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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Tramps in New Zealand: Waterfalls, Fjords, Rainforests, Caves and Mountain Tops

The Basics:
Event Type:Adventure
Event Location: South Island, New Zealand   Adventure: Tramps in New Zealand: Waterfalls, Fjords, Rainforests, Caves and Mountain Tops  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Feb 4 2018  10:00 am >> Sun, Feb 18 2018 7:00 pm
Registration Opens: Sun, Mar 5 2017 2:54 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Mar 14 2017 7:54 pm
Event Duration:14 Days 9 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Trip Leader(s):
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You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$1,600.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:1
Minimum Group Size:10
Number Registered So Far: 10 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No



Join us for a 15-day adventure to one of the most exotic and beautiful places in the world. Our journey will include 4 days of backpacking, plus 10 days exploring some of the unique features and famous landmarks of New Zealand’s South Island, including Lake Tekapo, Milford Sound, Mt. Cook, and the Milford Track - one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.

We will spend 10 nights in cabins, cottages, and group lodges and we will have a couple of days to explore Wanaka and the Fiordland town of Te Anau – which caters to hikers and backpackers.  Our scenic 1,000-mile journey will start and end in Christchurch and along the way we will see spectacular rainforest waterfalls, soaring mountains above alpine valleys, glacial lakes, and New Zealand’s highest mountain.

The maximum group size for this event is 10. Given the daily elevation gains achieved during this hike, along with the challenge of multiple back to back hikes, only intermediate and advanced hikers with significant D4 and D5 experience should register.  All registrants must be recommended by an AOC trip leader and shall initially be placed on the wait list so that the Trip Leaders can evaluate the registrant’s fitness and experience level. See  Registration Requirements below.

ITINERARY DETAILS - This itinerary is subject to change depending on Hut Ticket Availibility, if you sign up please be prepared to be flexible.

Sunday 4th February 2018 – 10am

Aaron will pick you up at a central location at 10am , ALL participants will be required to meet here:

Christchurch Railway Station, Troup Drive, Addington, Christchurch.

We will drive to Lake Tekapo taking in the sights along the way. This is a 3 ½ hour scenic drive and we will be stopping to take photos and also to do some grocery shopping on the way.

Please note: you will lose a day on your flight to NZ, as you will cross the International Date Line (as a bonus you will get it back on the way home!!).  A morning arrival is best to give the good part of a day in Christchurch for recovery and grocery shopping. I recommend arriving on Saturday 3rd February

Our accommodation in Tekapo will be similar to this:

Monday 5th February 2018

Camp Stream Hut Hike:  Difficulty: D4  Elevation Gain: 1600ft  Distance: 11 miles  PACE: Easy to Moderate

A great hike with a lot of elevation gain over open ground covered in tussock. We will hike to this volunteer maintained hut and eat lunch and take in the views!! A small donation for the maintenance of this old muster hut is recommended.

After the hike (optional), we will enjoy the delights of the Tekapo Hot pools (NZ$25): pools

Tuesday 6th February 2018

We will start the day by driving to Wanaka where we will be spending the next 4 days and 4 nights. This is a 3-hour drive from Lake Tekapo. We will check in to our accommodation and you will be free to explore the town on your own.  We will also shop for groceries during this time.

Our accommodations in Wanaka will be similar to this:

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Roy’s Peak Hike:  Difficulty: D5 Elevation Gain: 4000ft  Distance: 10 miles PACE: Easy to Moderate

This is a difficult hike, gaining 4000ft of elevation in 5 miles. The views will be spectacular if it is a sunny day. go/otago/places/wanaka-area/things-to-do/roys-peak-track/ peak/155275

Thursday 8th February 2018

Rest Day: This will be a day to do your own thing, from booking a cruise or jet boat on Lake Wanaka or nearby Mountain biking. It’s up to you to fill up your day how you please. Maybe shopping in the town.

Friday 9th February 2018

Rob Roy Track:  Difficulty: D3 Elevation Gain: 1695ft  Distance: 6.2 miles PACE: Easy to Moderate

This track offers an easy route up the West Matukituki valley into a dramatic alpine landscape that includes snowfields, glaciers, sheer rock cliffs and waterfalls. recreation/places-to-go/otago/places/mount-aspiring-national-park/things- to-do/tracks/rob-roy-track/

Saturday 10th February 2018

Drive to Te Anau: A scenic drive along the Remarkables Mountains.  We will take a leisurely route and stop on the way for lunch before we get to the hiking town of Te Anau nestled on the lake. There will be time to book tours if you wish for the rest day on Sunday.

Sunday 11th February 2018

Rest Day: This will be a day to do your own thing, from booking a cruise on Lake Te Anau or nearby Glow Worm Caves, a cruise to Doubtful Sound and Lake Manapouri Power Station. It’s up to you to fill up your day how you please. 

