Hidden backcountry views and a glacial lake
Join me on this local Queenstown track, rewarding you with stunning scenery and panoramic views over the township, Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps! It doesn’t get any better than this. What you’re in for…
- Views without the crowds.
- A scene from Lord of the Rings.
- A swim in a glacial lake.
- Local stories by a born and bred Kiwi.
Usually, people opt for the common and shorter route to reach the lake and miss out on the hidden alpine basin right next to it. I know these mountains well and can guide you safely over a local track through the back of the Remarkables, where you’ll have the views to yourself (which is rare in Queenstown, I can assure you).
Passing through traditional landscapes, a waterfall cascading into Lake Wakatipu and rocky backcountry, we’ll have time to soak in the views and explore the area around Lake Alta; a filming location in Lord of The Rings. Let’s see if you can spot your accommodation in Queenstown from the top, we’ll be high enough. Lake Alta is often praised on review sites, however, you’d have a hard time finding the route we’ll go on by yourself.
The Adventure you’ll get with me is 100% unique to Bushman Tours only, this tour is not on offer anywhere else.
Let me show you some very special "off the beaten track" places in our beautiful southern South Island region. Having led tramping and walking trips in this region for over 45 years I have a good understanding of what makes a safe and enjoyable trip. My trips are at a moderate pace and allow ample time for photography and to fully appreciate your surroundings. I am passionate about protecting and enhancing our environment and volunteer with Predator Free Arrowtown, Wilding Conifer Control Group and the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust. I love sharing my passion for our unique landscapes, fauna and flora with visitors to the region. I have a modern, high clearance 4WD vehicle that helps with access to more remote areas and with snowy or icy conditions. My region is a land of contrasts. From the semi-arid tussock and schist rolling hills of Central Otago to the temperate rain forests, incredible towering peaks, glaciers and snowfields, waterfalls and crystal clear rivers of the Southern Alps.
- Worked in Ski Field management
- Worked for NZ Land Search and Rescue; rescued people from the Routeburn track in winter on foot
- Has traveled in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia (including the Tour Du Mont Blanc)
Swap the city for our Otago wild
We’ll start the day in Kiwi tradition, with a coffee and pie somewhere good in Queenstown. After a short drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the track starts with a steep ascent up the Remarkables. It’s here I’ll start giving you some facts and information on this beautiful region. But it wouldn’t be a Kiwi hike without a bit of climbing, so when we arrive, let’s do a quick safety briefing, stretch and lace up the boots.
I’ve explored this region for several years and will guide you through native bush and rugged backcountry terrain safely until we reach a hidden alpine basin – covered in multiple mountain tarns.
We can choose from several routes depending on our mood and fitness to reach the tops. However, I will share what I believe is the best for your bucks.
Either way, we’ll be rewarded with stunning views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, before pushing on to reach Lake Alta. A true representation of our Otago wild! You’ll likely get your first glimpse of other people at the lake where onlookers usually wonder where you’ve just traversed from! Afterwards, my wife will pick us up at the end of the one-way track and take us back to the city for a well-deserved beer or wine. Now that’s local, eh?
All tours require the proper gear to ensure you’re having the time of your life, and are well prepared if things go south. It’s the real and rugged New Zealand out there!
750ML Water Bottle
Sunscreen & hat
Top Base layer
Torch & Batteries
Warm hat & gloves (March to October)
Cutlery & cup
Lighter / Matches
Personal First Aid Kit
Q & A
Your Bushman has added a couple of answers to questions other Visitors have asked in the past to help you with your booking plans. Once you book a tour, you'll be in direct contact with your Bushman for more support.
How fit do I have to be?
The first section of the track is quite steep up the back of the Remarkables, but we can take plenty of breaks. I know several routes to reach Lake Alta and can adapt to your level of fitness to make this an enjoyable trip for everyone - either way, we’re in for great views!
How much time should I plan for this?
I recommend planning a full day for this, giving us enough time to enjoy the views and take breaks on the way.
Usually, the hike takes around 8 - 10 hours depending on how fast we are, plus a short drive back to Queenstown.
Can I swim in the lake?
For sure! There are also several mountain tarns that invite for a quick dip, however, be prepared for the freezing temperature of glacial water and don’t forget your towel.
Here’s a few answers to the more general questions about the whole journey. You can visit our help and support area for any further information or contact us via the chat function.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Bushman Tours sets a standard cancellation policy that can be found via our Terms & Conditions. This is globally set at 48 hours notice. However, Bushmen may add to this depending on the requirements for the Adventure (e.g. - hiring gear and renting equipment on your behalf). The final policy will be located at the bottom of the checkout, or you can reach out to us to check.
What happens if the tour is cancelled due to weather?
In most cases, the Bushman can arrange another day to run your tour, but this also comes down to when you're available if travelling through New Zealand. We recommend ensuring you have insurance for cancellation of any tours. If the Bushman has to cancel due to a health risk, we will call you to arrange another option.
What gear do I need?
Although we have a minimum requirement of gear, you will need the right equipment and gear that is relevant to the Adventure you're booking. This is usually found at the bottom of each tour page, but for our minimum, please visit our FAQs & blog page.
Can I hire gear/equipment?
In some circumstances, your Bushman will have equipment for you to hire. This is available to browse and book through the checkout. We may also have options through our checkout. Although you may be able to borrow gear during the tour, it's important to reserve it now.
What food shall I bring?
Depending on the length, this can vary. Your Bushman will advise on the tour page what is recommended for this particular Adventure, but typically, what we offer at checkout via the add-ons section is what you'll need. Keep it lightweight and nutritious if you buy your own.
Where do I meet my Bushman?
We always try to pick the closest iSite (Visitor Centre) to your Adventure's location. Instructions on precisely where to meet are sent after the booking is made. However, you can also message your Bushman and arrange another location as long as it's close enough to the region.
How much extra is it to add family/friends onto the booking?
If you book and find that more people want to come with you, we can arrange to add them onto the booking (this is dependant on the Bushman's preference to the number of people to take out). The more that book on the original checkout option, the cheaper the fee for each individual - so spread the word before you go to book! Please note, you cannot add or bring extra people 48 hours before the tour starts.
Can I talk to my Bushman before the Adventure?
Absolutely! Once you book, you will be able to login and chat directly to your Bushman through a private, secure chat. Here you can arrange some extras you would like to do, timings for pick up and much more.
Need more help?
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