Hiking the high country with Ridgeline Adventures

Checking out Ridgeline Adventures' newest hike & 4WD tour

Photos by Hannah Hughes

This summer, Ridgeline Adventures is teeing up two unique new experiences, primed for adventurous Kiwis of all fitness levels. The Dingleburn Station Safari and Walk and the Wanaka High Country Private Walk offer exclusive access to some of Wanaka’s most untracked and beautiful terrain, while also offering the luxury of a 4WD (for when your feet just need a break).

Think it can’t get any better? We did too, but that was only until we saw the views. The Lake Wanaka team joined Ridgeline on an incredible day in the high country, complete with lambs, epic 4WD tracks and of course, those world-famous skylines.

The station

The tour began with an amble onto the West Wanaka Station, where Ridgeline has exclusive access to the private trails of this 30,000-acre property. We were lucky enough to be on tour during lambing season and got to meet some woolly offspring before we headed off into the hills.

Farm animals on West Wanaka Station in Wanaka, New Zealand

Hit the trail

Once we were through the first couple of gates, our guide explained the walk to us. A perfect mix of easy uphill, alpine meadows and rolling ridgelines, the trail is about 20km long. And while that distance may seem daunting to some, the cool thing about this experience is that you can jump in the 4WD at any point throughout the tour.

While our team loved the winding and rocky uphill drive, we couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of contentment as we unloaded to walk for a bit. The fresh mountain air filled our lungs as we marched steadily into the hills, taking in the incredible golds of the tussock surrounding us.

A hiker on West Wanaka Station in Wanaka, New ZealandHikers on West Wanaka Station in Wanaka, New Zealand

The top

It’s the reason most people hike – getting to the top. That sweet victory after kilometres of climbing. After taking in the epic view and snapping a few photos, we found a spot tucked away into the hillside and settled for some coffee and banter with our guide (plus, some absolutely delicious cakes and gluten-free cookies).

A hiker looks out over Lake Wanaka in New Zealand

Ridgeline Adventures guide having afternoon tea in Wanaka

The down

As the sun started to set, we decided to save our knees from the downhill, clambering into the 4WD to begin our descent. The light slowly receded over the braided waters of the Matukituki River and we all reveled in the solitude of being the only seven people in the valley.

4WD truck driving along tracks on West Wanaka Station in WanakaSunset over the Matukituki River in Wanaka, New Zealand

Ready for your own adventure? The Wanaka High Country Private Walk is an incredible mission through West Wanaka Station, while the Dingleburn Safari and Walk will take you on a thrilling backroad journey from Lake Hawea. To book your experience, contact Ridgeline Adventures.