Snowcapped peaks, tumbling glaciers, turquoise lakes and golden hills form the backdrop to a 10-day hiking adventure in New Zealand. An enticing blend of adventure and culture, this challenging hiking exploration is an ideal way to experience New Zealand’s rugged Southern Alps. Our itinerary takes a page out of Sir Edmund Hilary’s book—these were the native Kiwi’s tramping grounds. We enjoy an especially superb panoramic viewpoint of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the valleys below on our hike to Sealy Tarns. Take an optional hike along a rocky ridge to Mount Ollivier, the first mountain Sir Edmund Hillary climbed. Our evenings are spent in quintessential Kiwi back country huts and small town lodging. Rex Simpson Hut is our home for two nights. It’s perched on an old glacial bench in the Two Thumbs Range with views over the turquoise glacier fed lake. From here, we hike to New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown. Trek along historic gold mining water races to the unique Ben Lomond Lodge. We depart with a better sense of the rugged wilderness of the Southern Alps and an enduring desire to return.