Welcome to the start of your
Mt Cook Gillespie Pass Adventure!

New Zealand was the last large habitable landmass to be settled by humans. No humans lived here prior to 1280 CE

Imagine standing amidst giant mountains with glaciers spilling down enormous valleys in the wop-wops (see Know The Lingo below)

The sky has never looked so blue. A freezing breeze kisses your cheeks.

Silence everywhere.

Humanity nowhere.

This is New Zealand at its finest. It seems impossible that what you are seeing is on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But it is real and you are here.

The South Island of New Zealand is said to be Maui's canoe, a demigod who fished and pulled to the surface, the North Island of New Zealand.

Your Journey

Day 1: Arrive in Christchurch and transfer to hotel. (D)
Day 2: Transfer to Mt Cook National Park 1.5 hours hike (B, L, D)
Day 3: Mt Cook 6-8 km, 6 hours hiking (B, L, D)
Day 4: Mt Cook – Makarora 4 km, 2 hours hiking (B, L, D)
Day 5: Makarora – Young Hut 20 km, 7 hours hiking (B, L,D)
Day 6: Young Hut – Siberia Hut via Gillespie Pass12 km, 7 hours hiking (B,L,D)
Day 7: Lake Crucible 13 km, 4 hours hiking (B, L, D)
Day 8: Siberia Hut – Jetboat to Queenstown 7 km, 2-3 hours hiking (B, L)
Day 9: Homeward bound. (B)

Guest Portal

You can update all your personal information directly in our Guest’s Portal. There, you can add your Insurance, Flight Details, and anything else we need for the trip. When you first click on the link you will be asked to reset your password. Please use the same email address you used for your booking.

Training

With over 30% of the country set aside for natural reservation, it's no wonder New Zealand is considered one of the planet's most beautiful countries.

Fitness is perhaps the key factor in the trek.

Most people of average fitness for their age could complete most of our treks. Take your time, set your own pace, and enjoy the incredible surroundings.

Most first-time trekkers are concerned that they won’t keep up. They soon discover that a steady and moderate pace will have them to their destination much faster than originally expected.

These treks are not training runs for the fit, but walking holidays for people of all ages, however, the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it, and you will have enough energy for extra activities.

The best physical preparation for a trekking and climbing trip is to walk.

Start today. Walk on paths that go up and down, or on hills and steps for 30 or 40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week. 

Carry your day pack and wear the boots you plan to wear on the trek around 3 – 4 weeks before your arrival to New Zealand.

Jogging, swimming, gym work you do additional, are all very helpful.

Regularly within Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland (we’re constantly working to try and get guides in other states on board as well), we’ll have a variety of guides and trekkers get to know one another whilst working on their fitness and sharing advice on monthly weekend walks.

For information on any upcoming walks, please keep an eye out on our Upcoming Events

NOTE: Every participant should consult a physician well before the expedition date and make sure that they do not suffer from any chronic heart, lungs, cerebral, physical or any other serious illness.

As your service provider and hosts, we will take all necessary steps needed to evacuate injured or ill clients on the understanding that all costs involved will be paid to us before leaving the country (See We’ve got you covered below).

GETTING THERE AND AWAY

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. This is the name of a town on the east coast of New Zealand and its translation from Maori goes something like this: “The place where Tamatea, the man on the big knees who slipped, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land eater, he played the flute to his loved one ”.

ARRIVAL IN NEW ZEALAND

Upon your arrival, please go through to collect checked luggage and security, then proceed out the EXIT door. You will have the address of the hotel the group is staying at. You can either take a Taxi or a Shuttle Bus into Christchurch, directly to your hotel. This will usually take between 15 and 20 minutes.

Please do let us know if there are any last-minute changes to your arrival time!

NOTE: We suggest you always wear your hiking boots and carry with you any required medications on this flight to ensure there is NO chance of them getting lost or misplaced.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

New Zealand has the highest animal to human ratio. Humans only make up 5% of the entire animal kingdom in New Zealand. Sheep make up 25%.

