Bush and Back Country, South Island NZ

From snow peaked mountains to dense green bush, crystal clear flowing rivers surrounded by moss and naturally occuring steaming hot pools, on the 9 day adventure you'll hike through some of the South Islands most stunning and off-the-beaten track scenery! With two multi-day hikes, two national Parks, numerous mountains, an alpine mountain lake, scenic flight, jet boat ride and an emormous glacier, it's hard to pick just one highlight of this dramatic 9 days of hiking.

Starting in Christchurch with a group dinner and a briefing, our bush and back country trek has it all!

Hiking in Mt Aspiring National Park and Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

Scenic flight into the remote Siberia Valley and then hike to an alpine mountain Lake.

Hike into the Copland Valley and soak in the naturral hot pools.

Price: from AUD4750.00 per person (Twin Share)

Duration: 9 Days

Trek Ratings: Activity 4 / Conditions 4 / Accommodation 3 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: December, January, February, March & April

Country Visited: New Zealand

Trip Start: Christchurch

Trip Ends: Queenstown

Destination: Mt Aspiring National Park and Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Trip Route: Christchurch – Franz Josef – Welcome Flats – Makarora – Siberia Valley – Wanaka – Queenstown

Trip Style: Trekking

Activity: National Park/Forest Trekking

Activity Per Day: Approximately 4-7 hrs

Day 01 Fly into Christchurch, meet the group for dinner and briefing. Overnight at Merival Manor, Christchurch
Day 02 Hike Castle Hill, travel to Franz Josef. Overnight at Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
Day 03 Hike Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight at Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
Day 04 Hike into the Copland Track to Welcome Flats. Overnight at Welcome Flats Hut, Welcome Flats
Day 05 Hike to Douglas Rock hut for views up to the Southern Alps. Overnight at Welcoms Flats Hut, Welcome Flats.
Day 06 Hike back to Trailhead. Overnight at Wonderland Chalets, Makarora.
Day 07 Scenic flight into Siberia Valley, hike to Lake Crucible. Overnight Siberia Valley Hut, Siberia Valley.
Day 08 Hike out of Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkins River. Overnight at Wanaka Hotel, Wanaka
Day 09 Travel to Wanaka, depart for home

Day 01 Arrival into Christchurch.

Fly into Christchurch today from Australia and meet the group for your first dinner together and a briefing about the adventures to come!

Overnight Merival Manor, Christchurch

Day 02 Hike Castle Hill, travel to Franz Josef. Hikes – 3km 0.5 – 1 hour

Today we get on our our way traveling over the wondrous Southern Alps to Franz Josef via Arthurs Pass.
This is a drive full of dramatic scenery which will take us from the lush forests of the west coast, the high scree and tussock mountains of Arthurs pass, and into the open farming plains of Canterbury.

On the way, we’ll stop to hike the limestone formations of Castle Hill, a magical place where huge limestone boulders have been carved out by the wind and snow over thousands of years to form smoothly curved edges, and pockets large enough for people to sit in!

Afterwards we continue on our to Franz Josef, at the base of the Southern Alps and the amazing Franz Josef glacier.

Overnight at Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
Breakfast, Lunch Included

Day 03 Hike Franz Josef Glacier – 8km 5 – 6 hours
Since we’re in glacier country, we can’t leave without first checking out at least one or two of the 140 or so glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps!

You’ve got a couple options for this day, you can spend the day near Franz Joseph Glacier hiking up through the native forest to Alex Knob where you’ll witness the beauty of ice from this spectacular viewpoint above. Alternatively, get up close and personal with an optional Heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself.

Overnight at Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner Included

Day 04 Hike into the Copland Track to Welcome Flats  18km – 6 – 7 hours rough terrain with slippery rocks in places

Today we’ll hike the Copland Track situated in a stunning mountain basin, set beneath the towering peaks of the Southern Alps. This is a challenging hike up the valley with a gradual elevation gain, that’s absolutely worth the effort. You’ll be carrying a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and a share of the food. We’ll stay in another spectacular backcountry hut, where you can relax and soothe your muscles in the amazing natural hot pools that give meaning to the name, ‘Welcome flats’.

Soaking under the starry night sky whilst your guides whip up an amazing dinner, is guaranteed to be another trip

Overnight at Welcome Flat Huts, Welcome Flat
Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner Included

Day 05 Hike to Douglas Rock Hut for views up to the Southern Alps  14km – 6 – 7 hours return Rough terrain in places
If you’re up for it, we’ll hike further up the Copland track from Welcome Flat hut to Douglas Rock for even more incredible alpine views, including multiple glaciers that cling to the top of the mountain valley.

We’ll stop for lunch in the cute back-country hut, surrounded by enormous slow-capped peaks, before returning back down the valley. If instead you prefer a more relaxed day to kick back and relax, you can opt to stay at the hut and enjoy a good book or another soak in the hot pools and appreciate the quiet, dramatic scenery that surrounds you.

