Epworth New Zealand 2020

Challenge Highlights

  • Hike to some of the most secluded ridges in the Southern Alps
  • Admire the majesty of NZ's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook from Sealy Tarns
  • Enjoy panoramic views from Lake Ohau Lodge overlooking the glistening alpine lake
  • Take in panoramic views of Lake Wanaka
  • Sample the stunning local produce
  • Raising money for Epworth Medical Foundation


Traverse New Zealand's Southern Alps, from mountain peaks, remote lakes and valley systems with the splendour of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring from high vantage points. This tour meets in the garden city of Christchurch and begins with a drive across the Canterbury Plains for a trek up a local peak that affords a terrifically unexpected panorama of the Southern Alps.

We continue by vehicle to Lake Tekapo and onto Aoraki/Mount Cook where we spend time hiking in the National Park, with options to reach a high ridge overlooking the Hooker Glacier, the spectacular Mt Sefton with its sheer walls of ice and rock. We visit the secluded Lake Ohau to encounter huge valleys carved by glaciers. Moving south into Central Otago we visit a small winery then indulge in a long lunch at the historic Bannockburn Hotel before moving onto Wanaka for 2 nights. On the Rocky Mountain Trail we admire 360 degree views of Lake Wanaka then take a walk in the Matuktuki Valley, before travelling to Queenstown.

Queenstown is a bustling town nestled on the edge of the shimmering Lake Wakitipu, we spend the day high in the Remarkable Range walking to Alta Lake and the saddle above it before enjoying a final farewell dinner.

This trip has been designed to push you to meet your hiking potential, whilst enjoying amazing scenery, quality meals and comfortable lodgings at the end of every day.

Challenge Grade

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip.

While part of this itinerary does utilise formed tracks, some days the hikes involve untracked scree and tussock which is steep in places. The sense of isolation and wilderness is a strong feature of this trip. For you to be able to really enjoy this trip we recommend that you are confident walking across uneven terrain and are able to walk comfortably for a few hours at a time (with breaks included) with a day pack in all weather conditions.

We recommend 90 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling, jogging or power walking) four times a week for the three months leading up to your trip.


On arrival at Christchurch Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon we'll embark on a walking tour or Christchurch including the Riverside Market and Botanic Gardens. Return to the hotel for a tour briefing before heading out for dinner. Overnight Pavilions Hotel https://www.pavilionshotel.co.nz/ standard studio

Meals:  D

After breakfast, we'll drive across the vast Canterbury Plains towards Lake Coleridge. We set off on our first walk to the summit of Peak Hill (1244m). At the top we are rewarded with sweeping views of snowy alps and the impressive Rakaia and Wilberforce river valleys. Our warm up hike provides a wonderful introduction to New Zealand’s high country landscapes. Following our hike we drive to nearby Methven and check into our hotel. Hiking Distance: 6km – 3.5 hours – 640m ascent Overnight Brinkleys Resort https://www.brinkleyresort.co.nz/ studio unit

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we leave Methven and drive approx 2 hours to the incredibly picturesque Lake Tekapo. Walk to the top of Mt John with views across Lake Tekapo and the vast Mackenzie basin before continuing our drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook in the heart of the National Park. Our accommodation in the village will be our base for the next two nights. In the afternoon we walk through the delightful Hooker Valley surrounded by high alpine peaks before returning to the village for dinner. Overnight Hermitage Hotel https://www.hermitage.co.nz/ Standard room

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we climb up to the Sealy Tarns gaining 450m in the first hour. From here there are awesome views around the neighbouring valleys, the Mt Cook Range and Mt Sefton. Then the path becomes less defined, a little rocky in places, and as it gets higher and starts to leave the alpine scrub and tussock, it enters boulder fields. The final ascent to the ridge line is up a steep-ish scree slope. At around 1600m, the view opens up to an amazing vista of Mt Sefton and the Mueller Glacier far below. Mueller Hut is then about a kilometre away, at an altitude just short of 1800m. The route to the hut is marked by poles,across boulder fields, and requires some rock-hopping, but later on crosses a couple of small basins before reaching the hut. The hut is located at a unique vantage point with 360-degree views of uninterrupted alpine beauty. It makes a wonderful location for lunch before returning the same way. Tonight’s accommodation is within the Mt Cook Village itself with outstanding views of the sun setting on the peaks. Hiking Distance: 10km – 6 to 8 hours - 1100m ascent Overnight Hermitage Hotel https://www.hermitage.co.nz/ Standard room