Visa Information

NEW ZEALAND TOURIST VISA 

If you are an Australian Citizen you do not need a Visa to go to New Zealand. 

If you are from any other country you may need to apply for an electronic NZ Visa. The process is very easy. If you are from a Visa Waiver Country, and there are many, you can apply for your evisa here.

For more information go to https://www.govt.nz/browse/immigration-and-visas/visitor-visas-and-the-nzeta/check-if-you-need-a-visitor-visa-or-an-nzeta/

INSURANCE

Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance is a requirement for all guests travelling on our expeditions. Once you have booked on an expedition we suggest booking your travel insurance as soon as possible to protect your investment. Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for any non-recoverable air or land expenses should you have to cancel your trip due to personal or family illness or leave the expedition early due to other reasons. For our Australian guests, we are offering policies from NIB Travel for adequate cover, and you can contact our office direct, via phone or email, to obtain an insurance quote from us.

For guests travelling with us from outside Australia, please check Travel Insurance options within your Country.

If you should receive an injury 12 months prior to your travel date, you must contact the Insurance Company with details to ensure you are covered for this injury whilst travelling. Should you not do this and require medical assistance for this injury whilst travelling you may not be covered by the insurance company.

In the event that an aircraft evacuation is required, No Roads Expeditions will undertake to arrange the evacuation on the condition that the expenses are reimbursed by the passenger before departing the Country.

Note: Accidents caused by the inappropriate consumption of alcohol or drugs may void your travel insurance.

Get a Quote

While we don’t anticipate any uninvited medical disruptions during your trek, No Roads wants to keep your mind at ease and help you get adequate assistance and cover for your well-earned time away. It is extremely important that we ensure you’re covered during your great alpine experience.

We are able to provide you with Travel Insurance for your trip, allowing you to tick this off your ‘To-Do Lis”t as soon as possible. (We strongly recommend that you take out baggage loss and accident insurance)!

Already have a trusted insurance provider?

That’s no problem at all, our primary concern is that you have adequate cover.

Got a Pre-Existing Condition?

Simply call our Insurance Team and quote the reference number we provide you with and they’ll complete an assessment on your behalf. In many cases, there is no additional premium that needs to be paid! Many common conditions are also automatically covered. 

In the event that an aircraft evacuation is required, No Roads Expeditions will undertake to arrange the evacuation on the condition that the expenses are reimbursed by the passenger before departing the Country.

Again, if you’ve any questions, don’t hesitate to ask info@noroads.com.au.

No matter where you are standing in New Zealand, you are no further than 128km from the sea.

IMMUNIZATION

There are NO immunization requirements to enter New Zealand. You do not need to be vaccinated against Covid 19, however some airlines may require evidence of this before boarding.

Accommodation

Mt Cook was first climbed on Christmas Day 194 by Jack Clarke, Tom Fyfe and George Graham. 12 years earlier, Reverend W S Green, came within 20 meters of the summit before turning back.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATION IN CHRISTCHURCH, AORAKI, WANAKA AND QUEENSTOWN

We will be using a variety of delightful hotels and lodges for this trip. Each will have separate sleeping rooms and most will have an ensuite. The actual places will be furnished to you in your Joining Instructions.

DURING THE TREK

For the Gillespie Pass, we will be staying in Mountain Huts established by the Department of Conservation. These are basic buildings with small bunk and dorm-style accommodation, a separate kitchen area, and usually a detached toilet. There are usually no shower facilities.

Aoraki means “cloud piercer” in te reo Maori. At 3,724 metres (12,218 feet), Aoraki (Mt Cook) is permanently covered in snow.

Getting Outfitted

HOW TO PACK

We recommend that you bring two bags on your trip, a hiking backpack with an internal frame (at least 60 litres in capacity) for the overnight hikes, and a smaller day pack for the day hikes. We supply kit bags for the stowage of your gear in the trailer when you are away on a multi-day hike.