Overnight at Welcome Flat Huts
Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner Included

Day 06 Hike our of Copland track back to trailhead. 18kms  – 6 hours  Rough terrain with slippery rocks in places
Another early start will have us lacing up our boots and back on the track, refreshed and revitalized after a wonderful couple of nights away from the buzz of reality, we’ll enjoy the stillness of the fresh morning air as we hike back to the trail head and civilization. We’ll rest and recoup for our scenic journey down the coast.

Overnight at Wonderland Chalets, Makarora
Breakfast, Lunch,& Dinner Included

Day 07 Scenic Flight into Siberia Valley, hike to Lake Crucible  7kms – 6 – 7 hours return
If you fancy the idea of staying in one of the most isolated mountain huts in New Zealand – this will be a highlight for you! We’ll start with a stunning scenic flight into the secluded Siberia Valley, in the heart of the Southern Alps. We hike a short distance to Siberia hut, our home for the night, where we’ll drop our bags and continue on to hike up to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacier lake on top of a mountain to take in the astounding panoramic views of the valley below – it’s a true kiwi experience.

Usually year round there are ice-bergs floating in the lake, so it makes for stunning photographs, and a memorable swim for the brave!

Overnight at Siberia Valley Hut, Siberia Valley
Breakfast, Lunch,& Dinner Included

Day 08 Hike out of Soberia Valley, jet boat Wilkins River  6.6kms – 2 – 3 hours

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll head out for an early start as we hike back out of the valley out to Kerin Forks at the head of the Wilkin River, where the trail simply ends at the river! So we’ll met up with a jet boat for a scenic ride back to whizz us back civilisation in Makarora.

From there, we’ll head over to the stunning town of Wanaka, for a farewell dinner together to celebrate our week of adventure.

Overnight at Wanaka Hotel, Wanaka
Breakfast, Lunch,& Dinner Included

Day 09 Travel to Wanaka, depart for home  7 km – 3 hours return

We’ll finish off the trip with a last hike up the Rocky Mountain Summit Track before heading over to Queenstown. Enjoy a steady climb to get your heart-rate up and you’ll be rewarded with stunning 360- degree views of Mt. Aspiring, Roy’s Peak and of course, beautiful Lake Wanaka. Afterwards we’ll head over the crowne range to Queenstown for flights out after 5pm.

Overnight at Wanaka Hotel, Wanaka
Breakfast & Lunch Included

March 7 – 15 , 2021

Cost Includes

All guiding services
All transport services
All accommodations including pre trek
All meals as per Itinerary
All activities as per Itinerary
Scenic flight and Jet boat ride

Cost Does not Include

Travel insurance which covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation.
International airfare and airport departure tax.
Alcoholic, hot and cold drinks.
Personal trekking Equipment.
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.

What type of shape do I need to be in, is this trip for me?

A moderate level of fitness is required to participate on this experience and enjoy the journey!

Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying a Trail Journeys/Getaway Trekking sign board outside the airport terminal.

Does the trek price include airfares?

No – all Getaway Trekking prices are ‘land only’, meaning an airfare is an additional cost.

Please inform our team at the time of your reservation if you require an airfare cost and our Travel Manager will confirm availability and provide a quotation for your consideration.

Do you cater for Vegetarians?

Yes, absolutely. Please inform your Getaway Trekking consultant at the time of booking and a request will be made to the local operator.

What is the weather and temperate like?

Nelson is known to be the sunniest place in NZ. Summer temperatures are mid to high 20’s. (Celsius)

Where do we stay on this trek?

Accommodation (all accommodation is ensuite/private bathroom based on twin/double share, based on availability)

      • Day 1 – Snowball Manor
      • Day 2 – Kimi Ora Eco Resort or Kaiteri Lodge (based on studio unit)
      • Day 3 & 4 – Meadowbank Homestead & Torrent Bay Lodge
      • Day 5 – Kimi Ora Eco Resort or Kaiteri Lodge (based on studio unit)
      • Day 6 – Mapua on the water B&B

What will the conditions be like on the trek route?

Good conditions with the odd river crossing.

Is it safe to trek in New Zealand?

Yes, New Zealand is one of the safest treks in the world to travel.

How much spending money should I take with me?

While you are on the tour you just need money for some lunches and evening meals or for personal purchases.

Can I charge my digital camera of other equipment on the trek?


Is there any communication while we are on the trek?

Cell phone coverage is available on most of your cycling stages. Coverage is limited in the National Park.

Can I use credit cards in the treks I visit trekking?


Do I need to tip my guide (and porters if applicable)? How much would that be?


What opportunities will I have to shower along the trek?

Every day and night.