Alpine Recreation



126 Rankers Reviews

5 Face-to-Face

1 Snow and Ice

1 Hiking Tours

2 Lake Tekapo




Welcome to Alpine Recreation! We are all about outdoor adventures, specifically trekking, climbing, skiing & snowshoeing - plan your next adventure with us!

Alpine Recreation is a company based in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, specializing in trekking, climbing, ski touring and snowshoeing trips in the Southern Alps. We offer a range of guided hikes, alpine treks and ascents as well as climbing instruction courses based at our two private huts in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park.

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Feature Value Info


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieLake Tekapo


  • Snow and Ice
  • Climbing
  • Hiking Tours




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Showing 13 reviews of 126.

Featured review

Alpine Recreation has selected this customer review to be pinned to the top of this page.

This review was selected by Alpine Recreation of Alpine Recreation on Thu 22 Dec, 2016.

Smith Reynolds's avatar

Smith Reynolds

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Alpine Recreation was a pleasure to work with from planning through the end of the trip. Clear information was available, excellent equipment was provided as needed, comfortable, quaint and clean accommodations for both nights on the mountain and a confident, caring, experienced and effective guide led us throughout the journey. The experience was one of the best I've ever had. I love beauty, challenge and solitude and this adventure provided that and so much more. Viewing Mt. Cook from our hut window, hearing the avalanches crash down on the face of Mt. Cook and seeing the brilliant and innumerable stars at night were experiences I will cherish forever. Bia was an excellent guide and was quick to assess our skill and fitness level, equipment needs and appropriate techniques to use throughout. She was patient, confident, fun and ready to teach at all times over the course of our three day trip. I highly recommend this trip to fit experienced hikers desiring a true challenge.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Smith, for sharing your experience of Ball Pass and the Caroline Hut. Yes it truly is a special place to be and we are privileged to have such a good guide working for us.

Rob Morehead's avatar

Rob Morehead

United States

Ranking: 10/10

My wife and I did the four-day Introductory Mountaineering course. Our experience with Alpine Recreation was excellent, from a quick response to our initial inquiry (thank you Anne!) to the four days in the mountains with John learning abseiling, alpine roping systems, movement and safety. Lodging at the Caroline Hut - the only private hut in Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park - was excellent. Food was great, gear was comprehensive and high-quality. Instruction was highly personalized, deeply experienced, and highly professional. We are looking forward to our next trip to NZ, and our next chance to climb with AR.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Beginning of December was a particularly busy time for us, so I'm pleased you booked early enough so we could fit you in. Thank you for detailed comments, Rob, which will be very helpful I'm sure for anyone contemplating signing up for the Introductory Climbing Course. Good choice to go private with just a 1:2 guide-client ratio, so the course could be tailored specifically to your needs.

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Liz Roberts's avatar

Liz Roberts

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Guided Ascent: Aoraki/Mount Cook.

We had six wonderful days at Plateau Hut, Mt Cook National Park, culminating in a guided ascent of Aoraki/Mt Cook. Elke Braun-Elwert and Anna Keeling were our two guides.

We have booked many trips with Alpine Recreation. They are a very professional company with great people. The communication is excellent before, during and after your trip. They can provide accommodation in Tekapo before and after.

We look forward to many more trips with Alpine Recreation!

Faultless successful trip, rate 10 out of 10 for experience.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

We are so pleased you had such a positive experience, Liz. It is not easy with a serious climb such as Aoraki/Mt Cook to align the right conditions, weather and client abilities. You certainly made it easy for us in respect of the latter.

Andrew's avatar


Ranking: 3/10

I had the unfortunate experience to be in the specialised mountaineering course in February 2018. I was clearly up-sold above my level of experience to try and fill a position. I spent an entire week being verbally abused by their lead instructor, Paul Aubrey. I found him rude, arrogant and without any patience. He really needs to remember that clients put food on his table.

Reviewed about 1 month ago and experienced in February 2018

Alpine Recreation responds:

Andrew, we are really sorry you are still feeling bitter about your negative experience 10 months ago. We did talk with the guide concerned and have had wider communications with other guides about how to avoid guide burn-out. Paul has since stepped down from the Chief Guide position. I hope you do remember that we offered you a free course this summer in compensation.

Alpine Recreation is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

Snazzi's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

I did my Introductory Mountaineering course with Alpine Recreation and I loved it. They were very professional and the guides were excellent. Having their own private hut which is well stocked and heated was a big bonus especially at the end of big days. I learned a lot and got challenged beyond my comfort zone. Highly recommended

Reviewed 2 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you for your review, Snazzi. Glad you had a typical experience of one of our courses - not like the one above!

dougal s's avatar

dougal s

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Mount Cook & Westland Glaciers 5 day trip staying in Tasman Saddle Hut was an awesome experience. We (two of us and Dave the guide) started Monday 1 October 2018. Lots of fresh power (20-50cm) for the week meant we didn't have to look far for fresh tracks. Dave was an awesome guide with lots of technical skills, excellent cook and great sense of humour. Alpine Recreation is a very well run operation with excellent accommodation in at their base in Tekapo. I will be back for more.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thanks, Dougal. We're pleased you enjoyed your 5 days of ski touring at the top of the Tasman Glacier. It certainly is a prime spot for touring. We just have to make sure heli-skiers don't edge out the ski tourers in this particular area!