EQUIPMENT 

  • Backpack (minimum 60 litres)
  • Sleeping bag (minimum 3 season, preferably down, lightweight, between 1-2 kg)

  •  Flashlight/headlamp

  • Drink bottle or camel back – 1 litre

  • Small day pack

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses

  • Insect repellent (sandflies like foreign blood)

  • Personal toiletries, medication and first aid

  • Walking Poles (optional)

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Power bank

CLOTHING – one set for walking, one set for evenings.

WALKING CLOTHES: Several layers of wool, polypropylene and/ or polar fleece will ensure you remain at a comfortable temperature regardless of the weather. No cotton shirts hiking/kayaking in the wet please! Cotton gets cold when wet and is difficult to dry.

  • Raincoat (goretex or similar)
  • Thermal underwear (top and bottom, wool or polypropylene)
  • Hiking boots or good hiking shoes
  • Spare lightweight shoes or sandals
  • Shorts or lightweight trousers (preferably quick-dry)
  • Short-sleeved shirt x 2 (quick-dry, polypropylene or wool)
  • Warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton) x 2
  • Socks (we suggest 3 pairs)
  • Warm hat or balaclava
  • Sunhat
  • Gloves or mittens (wool or fleece)
  • Togs (swimming costume)
  • Towel (lightweight travel towels are great)

SPARE CLOTHING: Extra socks and thermal layers are always handy – ensure you have enough warm items. Comfortable clothes for non-hiking days. Spare clothing can be left in the secure trailer

when we are away on the hikes, so don’t worry about the extra

weight – ensure you have enough warm items. Note: there are only limited opportunities to do laundry during a tour, so quick-drying clothing is an advantage. Weather can change rapidly in the locations we hike so layers of clothing are ideal.


WE SUPPLY

• Pack-liner to keep things dry inside your backpack

• Kit bag to hold your spare gear when you are out hiking

• Emergency first aid kit

• Tents and Thermarest (3/4 length)

• Plates, cutlery, mugs, pots, etc

Staying Safe & Respectful

Geologically, New Zealand is over 500 million years old. However, the New Zealand we see today with 2 distinct islands was formed between 10 and 25 million years ago.

It’s time for a confession.

We weren’t always this confident in what we do!

This was never through a lack of trying, but the reality is after 15 years of sending people to remote parts of the world, we’ve picked up a thing or two…

TIPPING

Tipping is not required in New Zealand. But of course, if you do receive incredible service then it is up to you.

POWER IN NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand’s Electricity is 230 Volt and 50 MHZ (50 Cycles per Second). The Electric Plug three flat prongs,  as found in Australia. If your electronic uses 110 Volt 60 MHZ electricity, you will need a voltage converter.

MONEY

The equivalent of $200-$300NZ will generally be enough for the duration of your trip. This will be for meals not included in the journey, extra drinks and a souvenir or two.

CREDIT CARDS

Credit cards can be used to purchase goods at most stores in NZ.

PHOTOGRAPHY

New Zealand affords unparalleled opportunities for photography. Ensure that you are familiar with your camera well before your trek and that your camera battery is strong (and bring a spare).

When taking photographs of local people, please ask their permission first and respect their wishes. This is a normal courtesy. All you need to do is hold up your camera and wait for a response.

SECURITY –  VALUABLES & LEFT LUGGAGE

New Zealand is a very safe country however we believe that you should still be aware of your surroundings, as you would back home.

On some trips, your luggage can be left at the hotel to be picked up on our return. Zips should be secured with a lock or a ziplock just in case.

Physical Preparation

Over the course of 2019, our guides donated their time and expertise to conduct over a dozen training walks available to ANYONE (yes, open to the public) across such beautiful locations as the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, to the 1000 Steps in Melbourne's outer east!

FITNESS

Training like it is the real deal!

