HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THIS TRIP?
PLEASE VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE
Take the leap
Be first in line for trip launches, updates and podcast news.
11 Total Spots
WEEK 1: November 7-17, 2024
WEEK 2: November 11-21, 2024 (SOLD OUT!)
$850 Deposit required to hold your spot.
Final balance due Sep 3, 2024.
Please view our Booking Terms here.
Nov 7 - 17, 2024
Nov 11 - 21, 2024
We’re really packing it in with this one! Over 11 days, we will hike and bike our way through the Southern Alps and several of New Zealand’s National Parks with stunning scenery and jaw-dropping backdrops all along the way. We’ll leave the garden city of Christchurch and head to the Southern Alps, offering a chance to explore the vast and impressive Mackenzie country and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park by foot to truly appreciate its huge glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains. We then head down the Waitiki Valley by bike, traveling alongside beautiful rivers and lakes before turning South to the Central Otago region, known as “big-sky country” and carved by the gold mining era of the 1860’s.
From there we’ll head to Lake Dunstan to ride New Zealand’s newest cycle trail, following the glistening lake’s edge to Cromwell and then through the impressive Cromwell Gorge to the charming town of Clyde.
Leaving Central Otago, our next few days are focused on experiencing the natural wonders of Fiordland by hike, bike, boat and kayak! Based in Te Anau, we’ll hike up Mt Luxmore to give outstanding mountain and lake views. We’ll jetboat down the Waiau river to Lake Manapouri, spend a night out in the majestic Doubtful Sound, hike sections of two of New Zealand’s Great Walks and explore Milford Sound by boat and foot.
Leaving Fiordland, we’ll cycle through the isolated Von Valley and Mavora Lakes to arrive at Lake Wakatipu, where we’ll take the historic Earnslaw Steamer back to Queenstown and enjoy our last meal together, celebrating a phenomenal adventure!(🤯🤩)
Jackie put together this trip with ALL of the things that you’d want to have on a trip.
We will meet at a central city location in Christchurch around 08:00am and drive south across the Canterbury Plains and through small agricultural towns with some of them now home to breweries and distilleries showcasing local flavors. Upon reaching Fairlie we enjoy lunch at the legendary bakery before carrying onto Lake Tekapo’s lakeside where we leave the sealed road and head towards Mt Gerald station. Here we start the hike 3-4 hours up onto an alpine terrace to Rex Simpson Hut (a 12 bunk private hut). To greet us are stunning vistas across the lake and into the rolling tussock landscape that surrounds the area. As day turns to night, we savor the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky (one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere) and enjoy a hearty meal prepared by our guides.
Tonight’s hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 12 participants and 2 guides in total. There are no showers and the toilet is a traditional longdrop loo with a view! The hut is fully equipped with pot belly stove, firewood, gas, and solar lighting. Sleeping bags, pillows and mattresses are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided each trip. It provides a comfortable and unique place to call home for the night. Note: Please remember we will be staying in an alpine hut on this first evening, we suggest packing a small overnight bag with clothing suitable for staying in an alpine environment, you will not need to take all your luggage with you. If necessary, we can provide small overnight packs and walking poles.
From the hut we climb onto a broad easy spur which gradually gains height showcasing breathtaking views back down the lake and across to the Southern Alps with the prominent east faces of Mt Cook and Tasman. For the strong trekker, the summit of Beuzenberg Peak at 2070m is a just reward. Back at the hut we pack up and return to our vehicle for the stunning drive around Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki to drive 90 mins to the World Heritage area, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and our lodge accommodation where we enjoy a BBQ dinner with views of Mt Cook.
The entire day awaits to explore Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and immerse ourselves in the awe-inspiring landscapes and mighty peaks that surround. Ideally we climb up to Mueller Hut, which is weather dependent, yet offers views which are the best in the National Park; however, there are other options which deliver. The Mueller Hut starts with countless stairs to Sealy Tarns, gaining 450m in the first hour. From here there are awesome views around the neighboring 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 kilometer 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. A second night in the village provides another opportunity to view these peaks at sundown and the incredible starry night sky that follows.
There is an opportunity to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Museum (entry fee payable) in the afternoon and/or the Department of Conservation Centre which showcases the history of climbing in the Park or kick back and admire the view of peaks from our lodge accommodation.