Monday 12th February 2018

Hike: Gertrude Saddle Hike / The Chasm Hike / Milford Tunnel and Sound Sightseeing

Hike 1 Gertrude Saddle:

Difficulty: D4  Elevation Gain: 2100ft Distance: 5.4  miles PACE: Easy to Moderate

Trip Description:

This is a challenging hike but well worth the views. Please make sure you are comfortable with scrambling as well as stream crossings. We will only do this in FINE weather and not after there has been rain.

Hike 2 The Chasm:

Difficulty: D1  Elevation Gain: 100ft Distance: 0.5  miles PACE: Easy to Moderate

I say, a cheeky D1 snuck in here. This is a great short walk with spectacular views of waterfalls and water scuplted rocks. A nice way to relax before we check out Milford Sound. The will be an optional 2-hour cruise on Milford Sound at 3pm for those who are interested. This can be booked before we depart.

Tuesday 13th February 2018

Milford Track Great Walk (Backpack):

Difficulty: D5  Total Elevation Gain: 3700ft  Distance: 33 miles PACE: Easy to Moderate

One of New Zealand's finest walks, the one they all talk about it. Yes it is a fantastic 4-days in remote, mountainous New Zealand countryside. I have done this backpack 5 times and I am looking forward to doing it again. (Please note: A tent, sleeping mat and cooker are NOT required for this backpack - this means more room for those luxury items!!)

Drive to Te Anau Downs, take Boat Transport to Glade Wharf, backpack to Clinton Hut. The descriptions are from the DOC website:

Tme: 1–1 hr 30 min
Distance:  5 km (3 miles)

After a boat cruise fromTe Anau Downs (1 hour 15 minutes), take a leisurely walk through beautiful beech forest along the banks of the Clinton River to Clinton Hut, where all walkers spend the firstnight. Once you arrive, take some time to checkout the great swimming holes near the hut, or take a short walk around the wetland boardwalk.

Wednesday 14th February 2018

Milford Track: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut

Time: 6 hr
Distance: 16.5 km (10.3 miles)

A gradual climb follows the Clinton River to its source, Lake Mintaro, at the base of the renowned Mackinnon Pass. Past Hirere Falls you will get your first view of Mackinnon Pass and the impressive Pompolona icefield. You’ll be dwarfed by the sheer scale of the rock walls towering above on either side as you walk up the Clinton Valley, and will pass through changing vegetation as you climb higher towards Mintaro Hut.

Please Note: If the weather is good we will climb to the top of Mackinnon Pass and take in the views in case there is poor weather the following day.

Thursday 15th February 2018

Milford Track: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut 

Day 3 – Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut

Time: 6–7 hr
Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles)

Climb to Mackinnon Pass and the memorial to explorer Quintin McKinnon, with exceptional views of Lake Mintaro and the Clinton Canyon along the way. The memorial is a great place to take in the awe-inspiring panoramas, before reaching the highest point of the track and Mackinnon Pass Shelter (1154 m).

From here, you’ll drop steadily through an attractive alpine garden to the valley floor, passing several waterfalls along the Roaring Burn River before arriving at Quintin Shelter. On the way to Dumpling Hut take a moment to admire Sutherland Falls in the distance.

Please Note: We will take the side trip to Sutherland Falls. 

The side trip to Sutherland Falls is a definite highlight that is highly recommended and well worth the effort. The impressive falls drop 580 m in 3 leaps from Lake Quill.

Friday 16th February 2018

Milford Track: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point (aptly named!!!)

Time: 5 hr 30 min – 6 hr
Distance:  18 km (11.2 miles)

From Dumpling Hut, follow Arthur River to the historic Boatshed. Further along the track, you will reach the dramatic Mackay Falls and intriguing Bell Rock. Admire the man-made rock cuttings alongside the Arthur River and Lake Ada, before spending the last 3 km on a smooth, wide track constructed by a prison labour gang between 1890 and 1892.

A short boat ride from Sandfly Point will take you to your journey’s end, with world-famous views of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi along the way.

We will pick up our boat transport at 2pm for the ride back to Milford Sound, from there a bus will take us back to Te Anau Downs. We will spend the night in a hotel in Te Anau (5 double rooms / 2 people per room).

