Tekapo Trek - "Hike in the foothills of the Southern Alps"

Overview

Hike above worry level in the foothills of the Southern Alps. Be inspired by the magic light of the Mackenzie High Country across golden tussock, snow-capped peaks and the turquoise of Lake Tekapo. Climb a 2070m peak and return to a cosy mountain hut to savour the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky - one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere.

The Tekapo Trek is in the newly created Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, which encompasses the spectacular landscapes of ice-steepened mountains and broad glaciated valleys of the Two Thumb Range.

Itinerary

Day 1: Tekapo – Simpson Hut

Walking Distance : 7.5km - 3 hours walking

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: Simpson Hut – Beuzenberg Peak - Simpson Hut

Walking Distance : 12km – 6 to 8 hours walking

We 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 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.

Day 3: Simpson Hut - Tekapo

Walking Distance : 7.5km - 3 hours walking

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 about 1pm in Lake Tekapo.

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