After breakfast we drive south to Omarama and swap from hiking to biking attire to experience one of the best sections of New Zealand’s longest continuous cycle trail: the Alps to Ocean. Today’s ride takes us down the Waitaki Valley, known for its hydro lakes, dams, and epic views. First, we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, we join the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rocky outcrops, little beaches and even tree-covered islands. The trail then drops us down from above the Benmore Dam and we head off the trail and ride up to Otematata High Country Station, a 6th generation high country station whose story echoes the pastoral history of our nation. Here we will be greeted by Philippa Cameron who will host us for morning tea. Phillipa is the inspiration behind the blog and Instagram account What’s For Smoko. We will hear how she feeds hoards of hungry workers and enjoy a tasty morning tea whilst learning about her most recent project – publishing her second cookbook. Phillippa is also a force for change across a variety of social and community causes, plus a keen cyclist and multi sport competitor, and proud mum and wife to boot!
After enjoying the station hospitality we’ll head back to Omarama for the night. If time allows there is the option of enjoying a hot tub at the local hot pools where we can soak in fresh, mountain water (own expense) while admiring the surrounding mountain views. Dinner is at the legendary Boots and Jandals pub, a classic kiwi pub meal. Game of pool, anyone?
After breakfast we drive south to Cromwell in the Central Otago region via the Lindis Pass, a spectacular sealed alpine pass surrounded by tussock-covered mountains.
Today we’ll be riding on New Zealand’s newest cycle trail, the Lake Dunstan Trail, which travels through unique and fascinating landscapes so characteristic of Central Otago. The trail starts with an easy ride following the glistening shores of Lake Dunstan. We pass through Cromwell’s Old Town, a small historic precinct dating back to the gold rush days of the 1800s, where galleries, coffee shops and boutiques give us a short break from the bike. The trail continues along the Kawarau arm of Lake Dunstan to the Bannockburn Bridge offering stunning views across the lake while passing by wineries and olive groves. This is the perfect stop for lunch and a wine tasting at a nearby boutique vineyard. After lunch we head into the dramatic Cromwell Gorge, where the track winds around sheer rockfaces and over lake inlets on impressively engineered platforms and bridges rising above the lake. The trail finishes in the small and perfectly preserved historic gold mining town of Clyde where we’ll be staying the night at a delightful and quirky historic accommodation, which is perfectly located across the road from a stunning wine bar!
After an early breakfast, we have a 3 hour van transfer through small towns and rural landscapes to Te Anau, on the edge of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, known for its glacier-carved fiords. Today we embark on a challenging hike along part of NZ’s famous Kepler Track. We climb above the bushline to give us views of row upon row of jagged mountains with Lake Te Anau shimmering far below.
We set off from Te Anau town with a short boat ride across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay where we join a well-made track through mountain and red beech. We climb steadily for about 2 hours up to some limestone bluffs before breaking out of the bushline. Here, the panoramic views of the Te Anau Basin, Takitimu Mountains, and the Snowdon and Earl Mountains are spectacular. This is also where there’s a good chance you’ll encounter kea – New Zealand’s large, extremely intelligent alpine parrots. It’s another 45 minute walk to reach Luxmore Hut where we have a break and refreshments, and if time allows we can visit the Luxmore Cave, with impressive stalagmites and stalactites. We then return to Brod Bay, descending the same way and take the boat back to Te Anau in the early evening.
This morning we will have some time to wander the shops of Te Anau before we are collected at 11:30am by Real NZ to commence the overnight Doubtful Sound experience. We start with a short cruise across Lake Manapouri, a drive over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we will meet the “Navigator,” a luxurious boat that will be our home for the night. We cruise out into the beautiful Doubtful Sound, formed by glaciers and far less-visited than the more well known and more accessible Milford Sound. We have opportunities to go kayaking or on a nature tour to meet dolphins and fur seals. Then relax into an evening of entertainment, fine food and comfortable sleep in our quad share bunk bed cabins. In the heart of the wilderness of the Fiordland National Park we are constantly surrounded by magnificent views of the mountains, the sunset is superb and we feel quite insignificant amongst this grandeur.
After a great on-board breakfast and the “sounds of silence” experience, we continue cruising through the fiord, returning to Deep Cove and back to Manapouri, arriving at Midday. This afternoon we have a choice to cycle or walk. We can ride the Lake to Lake trail from Lake Manapouri back to Lake Te Anau or walk on a different part of the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. The walk option leaves from Rainbow Reach and follows the Waiau River through beautiful beech forest to the Lake Te Anau outlet. Once back in Te Anau there’ll be time to visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary to take a peek at some of Fiordland’s special protected birds, including the Takahe and Kaka, that are difficult to see in the wild. Tonight’s dinner is free for you to choose from a range of options.
