Wander the larger-than-life landscapes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps on this 10-day wilderness hiking adventure.
This trip begins in Christchurch, which blends English colonial influence with Kiwi personality. (In 1982, the city appointed an official wizard.) We head up the Rakaia River by jet boat and sample a variety of trails amongst the South Island’s peaks, plains and golden hills. We explore Mount Cook National Park, with a milky-blue glacial river galloping through it. Stroll a beachy stretch of the Minaret Burn Track. Follow tussock-clad ridgelines to the summit of Beuzenberg Peak, with a panoramic view of Aoraki/Mount Cook.
Between hikes, we explore New Zealand’s landscape in other ways, like paddle boarding on Lake Wanaka and sharing a farm-to-table lunch at a woman-owned dairy. Nights are authentically Kiwi, too. We stay in backcountry huts and lodges, including iconic Rex Simpson Hut and historic Ben Lomond lodge near Moonlight Valley. Speaking of moonlight, we experience once-in-a-lifetime stargazing in the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve. Encircled by mountain summits, beneath the Southern Cross and the Milky Way.