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we leave the Mt Cook valley after a short walk to the Tasman Glacier view point and drive to the remote Lake Ohau and Hopkins Valley. Walk the beech forest loop of Temple Stream or those who are looking for a more challenging route, could embark on the remote Dumb-Bell Lake excursion. Overnight Lake Ohau Lodge https://www.ohau.co.nz/ split across Upper South Temple Wing and Temple Wing rooms

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is more of a leisurely day sampling the local produce. Leaving the Mackenzie basin we cross ‘water-sheds’ and drive south over the Lindis Pass where we'll stop to hike up to a viewpoint before descending into Central Otago and pinot noir country. Have a tasting at Two Paddocks winery before enjoying a long lunch in the historic gold mining town of Clyde at Olivers restaurant. We then drive through the Dunstan Gorge and alongside the large Lake Dunstan to Wanaka. There will be opportunities to enjoy more wine tastings or explore this vibrant picturesque town, with its variety of shops and restaurants. Wanaka will be our base for the next two nights. Overnight Edgewater Resort https://www.edgewater.co.nz/ One bedroom suites

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast drive past the submerged "Wanaka tree" to the magnificent Matukituki Valley to hike to Aspiring Hut. Here we are dwarfed by high mountain peaks and waterfalls cascading from the mountain sides. There is also the opportunity to include Rocky Mountain and Diamond Lake. A walk to the summit of Rocky Mountain offers a superb vista into the Mount Aspiring National Park and over Lake Wanaka. We descend via the beautiful Diamond Lake and then drive back to Wanaka for our second night. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner in Wanaka. Hiking Distance: Matukituki Valley to Aspiring Hut return - 18km - 6 hours Optional Rocky Mountain/Diamond Lake trek - 7km – 4 hours – 420m ascent Overnight Edgewater Resort https://www.edgewater.co.nz/ One bedroom suites

Meals:  B,L,D

Depart Wanaka, crossing the high Crown Range to Queenstown, a drive of approx 2.5 hours. On arrival we will drop two members of our party at the airport for their flight home before the rest of the group continue to drive up to the Remarkable Ski Field. Here we will hike to beautiful Alta Lake in a glacial cirque before climbing up to a saddle for stunning views into the Wye Valley and across the Queenstown valley to Lake Wakatipu. Tonight we have our final group dinner together where we can celebrate our New Zealand adventure and the week's hiking achievements. Overnight Lake Kamana Lakehouse https://www.kamana.co.nz/ Kamana king rooms

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after breakfast we say a sad farewell to our guides and hiking companions. There will be a group drop off at the Queenstown Airport later this morning for your flight to Melbourne

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • International flights and taxes ex Melbourne
  • All meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • 8 nights hotel or lodge ensuite accommodation on a single room basis
  • 2 professional qualified driver/guides
  • Group arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Water, snacks and gourmet treats while trekking
  • Packs and poles (on request if required) - please let our staff know in advance
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • Wine tasting
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

What's Not Included

  • Alcohol outside of the wine tasting or long lunch day 6
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips

What You Carry

  • All the walks on the tour are day walks so a small pack for your personal essentials is all you will need to carry. The support vehicle will then take the rest of the equipment.

Fundraising Impact

Epworth Medical Foundation - The difference you make

When you donate to the Foundation, your generosity is used to directly benefit our patients. For example, more than half of all medical equipment at Epworth HealthCare is funded by the Foundation, and 80 percent of our medical research.

Charitable funds are used to support:

*state-of-the-art medical equipment that ensures our patients receive the very best

*world-class facilities that maximise patient outcomes, safety and comfort

*groundbreaking medical research projects and trials, shared with our patients

*staff education and training opportunities to pass best-practice on to our patients

*support programs to care for our patients’ emotional and financial needs

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
Duration:9 Days
Activities:Charity Challenge
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:ENZ

When you donate to the Foundation, your generosity is used to directly benefit our patients. For example, more than half of all medical equipment at Epworth HealthCare is funded by the Foundation, and 80 percent of our medical research.