This morning we drive into another area of the Fiordland National Park amid the beech forests and mountains that the region is famous for. The beautiful Milford road tracks through the wilderness and we stop to enjoy some of the lookouts and views on the way, before arriving at The Divide. From here we walk to Key Summit, a 3-hour return hike which forms part of the Routeburn Track and gives spectacular views of the Hollyford Valley and Humboldt and Earl mountain ranges. The Routeburn Track is another of New Zealand’s Great Walks, classified as premier tracks that pass through diverse and spectacular scenery.
We drive a short distance further through to the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound where we board a boat to cruise about and see the magic and sheer granite cliffs from the water. We return to Te Anau for a well-earned meal.
This morning we leave Te Anau and after a 2-hour drive, we’ll arrive at the hidden Mavora Lakes, a site of scenes from Lord of the Rings. From here we ride by the lakes and through the beech forest before continuing on to the colourful Von Valley. There is a real sense of isolation and the huge mountain and tussock landscape is vast. We farewell our supporting coach as we cycle downhill to the shores of Lake Wakatipu and Mount Nicholas station. Here we are greeted with stunning views of alpine peaks and snow-covered Mount Earnslaw at the head of the lake. We follow the lakeside trail to Walter Peak Station, where we enjoy afternoon tea in the historic homestead. We then board the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamer and cross Lake Wakatipu, returning us to Queenstown in the early evening. We’ll have definitely earned our final celebratory dinner at one of Queenstown’s many breweries.
Our trip of a lifetime ends upon checkout, but the memories and friendships will certainly last!
WEEK 1 // Nov 7-17, 2024 with Carley – Many of you already know Carley, whether you’ve met her in person on previous JUMP trips (she’s been on EIGHT of them and she led our second Jordan trip in 2023), or you’ve heard her on the podcast (she’s been featured in four episodes recapping many of her travel experiences with Jackie). This will be her second time leading a JUMP trip!
WEEK 2 // Nov 11-21, 2024 with Jackie
We have partnered with our long-time friend Phil from Adventure South NZ to create this fabulous itinerary for you.
Adventure South NZ will provide us with two guides, about whom they say, “Our guides are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. They come from all walks of life but they all have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, heaps of fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you. We provide you with the services of two guides. All are certified in first aid and CPR and many are advanced mountain guides.” We are in good hands!
Carley crushing it in Jordan.
Airfare is not included.
Please note: This trip begins in Christchurch, NZ and ends in Queenstown, NZ.
You will need to fly into Christchurch the day prior to the tour departure. Your guides will meet you at a central Christchurch location (to be delivered to registered participants upon booking) at 8am on the first morning of the trip. The trip will finish after dinner on the final day. You can choose to remain in Queenstown for a few days or catch a flight the day after the trip finishes. The airport is a 20 minute taxi ride from the center of Queenstown.
New Zealand is 16 hours ahead of the east coast of the USA. Please plan your travels carefully and accordingly!
Trip Grading: Moderate to Challenging
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 utilize formed tracks, on some days the hikes involve untracked scree and tussock. Some of the walking involves gradual climbing without a formed track to follow. 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 up 4-6 hours at a time (with breaks included) and enjoy walking uphill, with some steep sections.
The cycling routes are graded moderate. You will need a good level of fitness and we suggest 60-90 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling, jogging or swimming) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. The routes follow undulating gravel and hard packed shingle trails, so as much training as possible on unsealed trails/paths will help you to enjoy the cycling aspects of the tour to the max! Remember: The tour is fully supported, so if at any stage you feel like having a rest you will be able to ride in the support vehicle.
In sum: A proficient hiking level and physical fitness is recommended for this trip. It’s also a great idea to practice hiking in the shoes or boots you plan to wear, as you will be in them for a majority of the time. The right approach to any adventure trip is “get in shape to go hiking & cycling in New Zealand!” and not “go hiking & cycling in New Zealand to get in shape.” You’ve got this!
Stretching North to South for over 2000 km, and split into two main islands – the North and the South Islands – New Zealand is a country of diverse landforms. From the Pacific Island beaches and rolling farmlands in the north, to the volcanic plateau and then onto the soaring mountains within view of the sea in the south, and the sub-Antarctic islands that dot the South Island coastline, the contrasts are many.
The South Island is the 12th largest island in the world. The west coast is dominated by the Southern Alps, which contain more mountains than the European Alps altogether, and home to New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook (3754m / 12,316 ft). The Main Divide, the chain of peaks that forms the backbone of the Alps from Arthur’s Pass to Fiordland, splits the South Island into east and west. Several ice ages, and the fact that two continental plates are sliding past each other forming the Southern Alps, means that the scenery is as rugged as the New Zealand fauna and flora is unique. The largest city in the South Island is Christchurch.
