is an optional activity, so let us know if you’d like to go!
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 6-7 hours
    Accommodation: Mt. Cook Lodge

    Tasman Glacier under Mt. Cook

  • Continue driving south to nearby Twizel and get fitted for your bikes to cross a section of the impressive Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Pedal along quiet canal roads before crossing the Lake Ohau weir and circling your way around the lake along cycle tracks. There will be plenty of time for breaks, photos, and admiring the mountains set against the glacially-fed Lake Ohau. Leave your bikes at the Ohau Lodge and meet your vehicle before going on an afternoon hike—another great opportunity to soak in the views of mountains, lakes, and rivers.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 5 km / 4 miles | 2-3 hours
    Cycling: 38 km / 24 miles | 3 hours
    Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge

    Lake Ohau foreshore

  • Drive over to Lindis Pass in the Central Otago region and onto Wanaka, which is a resort town sitting next to the namesake lake. This is a vast wilderness area filled with beech forests, glaciers, rivers, and lakes. Arriving there in the late morning, you’ll have enough time to relax and enjoy lunch, even take a quick stroll along the lakefront before heading off on the afternoon hike along Sawyer Burn Track. Walking along a well-marked trail, you’ll veer off to the Kidds Bush Nature Walk and zigzag up through the forest to the bushline before sliding across to the Sawyer Burn Hut. From the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of Lake Hāwea and its surrounding mountains.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 8 km / 5 miles
    Hiking: 3 hours
    Accommodation: Oakridge Resort

    Lake Wanaka and its resort town

  • A special hike is saved for the last day—the Rob Roy Track. Start off with a drive up to the Matukituki Valley, where sights of sheep, cattle, and deer farms will follow you along the way. Start your hike from Raspberry Flat and cross a suspension bridge across the Matukituki River before climbing through beech forest alongside the raging boulder-strewn Rob Roy Stream. The track then emerges above the tree line in an alpine meadow with a great view of the Rob Roy Glacier. Have lunch before wandering down the valley to the vehicle. In the afternoon, drive over to the Crown Range and down into Queenstown where the tour ends. This region is known for its spectacular vistas, vineyards, and many adventure activities. Feel free to stay longer, just ask your guides for some recommendations!
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
    Hiking: 4 hours

    Crown Range in Queenstown

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Meet your guide

Hiking New Zealand
5.00
Hiking New Zealand
Hiking New Zealand is a small, but very dedicated team specializing in matching adventurous travelers with their dream holidays, both in New Zealand and beyond. They are passionate about active travel, wild places, and their conservation, and extremely enthusiastic about sharing their wilderness discoveries with their guests.
5.00 (4 reviews)
Daniel B (source: Trip Advisor)

We had a fabulous trip with guides Andre and Katie. So many great hikes and activities covering so many iconic spots throughout the South Island. Small friendly group, well-paced for a range of fitness levels, comfy accommodations. Can’t say enough great things about this trip. Far exceeded our expectations.

nadine_emmenegger (source: Trip Advisor)

I enjoyed an unforgettable amazing and well organised week with Hiking New Zealand. Our guide Grace did a brilliant job in bringing us New Zealand’s nature and practical tipps for this outdoor adventure closer. In a small group of 6 we discovered remote, stunning places which you might not visit on your own, cooked tasty meals and had lots of fun. Recommendable from A to Z!

Arizona P (source: Trip Advisor)

What a fabulous trek. Well planned trip and the guides were fantastic. I learned so much about New Zealand from the guides. Was more than I ever expected. A beautiful country. I definitley recommend this trip and Hiking New Zealand to anyone interested in trekking through NZ.

happytramper2018 (source: Trip Advisor)

What an awesome experience, professional and knowledgable guides, great food and the best of company. The scenery was so special and the memory of our time in the South Island of New Zealand will stay with me forever.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking and biking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 6-day hiking and biking tour in the Southern Alps
      • Meals — as listed in the itinerary
      • Accommodation in hotels and lodges
      • Transportation during the tour
      • Emergency First Aid kit
      • Drinking water
      • Safety equipment
      • Maps

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to and from New Zealand
      • Optional activities — Glacier Explorers, in Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park.
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • In order to join this hiking and biking tour in the Southern Alps, you must be reasonably fit and enthusiastic. Every day you’ll hike around 10 km (6 miles), sometimes on uneven track surfaces and stream crossings. You’ll only bike one day, covering 38 km (24 miles) over the course of three hours. At times, you will have to carry a backpack between 4 to 5 kg (8-10 lbs).

  • New Zealand’s weather is very fickle and cold weather can be experienced at any time of the year, especially in the mountains. That’s why it’s recommended to wear lightweight and breathable fabrics while hiking. Merino or polypropylene underwear is great in cold weather and will keep you warm when it gets wet, unlike cotton. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

    Here’s a list of clothing we suggest you bring:

      • Hiking boots or shoes
      • Waterproof raincoat (gore-tex or similar)
      • Warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)
      • Thermal underwear (top and bottom, wool or polypropylene)
      • Socks
      • Warm hat or balaclava
      • Long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)
      • Shorts for hiking or lightweight hiking trousers
      • Gloves or mittens (wool or fleece)
      • Spare lightweight shoes or sandals
      • Bike shorts (if you have them)
      • Casual clothing for travel and evenings
      • Rain trousers
      • Swimming costume
      • Towel (lightweight travel towels are great)
      • Sunhat

    Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-30L bag)
      • Dry bag for clothes and valuables
      • Hiking poles — optional, can be rented with your guides
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)
  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this hiking and biking adventure in the Southern Alps, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 11:1. The maximum group size is 11. A minimum of 4 people have to sign up for the tour to run.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Hiking and biking in the Southern Alps can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • Your tour starts in Christchurch, New Zealand. To get there, it’s best to fly into Christchurch International Airport (CHC), which is 10 km (6 miles) away from downtown. To get to Christchurch, you can take a taxi or a bus. Once you and your guide agree on the details of the itinerary, they will suggest the best place to meet.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Zealand, please refer to New Zealand’s COVID-19 travel information.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • Secure your spot for 2025 with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you’ll be the first one to know. Pick the month that suits you best and we’ll let you know once the dates are live—don’t risk missing out on your bucket list adventure!

      • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure in case the dates don’t suit you by the end of the year.
      • Once the set dates for the following season are live, you can confirm your booking by the end of this year by paying another 20% of the total amount.
      • The final balance is due 4 months (120 days) prior to departure.

    For set dates, a 25% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking for booking four (4) or more months in advance of the departure. The remaining amount is paid ninety-five days (95 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to ninety-five (95) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to an eighty percent (80%) refund of the deposit paid or Client’s full deposit is transferable to a future trip with the Guide.
      • For cancellations twenty-one (21) to ninety-four (94) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of eighty percent (80%) of the full trip price.
      • For cancellations eleven (11) to twenty (20) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
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