The route involves a 6km alpine hike along the main divide crossing over Park Pass at the head of the Rockburn Valley and North Col at the head of the North Branch of the Routeburn. One of the many highlights is spending a night camped by Lake Nerine, a tranquil spot with its rock knolls and outstanding views, it is a very special place to explore.book now from $1600 Skills required
Michelle, New Zealand
Travel to the Glenorchy Road end and start on the trail through virgin bush that leads into the Rockburn Valley. There are many options of campsites along side the river, or you may choose to push on to Theatre Flat for a shorter second day.
Carry on up the valley through the impressive Theatre Flat, flanked by smooth slabs and jagged peaks. A short climb through the last of the bush brings you into the upper valley and to Park Pass beyond. From Park Pass you follow the steep ridge before descending to the alpine tarns. Your companions along the way are the snowy Fiordland peaks of Madeline and Tutoko. The tarns overlook the Rockburn Valley with views across to the Park Pass glacier and east to the peaks of the Earnslaw massif. Not a place tor rush with plenty to explore before the final short climb over the saddle to arrive at Lake Nerine. Plenty of time in the afternoon to swim, take photos and relax.
Perhaps the most challenging day of the trip. Lake Nerine catches the first rays of the morning sun but you shortly leave these behind as you cross on to the shady western aspects of Nerus Peak, overlooking Hidden Falls creek that drains into the mighty Hollyford River. A traverse route brings you to North Col and the head of the North Branch of the Routeburn. Here begins the challenging long descent to the flats over a variety of rough terrain including scree, scrub and following river beds. Camp next to the towering rock walls of Somnus.
After a couple of long days the final day brings a gentle few hours on improving track out to Routeburn Flats. From here the contrast is felt as you jump onto the busy Routeburn track back to the road end, completing the circuit.
The route requires carrying full 12-15kg packs and multiple overnight camps. Experience on multi-day routes and wild camping is required. For example: Rabbit Pass, Mt Armstrong, French Ridge. It is possible to do it as a 5 day trip that gives you a slightly more relaxed pace, and more time to enjoy the route and the highlights along the way.
Also experience carrying full 12-15kg packs, wild camping and long hiking days (8+ hours) is required.book now from $1600
One thing we hear every trip is "the food was great! I never knew it was possible to eat so well on a climbing / skiing / hiking trip". We put a lot of work into supplying you with wholesome meals with a variety of healthy and tasty ingredients and snacks catering to common preferences.
Where possible, we provide fresh vegetables and real coffee. However, there will always be limitations when cooking in an alpine or wilderness environment. Meals like salads are limited or not possible to provide. Some trips/ courses are not recommended for people with very restrictive or complex dietary requirements. If you do have a restrictive eating regime we ask that you disclose this to us at the time of booking and we may ask you to provide us with an advance copy of what you would typically eat on a wilderness trip.
For highly specialised diets requiring special food purchases - we may ask that you attend our offices on the day before your trip is due to commence. If you are joining a scheduled group that doesn't have food requirements, we may ask you to shop & pay for some of your preferred dietary requirements. You will also be required to carry this food and your guide may ask you to assist in the preparation of any separate meals required for you individually.
All our Wild Walks 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 Wild Walks will have some degree of up and downhill, but on those that cross alpine passes (such as 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 Wild Walks without serviced huts or campsites you will be carrying food and overnight equipment, so specific training with heavier loads (around 15 Kg) will help.
Generally, the price includes your qualified and friendly guide, all meals and snacks, park fees, hut fees, communications with Aspiring Guides Operations base and 15% Goods and Services Tax. Most technical equipment is included but transport costs like vehicle, jetboat, helicopter and/or air plane costs are not always included and vary with individual trips. See each individual trip description to see what is included or excluded from the price.