The North Island is the smaller of the two main islands of New Zealand. Its northern location means it enjoys a warmer, more temperate climate than much of the South Island, and is much more vastly populated. The centre of the island is primarily a volcanic landscape with vast forests, volcanic peaks, and picturesque lakes. The eastern side of the island is covered with vineyards. Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’, is the largest city of New Zealand and found on the North Island.
With a population of 4.0 million people, the wilderness areas of New Zealand are many as most ‘Kiwis’ now live in an urban situation near the coast. The Maori are the indigenous people of the land and they named it Aotearoa ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ upon their arrival 1000 years ago. Europeans settled in the early 1800s and the country is alive today with a market driven economy and a blend of European and Asia/Pacific influences to create a buoyant South Pacific culture.
As a general rule, November to April are the most ideal months for traveling in New Zealand’s stunning outdoors. One of the most important things travelers need to know about the New Zealand climate is that it’s a maritime climate, as opposed to the continental climate typical of larger landmasses.
Thanks to its position in the path of the ‘Roaring 40s’ and mountainous terrain, New Zealand’s weather can frequently change with amazing rapidity. Because the weather can change so unexpectedly you should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. This basically means having a good waterproof jacket and some warm clothing. You don’t need to bring your winter wardrobe but a good fleece/jumper and good thermals are a must.
The temperature during the South Island summers range from 10-30 oC, with a pleasant 40- 50% humidity. Higher altitudes are always considerably cooler and snowfall is not uncommon even in summer. The Southern Alps act as a barrier to the moisture laden winds coming west across the Tasman Sea, creating a wet climate on the west side of the mountains and a drier climate on the east side. The geography also creates a wind pattern, which can in summer be very hot, dry and fierce. Maximum temperatures we may encounter range up to 30°C. Minimum temperatures expected in the Southern Alps in Summer time are around -5°C. Weather is an integral facet of any mountain range and getting to understand and work with this major environmental factor is what will make you more prepared for your tour.
Provided we are advised in advance of your departure, we are able to cater for vegetarian diets and can assist with medically recommended diets (allergies and intolerances). Please ensure you list your requirements upon booking to determine whether we can cater to such dietary requirements on this adventure. Please note that options are likely to be limited in very remote locations or alternatives may be more expensive or unavailable. There may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own food. We are unable to guarantee a peanut-free or allergen-free trip, and therefore, we strongly encourage that travellers with life-threatening or severe allergies take all necessary medical precautions to prepare for the possibility of exposure. Passengers must travel with all necessary medications for food allergies and be capable of self-administering these medications.
The accommodation for this trip has been carefully selected to provide comfort and value in the best locations possible. The accommodation is on a twin share or double room basis with private facilities, except for the first night where we stay in a mountain hut. This remote back country hut has bunk beds in a dormitory arrangement and the bathroom facilities are basic and shared.
Please note: although every effort is made to stay at the accommodation detailed in the itinerary, occasionally, due to seasonal shortages, we need to use other accommodation of a similar standard.
Due to limited backcountry accommodations, single occupancy is not available for this trip.
On the first day of the tour you will be staying in a private mountain hut. You will need to carry an overnight pack for that day and then back to the vehicle on the second day. The rest of the walks on the tour are day walks so a small pack with personal essentials is all you will need to carry. The support vehicle will then take the rest of the equipment. On the cycling days, you will have access to the support vehicle during the day if you wish to leave any other items on board.
Hiking poles are recommended but not essential. Sturdy walking boots with good ankle support that are well broken in are essential. A comprehensive gear list will be sent to registered participants.
Please view JUMP Adventures sustainability practices.
Adventure South NZ Sustainability Note:
We all have a responsibility to minimize the impact we have on the environment and communities we visit when we travel. Since our beginnings this has been a cornerstone of our company. The New Zealand travel industry has become a world leader in developing an external audit process which monitors tourism businesses based on quality, safety and sustainable experiences. We’re very proud to have received a Gold Qualmark rating, having met standards designed to protect what makes New Zealand unique and special. Being responsible when we travel isn’t about a single process or project but rather a way of thinking and then doing. We started this journey many years ago and although we are not perfect, we are striving to continually learn and improve.
Deposits are non-refundable. Please click here to view our Booking Terms & Conditions. Each participant is highly encouraged to purchase CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason insurance) as soon as you book your trip, to protect your travel investment as well as have personal luggage and medical coverage, not to mention peace of mind! Click here to get CFAR quotes from battleface insurance.
Be first in line for trip launches, updates and podcast news.