Join MT Sobek on this custom trip designed for intrepid women looking to experience the very best of New Zealand's South Island. Lace up your boots for hikes among sparkling glacial lakes, alpine basins, and massive glaciers. Don your helmet for an epic bike ride along the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Board a boat to the pristine Mou Waho Island, and maybe even try stand-up paddleboarding on the utterly beautiful Lake Wanaka. This is a women-only, confidence-building, friend-making, activity-packed adventure not to miss!
Hike spectacular trails in Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring National Parks, and beyond
Cycle the Alps 2 Ocean track and take an unforgettable ecotour in Lake Wanaka
Relax between activities with lake swims, local wine, high tea — all with unparalleled views
Welcome to New Zealand! Meet your MT Sobek guide at the Christchurch airport in the mid-afternoon and transfer to the hotel. Relax for a bit before joining the group for a welcome dinner and trip briefing.
After hitting a café or lovely Garden City's park, head to Lake Tekapo, with its stunning turquoise waters and quaint lakeside Church of the Good Shepherd. Hike through wilding conifers and tussock grasslands to the summit of Mt. John (3,383'), where you revel in 360-degree views of the Patagonia-like landscape: the sweeping Mackenzie Basin is a sparsely populated region in the shadow of the Southern Alps, dotted with braided riverbeds and startling glacial lakes. In the late afternoon, arrive at Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's sacred highest mountain (12,218').
Today is a splendid day of hiking in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Start up to Sealy Tarns and enjoy the awesome views of Mount Sefton, Mueller Glacier, and the Hooker Valley. Feeling energetic? Join the guide on a farther climb from the tarns up to the crest of Mueller Ridge (5,920') for even wider views of this magnificent alpine landscape. If you prefer not to climb to Sealy or Mueller, you can walk (unguided) up the flatter Hooker Valley, enjoying close-up views of the Mueller and Hooker glaciers on the way.
After breakfast, continue to Twizel from where you ride a section of the impressive Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Bike along quiet canal roads, then cross the Lake Ohau weir and weave around this incredibly blue lake. The views of the mountains and glacially fed lake are spectacular. Arrive at the Lake Ohau Lodge and enjoy a lakeside picnic lunch. A dip in the lake is the perfect healing remedy for weary legs. The afternoon is free to read a book, sip wine, or otherwise enjoy this stunning high-country setting.
This morning's hike heads through beech forest beside Freehold Creek to an area just below the tree line. If the group is up for continuing, you ascend above the tree line into a brilliant alpine basin, home to a variety of native plants including the Mount Cook Lily, the world's largest buttercup. After the hike, drive through Mackenzie country before climbing over the tussock lands of the Lindis Pass into the Central Otago region. Wanaka is a lovely lakeside town - the perfect setting to try stand-up paddleboarding!
Take a morning boat cruise to the magical Mou Waho Island. Discover this remote nature reserve on a bush walk with a specialist guide. Beside a lake at the island's highpoint, enjoy high tea with panoramic views of the Southern Alps. Before leaving the island, round out your eco-experience by planting a native tree - a unique opportunity to give back to this special corner of New Zealand's environment. Spend the afternoon at your leisure: walk the lakefront trail, explore the boutique shops, hire a paddle board, or enjoy a coffee at a cozy café.
A beautiful drive alongside Lake Wanaka leads to Mount Aspiring National Park. Hike up the Matukituki Valley before turning up the Rob Roy Stream and climbing to the bush line. This gorgeous trail through virgin beech forest emerges into a splendid alpine basin below the Rob Roy Glacier. See water tumble off the glacier as you enjoy lunch - watch for cheeky kea (alpine parrot), who tend to pop by whenever food is around. After the hike, unwind over lunch at the famous Cardrona Hotel before driving to the airport in Queenstown.
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MT Sobek has been exploring the Pacific for over 20 years, working with the best local guides for an immersive and fun experiences.
This unique women's itinerary as an adventure-lovers dream with hiking, cycling and more — all in stunning landscapes.
We've carefully crafted this adventure to also include plenty of downtime: sip wine, enjoy a coffee, take a leisurely stroll.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Hiking 1-6 miles per day. Cycle a portion of the famous Alps to Ocean cycle trail, discover a magical island within Lake Wanaka. There is also the opportunity to hire Stand Up Paddle Boarding for those that would like to take up the challenge.
Comfortable, contemporary, and amenity-laden hotels, mostly located within spectacular natural settings.
Temperatures can vary between 50°F to 90°F during the day and can include sunshine, rain, and even snow at higher altitudes.
Tramping is the Kiwi way of saying you are going hiking. A tramp is a hike, a tramper is a hiker. You can expect to hear the word a lot from the Kiwi's!
The driest and warmest time of year is December - February, but September - November and March - May can be quite good too! As an island, New Zealand has a temperate maritime climate so one can experience all four seasons in one day. You should be prepared for either sunshine and warm days or rain and wind at any time during your trip.
We travel in a comfortable air-conditioned Mercedes mini-buses, in which each seat has a seatbelt. We travel with a custom-built trailer, where luggage is securely stored.
While we do not offer extensions, we can assist with booking a post trip hotel night in Queenstown. If you'd like to continue the adventure and visit the North Island, we recommend joining our Hiking New Zealand's North Island Adventure (NZN) as a pre-trip adventure.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"My first experience with MT Sobek was a trip to New Zealand. Everything about it met or exceeded my expectations. The guides, the dining, the accommodations, the activities were all top notch and I would recommend MT Sobek without hesitation!"
MT Sobek Guest, New Zealand
"MT Sobek's New Zealand adventure is the best way to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the country. You have to experience New Zealand with MT Sobek!
MT Sobek Guest, New Zealand