Join us for an overnight introduction to the NZ snow covered backcountry with the security of your own guide. Using snowshoes is easy and you will be amazed at how you will be able to move around in the mountains. Flying directly out of Wanaka the helicopter will land you right at the hut where the fun begins.
Great for kids, families or anyone who wants a gentle winter backcountry experience. For fit walkers the trip ends with a snowshoe hike out to the road end (4-5 hours) but many people prefer the helicopter option back to Wanaka.
Day tours or longer tours (more than one night) are also possible.book now Skills required
Meet your guide at our offices in Wanaka, gear check and last minute questions. From here it is a short drive to Wanaka Airport where we meet our helicopter. It is a gorgeous ride into the Pisa Range with great views of Mount Aspiring and the Southern Alps. The helicopter drops us at the door to the hut where we unload the food and supplies. This moderate terrain is the perfect chance to get used to your snowshoes and adjusting to equipment. After a day exploring the local hills we settle down to a big dinner, your favourite beverage and a phenomenal sunset.
There is no need for an early start - after fresh coffee and breakfast we head down valley and into the Pisa Conservation Area. The scenery is amazing - snow covered valleys and rocky outcrops make this a journey to remember. Progress depends on the snow conditions on the day and sometimes it can be challenging. It's mostly downhill and easy cruising, but for those wanting a more "relaxed" option it is possible to helicopter out.
You only need to carry a light day pack as all cooking supplies and sleeping bags are already at the hut. Feel free to sleep in the snowcave if you want the real Bear Grills experience!
The maximum group size for all our scheduled trekking trips is one guide with 4-5 clients. We write this 1:5. Typically our average group size is 3-4 people although all our trips have guaranteed departures for just 2 people.
We also often cater for larger private groups and have operated hiking adventures in the NZ Southern Alps for groups of 10+ people. Please contact us if you would like to organise a spectacular hiking adventure for your group.
All our treks are physically demanding though our small group size means that you can go at your own pace. The fitter you are, the more you will achieve, and the more you will be able to enjoy the experience. Some experience walking on rough terrain is also the key, the better you are at this, the more efficiently you can travel, and the less energy you will expend.
All treks will have some degree of up and downhill, but on those that cross alpine passes (such as guided tours in Gillespie and Rabbit Pass), you can expect steep sections of around 500m vertically up and down. The advantage of these trips is that, due to the stocked camps, your pack weight will be light. On our more remote treks without serviced huts or campsites you will be carrying food and overnight equipment, so specific training with heavier loads (around 15 Kg) will help.
For most of our treks you will only need to carry your own personal clothing and gear: no tents, food or cooking supplies. Check the equipment and clothing required on the specific trip page as this varies for each trip. There will also be an indication of your pack weight. For our advanced trips, Adelaide Cirque and Lake Nerine, you will be required to a full pack.