You know what they say (whoever ‘they’ are):

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

The secret is to do exercises that simulate what the expedition will be like, so hiking with a pack up and down hills for a few hours is ideal. Don’t forget to wear in your clothing and walking shoes/boots/socks so you discover any issues with them before it is too late. Wearing in your footwear usually takes several months of walking, not two or three training walks.

Consider training with 15-20kg of weight so that the recommended 12kg on the trek will be lighter than what you’re used to. If you are planning to use trekking poles, train with them now (they are so common these days, that no one will think that you’re strange).

We all have busy lifestyles so if this is not possible, a hike into the hills every two or three weeks would be beneficial. We believe this will really help you enjoy your time on the expedition.

Never do on the trek what’s not been tested by you (for months) in training.

That is, if you haven’t tried it during months of advanced training, don’t succumb to last minute “bright ideas” (from yourself or others) on the journey unless it has proven okay for you many times in training, for example:

Don’t wrap your feet or toes in sports tape!
Don’t buy new boots or socks just before going on your trek!
Don’t wear new clothes!

Know The Lingo

There are 3 official languages in New Zealand: English, Maori and Sign.

Ok, New Zealanders speak English so you will have no trouble communicating. However, there are some words and phrases you may like to be aware of and try your hand at. There are also many Maori words used in day-to-day conversations which will be as equally foreign to you. So here are a few to get you started.

Useful Words Phrases

Popular kiwi words

  • Kiwi: New Zealanders, also a native bird

  • Chilly bin: Cooler/esky

  • Wop wop’s: The middle of nowhere/the sticks

  • Togs: Swimsuit

  • Jandals: Flip flops/thongs

  • Buggered/knackered: Really tired

  • Jumper: Sweater/pull over

  • Bach/crib: Holiday home

  • Bro: Brother, friend

  • Chur: Thanks

  • Hokey-pokey: Ice cream flavour (definitely try this while in New Zealand)

  • Stubbie: Bottle of beer

  • Stubbies: Shorts (short shorts)

  • Tramping: Hiking

  • Mate: Friend or enemy (depending on the speakers tone)

Popular Kiwi phrases

  • All good: That’s ok, never mind

  • Sweet as: Great, good, fine

  • Choice as: That’s great, awesome, sure

  • Yeah nah: This has a large variety of meanings, the most common one’s being: an acknowledgment that you have spoken, but disagree with what you said; a space filler within a sentence

  • Most common use example:      
    “Nick thought the show was rubbish, didn’t you Nick?”
    “Yea, nah”

  • Bring a plate: Bring a shared dish of food to a party/gathering (if you get asked to ‘bring a plate’ do not just bring an empty plate, you will be judged harshly)

  • She’ll be right: It will be fine, everything is ok, don’t worry about it

  • No worries: You’re welcome, no problem

  • You right?: Are you ok? Is everything ok?

Common Maori phrases you will hear

  • Kia Ora (key-or-a): Hello

  • Haere Mai (high-reh-my) – welcome.

  • Haere Ra (high-reh-rah) – goodbye

  • Whanau (far-no): Family

  • Ka kite ano: See you later (commonly used by news anchors)

  • Mana: Respect

  • Kai: Food

  • Ka pai: Good work

Checklist

Please make sure you have the following items before you travel to the airport for your flight to New Zealand.

1. Luggage – water-resistant duffel bag with personal clothing/equipment, etc.
2. Day pack (backpack) as hand luggage (if possible, take your hiking boots as carry-on as well. Generally, any other items lost in transit can be replaced or covered in New Zealand).
3. Valid passport.
4. Photocopy of the main page of your passport.
6. Return Airfares and other travel documents.
7. Medical/travel insurance papers/certificates plus 2 copies of your policy.
8. Credit cards, cash dollars for expenses while in NZ.
9. Personal First Aid Kit

Give Us A Shout

NO ROADS EXPEDITIONS

Office: (03) 95988581
24 hrs Access:
Irene Miller + 61 430 705 222
Peter Miller + 61 425 726 623
Email: info@noroads.com.au  

We sincerely hope that you have the most wonderful New Zealand trek!