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For all our walks it's important that you wear sensible footwear, ideally closed-toed trail shoes or hiking boots (no sandals or flip flops). Sunglasses are essential all year round (even on our snowshoe trips), as are hats (sun hat in summer, warm hat in winter), sunscreen, and a waterproof jacket. Our weather can be changeable especially in the mountains so make sure you come prepared with plenty of warm layers. If you have a small daypack this can be useful and remember to bring your camera and a smile!.
For a full list of what's provided and what you need to bring on our snowshoe trips, please click here.
All transport to and from your Queenstown accommodation (excludes private residence), snacks (lunch and bottled water on full day hikes) including tea/coffee and cookies; friendly, knowledgeable and cheerful local guides; interpretative commentary of flora, fauna, history and geology. Walking poles, day packs jackets are available on loan.
For a full list of what's provided and what you need to bring on our snowshoe trips please click here.
While we aim to find a pace that suits the group, in order to make the most of the experience we would recommend that guests have an average level of fitness and ideally walk fairly regularly. Each of our walks has a different walking distance and terrain involved and we are happy to answer any questions you may have on which walk is best for you. For a trip tailored exclusively to your ideal pace and distance please ask about our privately guided options.
Our Snowshoe Snow Play trip is designed for children aged between 3 and 14 years, the 3 day Hollyford Track is suitable for children aged between 10 - 14 years, and all our other guided walks are suitable for children aged between 8 and 14 years. We would highly recommend families with children to consider a privately guided walk to enable the experience to be tailored exclusively to the pace of the children involved and also cater specifically to their interests.
There are only limited toilet facilities on our walks. There are 'bush' toilets provided by the Department of Conservation at most of the carparks and beside any huts we may pass. With planning and fore knowledge which we will make sure you are aware of, these normally suffice for all our trips.
On the very rare occasion should clients need to use the 'green room' our guides carry toilet paper, biodegradable containers and hand sanitiser.
Snowshoeing is very easy - if you can walk you can snowshoe!
Our Snow Play trip is the easiest as it's only a short walk to our Snow Play features which we refresh through out the season. This is ideal for family groups with young children and while a level of fitness will help you enjoy this trip more, it's not essential.
Our Snowshoe Adventure is our most popular trip during which we gradually climb about 200 vertical metres and cover at least 4km. Although this doesn't sound too challenging, the trip takes place at altitude which does generally result in increased exertion. For this reason we recommend a reasonably good level of fitness if you are considering the Snowshoe Adventure trip.
One thing to remember for any of our trips is that we are at altitude (between 1500-1800m above sea level) which if you have come from sea level will see you dehydrating quickly so a water bottle is an essential piece of kit.
Our snowshoe trips run from early June until late October, however they are dependent on snow conditions so this may vary from season to season.
Snowshoeing does not require the snow cover, nor the ski lifts, that skiing does. So as a general rule, as soon as we have had our first winter storm, we can start operating. And while we can run trips into November, we normally finish end of October as the snow is getting wet and warm, so we tend to run morning trips only towards the end of the season.
Through June the snow is still building up, this means the temperatures are warmer while the snow is dry and makes for easy snowshoeing. In July and August, generally after a few storms, the snow is still dry and tends to settle into drifts and we can start to dig out snow caves while the weather is at its coldest.
From September onwards, the dry powder is replaced by spring conditions. This means warmer, more intense sunshine but the snow is slightly wetter, so waterproof footwear is handy later in the season.
Winter is typified by cool, calm, clear days in the Southern Lakes. In any given week, we would expect 4 of 7 days to be like this. Of the other three, 2 can be expected to overcast and inclement and one day a week precipitation (generally snow), windy and basically real expedition weather.
Temperatures vary from the start of the season to the end of the season. In June, when the days are very short, temperatures on the mountains range between 0° to -10°C during the day. By October, temperatures tend to be close to or above 0°C. However, on windy days, the temperatures can drop an additional -20°C on exposed ridges. Fortunately, most of the routes we use, are sheltered below the ridgelines and we rarely seek exposure on ridgelines on inclement days.