Explore South island trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

South island trip Map
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hiking
rocky
snow
2 hours ago

Amazing climb, take enough water especially on sunny days as you need to struggle with stairs and then steep rocky/snowy parts ! Views all way long are breathtaking...

hiking
over grown
scramble
22 hours ago

The trail is easy first half up, some over grown areas with grass that you need to wade through. Once you’re passed that then you have to cross a lot of loose gravel to get to the steep incline up. The trail isn’t well marked, looks like a few poles have fallen over but people have stacked some rocks so you can find your way. All worth the beautiful lake and view of the sound and ocean in the end!!

That is definitely NOT a moderate! Very difficult terrain, sometimes very easy to get lost if you overlook a sign. Even at official doc.govt.nz website is stated that you need good fitness and high level skills and experience incl. navigation and survival skills. So be aware of that.

Great track! Stunning views!

leadibg mostly through a rain forrest this track is moderately difficult and takes roughly 3 hours one way. You can see the whole Franz Josef glacier from the top and the view is trully stunning. Birds and dragon flies will keep you a company, as well as annoying helicopters which provide the same view only for a tons of $. why people prefer these noise machines is beyond me.

That was an amazing view!!

Great hike. Agree that you need to go early. We went at sunrise and by 7am on the way back there were quite a few folks coming. We got to see about 5 Kea birds hanging about but the end of the trail near Hooker Lake. Fun!

hiking
8 days ago

Made it to the saddle with our kids. Half carrying them and half them hiking. (4 and 2). Wasn’t too bad. Definitely a work out.

Got a bit windy for the them even with extra layers and was advised by a few passerby’s not to attempt the peak with kids in packs. Steep scrambling. Etc. So we settled for the saddle...

Views all the way up and at the saddle are insane.
Best hike we did in Queenstown.

Will be back next year with a lighter load. :)

Was a beautiful hike, got off the path a bit into a non path that was a bit treacherous so just pay attention to the orange triangles and you’ll be fine. Lovely hike got to the top in 1:20

hiking
9 days ago

Did it for sunrise, was amazing. Start walking around 2am and u will be up right in time. The way up is suitable for night walking and the beginning and end is harder but worth the view in the end.

montee en 2h30. il faut continuer après la hutte en haut d'un haut rocher pour avoir une magnifique vue a 360
et la cela mérite 5 étoiles.
pas très dur physiquement mais très technique sur la fin

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike 3.5 hours from top of gondola and back. Start early to beat the crowds. No shade for top 3/4.

hiking
11 days ago

Bueno , va una review en español ! Es jodido, pero lo hice , en 6 hrs y media , y parando en el camino.
Vale la pena cada paso que se da , y llegar al tope de la montaña y abrazar las nubes, no tiene precio.

12 days ago

View at the top is insane

Steepest part is the first part-- once you get past that it's still challenging but not as tough

Must do when you are visiting this area but make sure there are not too many clouds otherwise you won’t event see Mont Cook ;)

Une belle montée pour une vue magnifique !

walking
15 days ago

So hard but funking good

very nice, very steep

yes, it is crowded but what would you expect from an easy walkaway under the highest mountain of NZ, right?
It is very nice though!

Started the hike around 8am and there was hardly anyone on the trail! It was beautiful and very windy at times. Easy trail, 3 suspension bridges, great views. Hiked about 6.5 miles in about 2.5 hours. Trail was definitely crowded on our way out. Go early! And enjoy the views!!

beautiful views, moss forest, kea parrots on the top!

Possibly the best day hike I have ever done. Beautiful waterfalls and Alpine Lakes all along the Trail and then a truly epic view of the Canyon and Milford sound at the top. highly recommend to anyone. A word of warning, there are sections that have Cables bolted into the rock face to help with the climb. The rock could become very slippery when wet. would not attempt this hike in heavy rain.

hiking
21 days ago

Steep all the way up, but views are entirely
worth every step! We only saw a few people on the trail so it was an awesome break from the other very populated trails we had been on! Definitely recommend!

One of my favorite tracks. Short and beautiful. Took me approximately 4 hrs and 20 mins. Mainly because I had a time limit of 5 hours. I rushed to the top and to the bottom. That being said, I took a long break at the peak. The views... It's something you need to experience at least once. It is steep. So eat before. Drink plenty of water before you start. Bring tons of water (I had TWO Nalgenes and I finished both easily). And bring snacks along the way.

Amazing view up top. The last hour hike to the summit can be rocky and steep at times. The summit took me one hour to go up slowly. So take it slow esp coming down. But the view is amazing, comparable to Roy’s Peak at Wanaka.

Amazing view! Took slightly longer than 2 hours up, it’s a brutal uphill all the way but the roads are well paved. View is worth it!

Beautiful all year round

My wife and I completed this “track” yesterday, in late December, in perfect weather of clear skies and ~65 degrees F. It’s great! We are both experienced hikers and decent athletes, so take that into account for time-planning reference. We took the gondola up and hiked from Skyline (which starts behind the luge entrance, to the left, and it’s well marked) and made it to the saddle in under an hour. That section of trail behind the luge begins in the woods for less than 1 km and is mostly a steady uphill of smooth dirt track, with only a few simple wooden steps to prevent trail erosion. Once you emerge from the trees, you have excellent views of Lake Wakatipu and a long, exposed uphill to the saddle.

The section from the saddle to Ben Lomond peak took us just under 45 minutes at a difficult pace. It’s a fully exposed ridge, beginning with uneven/eroded dirt trails as turning into erratic rock stepping and some scrambling. It’s insanely fun with great views in most directions. Once you get to the top, on nice days, you’ll have a good bit of company for the 360 views, but the trail itself never felt too crowded.

The downhill from the summit to the saddle is probably the most precarious; take care not to lose or miss a step. The lower have back to the gondola is a simple downhill, but I imagine could get very muddy during or after rainfall. We also took the gondola down, and our full round trip was about 3 hours 50 minutes including at least 20 minutes for lunch at the peak and me scrambling throughout for 100+ pictures.

Suggestions: Since we were simply “on holiday,” we both wore good running shoes but I would recommend at least trail runners or low trail shoes for even experienced hikers. Then, bring at least 2-3 liters of water and wear gobs of sunscreen. And pee before you leave the woods; there’s no place to hide! Also, the big bird at the top WILL steal food from inside your bag.

Lastly, there is a parallel track that goes from the gondola up/down to the saddle on the ridge (rather than just below). It looks more fun and craggy than the saddle trail, but is reserved for downhill mountain bikers as it is mostly single track. Press your luck if you want the fun!

hiking
25 days ago

This trail will kick your butt if you are unfit. The last 200 meter to the crest of the ridge is the most difficult section due to the scree and ice. The area around the hut is still covered in ice. We took only 3 liters of water for the two of us which wasnt adequate under the hot intense sun. Some people were hiking shirtless!!!! The views? Out of this world!!!!!

Oh, the hut doesn’t belong to Mueller.

https://paulcpeh.wixsite.com/mysite/blog/aoraki-mt-cook-national-park-canterbury-aoteroa

Incredible views over snow capped peaks and lake wanaka all the way. A must do. Very steep all the way with no shade. We took 4,5 hours including a lunch break.

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