GI Cancer Gutsy New Zealand

Join the GI Cancer Gusty team on a dramatic trek offering a grand spectacular mountain view landscape

Challenge Highlights

  • Hike to some of the most secluded ridges in the Southern Alps
  • Admire the majesty of NZ's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook from Mueller Hut
  • Enjoy panoramic views from Lake Ohau Lodge overlooking the glistening alpine lake
  • Hike to waterfalls and lakes and follow tracks to enormous glaciers
  • Take in panoramic views of Lake Wanaka from the summit of Rocky Mountain
  • Raise vital funds for your charity the GI Cancer Institute


Walk 65 kilometers along New Zealand's Southern Alps, from mountain peaks, remote lakes and valley systems and the splendour of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring from high vantage points. The challenge begins with a drive across the Canterbury Plains for a trek up a local peak that affords a terrifically unexpected panorama of the Southern Alps. We continue to Tekapo and onto Aoraki/Mount Cook where we spend time hiking in the National Park, with options to reach high points on the ridges overlooking the Hooker Glacier, the spectacular Mt Sefton with its sheer walls of ice and rock. After another challenging walk to Dumb-bell Lake we are rewarded with accommodation in the secluded Lake Ohau Lodge providing a stunning night overlooking Lake Ohau before we move onto Wanaka. Here we admire 360 degree views of Lake Wanaka from Rocky Mountain and a final walk to the Rob Roy Glacier, before travelling to Queenstown at the end of our adventure. This trip has been designed to push you to meet your hiking potential, whilst enjoying amazing scenery and comfortable lodgings at the end of every long day.

Challenge Grade

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 utilise formed tracks, some days the hikes involve untracked scree and tussock which is steep in places. 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 a few hours at a time (with breaks included) with a day pack in all weather conditions.

We recommend 90 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling, jogging or power walking) four times a week for the three months leading up to your trip.


We will collect you from Christchurch International Airport by 12 midday before we drive across the vast Canterbury Plains towards Lake Coleridge. We set off on our first walk to the summit of Peak Hill (1244m). At the top we are rewarded with sweeping views of snowy alps and the impressive Rakaia and Wilberforce river valleys. Our warm up hike provides a wonderful introduction to New Zealand’s high country landscapes. Following our hike we drive to nearby Methven and check into our hotel. We meet again in the evening for our first group meal together. Hiking Distance: 6km – 3.5 hours – 640m ascent

Meals:  L,D

After breakfast we leave Methven and drive approx 2 hours to the incredibly picturesque Lake Tekapo and head along the lakeside to Mt Gerald station. Todays hike takes us up through golden tussock-lands for 3 to 4 hours to the backcountry Rex Simpson Hut. Perched at the top edge of a terrace above Lake Tekapo, we are rewarded with panoramic views of the Two Thumb Range, Godley River Valley and Macaulay River Valley. We take some time to enjoy the setting and a picnic lunch and then return the same way. For the stronger trekker there may be the opportunity to continue further up the ridge towards the summit of Beuzenberg Peak at 2070m. We return to our vehicle for the short drive back to Lake Tekapo. After dinner we can take a walk to the famous Church of the Good Shepherd to savour the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky - one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere. Hiking Distance: 12km – 6 to 8 hours – 600m ascent

Meals:  B,L,D

Aoraki/Mt Cook beckons as we drive 90 minutes to the heart of the National Park. Today we climb up to the Sealy Tarns gaining 450m in the first hour. From here there are awesome views around the neighbouring 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 kilometre 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. Tonight’s accommodation is within the Mt Cook Village itself with outstanding views of the sun setting on the peaks. Hiking Distance: 10km – 6 to 8 hours - 1100m ascent

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we drive another 90 minutes to Lake Ohau and then up the ski field road to the bottom ski lifts. We start walking upwards through the rocky Ohau Basin towards the saddle near Peak 1918 and along the wide ridge to skirt round Mt Sutton at 2007m. This route is a remote hike partially offtrack that will follow a series of cairns and marker stones over rocky terrain. The group must be confident traversing loose stones, scree and boulders. From here we can admire amazing views and snowy peaks in all directions; like a moonscape with its colourful rocky landscape and vivid blue Lake Ohau way below. This is a demanding hike, but we’ll have a feeling of complete isolation. The route will descend to remote Dumb-Bell Lake before climbing up to another saddle and then descending steeply down a rough marked track down Freehold Creek and onto Parsons Creek crossing ancient glacial terraces to arrive at Lake Ohau and our comfortable lodge for the night. Hiking Distance: 18km – 8 to 10 hours – 2000m ascent

Meals:  B,L,D

Leaving the Mackenzie basin we cross ‘water-sheds’ and drive over the Lindis Pass through to to the lakeside town of Wanaka. After lunch we enjoy a walk to take in stunning panoramic views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. We start by climbing gently around the east side of Rocky Mountain to the summit offering a superb vista into the Mount Aspiring National Park. We descend via the beautiful Diamond Lake and then drive back to Wanaka and our accommodation for the night. We are free to explore the town centre or enjoy a stroll on the lakefront before heading for our group dinner. Hiking Distance: 7km – 4 hours – 420m ascent

Meals:  B,L,D

Our final walk today takes us to the Matukituki Valley and the stunning Rob Roy Glacier. We drive an hour from Wanaka to Raspberry Creek where the track climbs up out of the valley through a small gorge into beach forest. We then climb into alpine vegetation at the head of the valley where the Rob Roy Glacier can be seen. We admire views of the icefall and enjoy our picnic lunch before returning the same way. We might even get to spot a Kea, the curious endangered alpine parrot which sometimes makes an appearance. For those with extra energy there may be an opportunity to continue walking along the Matukituki Valley to the Brides Veil Waterfall. We return to our vehicle and drive to Queenstown over the Crown Range, a drive of approx 2.5 hours. Tonight we have our final group dinner together where we can celebrate our New Zealand adventure and the week's hiking achievements. Hiking Distance: 12km – 6 hours – 500m ascent

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after breakfast we say a sad farewell to our guides and hiking companions. There will be one group drop off at the Queenstown Airport before 10:00am. For those who might be staying in Queenstown for longer, additional accommodation can be booked for you if required (own expense).

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • 6 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Professional driver/guides
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Water and snacks while trekking
  • Packs and poles (on request if required) - please let our staff know in advance
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

What's Not Included

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • All beverages, other than with breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

What You Carry

  • All the walks on the tour are day walks so a small pack for your personal essentials is all you will need to carry. The support vehicle will then take the rest of the equipment.

Fundraising Impact

• Lift 5-year survival rates

• Improve cure rates

• Give patients immediate access to the latest treatments

• Improve quality of life during treatment

• Change GI cancer treatment worldwide

• Ensure patients receive an excellent standard of care

• Be a part of cutting edge research

• Give patients and their loved ones hope

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Optional single supplement:USD$540 
Minimum Charity Donation/Fundraised:USD$2800 

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 17 Nov 201923 Nov 2019
Duration:7 Days
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:GI6
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$160

The GI Cancer Institute saves lives by funding gastro intestinal (GI) cancer clinical trials research in Australia. GI Cancers are the most common form of cancer. The research that we fund enables Australians with GI cancer to receive the best medical treatment.