Saturday 17th February 2018

Drive to Mount Cook, this will be a 5-hour drive and if we have time we will do the Hooker Valley Hike which is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Sunday 18th February 2018

Drive Mount Cook to Christchurch, a 4-hour drive taking in lakes and other scenic vistas, we aim to be back at 7pm and this will be the official end of our trip.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Waterproof raincoat and over-trousers
  • Warm woolen or fiber pile clothing
  • Spare dry socks
  • Strong tramping (hiking) boots – broken in.
  • First aid kit
  • Sunhat and Sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher) **MANDATORY as there is a hole in the Ozone layer above NZ!
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm hat
  • Sleeping bag (+liner if you wish)
  • Billy (small cooking pot)
  • Plate, cup and cutlery.
  • Putties (gaiters)
  • Water bottle(s) - enough to carry at least 3 liters
  • Large backpack to carry your gear, plus rain cover for pack
  • Torch (Flash Light) and Headlamp plus spare batteries
  • High energy food, snacks and drinks – purchase in New Zealand (enough for the duration plus extra for emergencies)
  • Dishwashing liquid (purchase in NZ)and dishcloth  
  • Insect Repellant (purchase in NZ) 
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Jet-boil for hot drinks on the trail.
  • Water filter
  • Small camping pillow
  • Quick dry Hiking shorts
  • GPS with NZ maps loaded and spare batteries
  • Map and Southern Hemisphere compass (and know how to use them!)
  • Small day pack for shorter hikes
  • Camera with extra batteries/charger and extra memory cards


Registration Requirements

Given the daily elevation gains achieved during this hike, along with the challenge of multiple back to back hikes, only intermediate and advanced hikers with significant D4 and D5 experience should register.  All registrants shall initially be placed on the wait list so that the TLs can evaluate the registrant’s fitness and experience level.

Any registrant who does not have a recent resume of D4 and D5 hikes in the AOC likely will not be placed on the event list unless the registrant can demonstrate to the TLs an appropriate fitness and experience level gained outside the Club.  All registrants must be recommended by an AOC trip leader.  The TLs also reserve the right to consider any registrant’s social history within the AOC and to make the final determination as to whether the registrant is an appropriate candidate for this event.  

Pre and Post Trip Accommodation

I recommend obtaining accommodation around the Riccarton area pre and post the trip. I have included a map below with the pick up point at the bottom left and a list of google suggested hotels nearby.

I highly recommend taking a stroll through Hagley Park and visiting the Botanical gardens!!

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$1,600.00/Person
Cost Includes:

1. Transportation in a rented 12 seat passenger van from Christchurch, New Zealand on Feb. 4th, 2018 and to all designated points on the itinerary, with transportation back to Christchurch by 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2018.  

2. 14 nights accommodation in group lodging facilities or hotels , including 3 nights stay in huts on the Milford Great Walk trek.  Some group lodging facilities may include communal showers and group cooking facilities.  Depending on the availability of beds in the lodging facilities, you may expect to share a queen bed with another member of our travel group.  If this is a problem, you may reconsider whether you are suited for this trip.

3. Boat transport on Lake Te Anau to the start of the Milford Track and also from the end of the track to Milford Sound. Shuttle transport back to Te Anau Downs from Milford Sound. 

4. Some meals, including some Breakfasts/Lunches and some group dinners. Dietary requirements will be requested prior to the event starting. 

Cost does not include: Airfare from Atlanta to Christchurch (approximately $1,500.00); some food and/or meals for the duration of the trip; recommended donations for hut use (not Milford Track Huts); additional paid activities in Christchurch, Wanaka or Te Anau; personal expenses and incidentals, such as laundry or internet; cell phone service; any additional nights stay in New Zealand.  Our itinerary will include time to shop for provisions at the beginning and during the 15 days.  Plan to spend approximately $80 USD per day for food and other items.

Price changes:  The price of this event is based upon the current fuel prices and currency exchange rate at the time of this write-up.  Further, the price is also based upon a minimum number of participants sharing transportation costs.  We will attempt to lock in costs as quickly as possible.  However, fuel prices and/or currency fluctuations in the interim, or a smaller group than expected, can create a slight increase in price.  Please do not register if you are unable to pay a small price increase, should it become necessary.  Your TLs will make every effort to avoid a price increase, and, if one is necessary, to keep it as small as possible.

Additional Payment Information:  Payment in full is due 14 days after you signup or by Mar 31st, 2017 - whichever comes first.   You will be moved to the waiting list if you fail to meet this deadline

Payment may be made via PayPal, PC Banking or Check. It is your responsibility to get the deposit payment and/or balance payment to the AOC by the due dates. Allow two days processing for PayPal and PC Banking and one week to mail a check.

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Tue, Mar 14 2017.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

If you cancel on or before Apr 30, 2017, you will receive a full refund less a $35 administrative fee.  There will be no refunds for cancellations after Apr 30, unless someone (approved by the trip leaders) replaces you from the wait list and pays in full. If you are replaced, you will receive a full refund less the nonrefundable fee of $270.00 for the Milford Hut Fees, transportation fees and the $35.00 administrative fee. There are limited spaces available in the New Zealand hut system. Once all the spaces are filled on the Milford Track for February 13th, 14th & 15th, 2018, we will be unable to add a replacement for any cancellations.  Once this happens, there will be no refund for any cancellations. There is no partial payment for partial attendance.