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James Harman's avatar

James Harman


Ranking: 10/10

Great experience, totally professional from the start to the finish. Paul is a great guide, he taught me so much.
Will be back in February to climb again.
Highly recommend Alpine Recreations.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you so much, James. It certainly was a pleasure to have you again for a private climbing course.

Peter Good's avatar

Peter Good


Ranking: 10/10

Seven Aussies travelled with AR to the Two Thumbs range for a mainly telemark tour from Rex Simpson hut. I was the main contact for the group in Oz and our Ops manager Axel who was on our whole trip helped organise things before the trip. As it was not a great snow year Axel provided alternative locations and access methods for the group which was greatly appreciated. We had 2 other guides join us in succession, Manu and Anna. They hunted out fresh stashes of snow in the best locations and looked after our tiring legs on the commute up snake ridge each day. They were also responsive to various skiing and apprehension levels within the group in terms of ski locations to ensure everyone had a challenging, safe and rewarding ski. The hut is warm, comfortable and the cooks and food are exceptional. Axel paid strict attention to hygiene and order within the hut as well as making the best cinnamon porridge each morning. We all agreed this was a trip to remember.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Peter. It was great to have a group with such a positive attitude, who made the most of everything, despite the snow levels being higher than usual. Compare to last year, when for a whole month we were able to skin from right near the car! Do come again!

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Graeme Woodward's avatar

Graeme Woodward

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt that I learned quite a lot in a very safe environment.

A very well run trip.

Elke was exceptional as a guide. Very knowledgeable, professional and friendly.

It is great that you provide the equipment, particularly for such intro courses. For new comers to the sport, having to sort out rental equipment, as is required with other companies, would be a hassle & prone to errors (e.g. hiring unsuitable gear).

I look forward to practising my skills in the backcountry, and coming back again in the future for a more adventurous tour.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Graeme, for sharing your experience of Alpine Recreation's Backcountry Ski Course. We are pleased you appreciate the professionalism of the guide and the fact we include the transceiver, probe, shovel, skis and skins...and any other outdoor clothing you require.

Cheryl Cottine's avatar

Cheryl Cottine

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I did the Ball Pass crossing, and this trip is as good as it sounds! Alpine Recreation was a pleasure to work with from arranging dates all the way through to the end of the trip. Everyone I communicated with in the office leading up to the trip was helpful, as was all the information they shared. Anna, my guide, was excellent. Her passion for and knowledge of the mountains was evident throughout, and her ability to read the weather and the terrain, appreciated. We ended up doing the crossing on the second day due to an incoming weather system, and as a result we had unbelievably good conditions, with breathtaking views from the pass and on the descent. Staying at Caroline Hut was lovely and the meals provided were excellent. Since we did the crossing a day early, we had a third day for other activities. We talked over various options and settled on doing some rock climbing in the Mt. Cook area and navigation practice on an orienteering course in Lake Tekapo. I very much appreciated the opportunity to practice some skills under the watchful eye of my guide, as well as her willingness to tailor the experience to my interests. I would highly recommend this company to anyone who is keen to do the crossing. I will certainly book with them again for future outings!

Reviewed 7 months ago and experienced in April 2018

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Cheryl, for taking the time to share your experience of a Ball Pass Crossing with others who are keen on mountain hiking. We're really pleased you found the time worthwhile, despite the bad weather forecast for Mt Cook on the third day. Anna, your guide, certainly made sure the time was well utilised with teaching you new skills.

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Mohammed  Khudhari 's avatar

Mohammed Khudhari

Saudi Arabia

Ranking: 10/10

Great place to start your Alpine climbing adventures just try to book in the early season for a better weather.

Reviewed 9 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Mohammed for sharing your experience of the Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course in April, right near the end of our summer season. Yes, early season November-December can give you better weather, but of course there is no guarantee of that. New Zealand is a long narrow strip of land surrounded by wide expanses of ocean, so weather changes can come in fast, but it clears up quickly too!

Carita Johnsson's avatar

Carita Johnsson

Ranking: 9/10

My husband and I completed the Balls Pass Crossing late February with Alpine Recreation. We were originally booked for a few days earlier but due to extreme weather conditions we managed to organise alternative dates which was great. We had a window of 2 good days so we agreed to do the trek in 2 days and do local activities on the third day weather permitting. There were 3 of us in the group with our guide Jono leading the way. The walk was tough with lots of fresh soft snow but truly enjoyable. Jono was a fantastic guide and ensured a safe and enjoyable crossing. He was also a super chef cooking up a storm in quite basic conditions. Caroline Hut was perfect for the night.
I would recommend the trek highly to anyone interested in mountain trekking but caution that the weather is really unpredictable. Had we not been able to reschedule and ended up doing alternative activities would have been very disappointing.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Carita, for your helpful feedback. Yes, in this mountain environment we do have to respect the weather and be flexible with alternative dates, activities or venues if necessary. It is surprisingly seldom, however, that we cannot stick to original plans. You book the guide, not the weather, and the guides are well trained to make good use of the time with useful instruction on things such as map reading, navigation, local history...if the middle day has to be spent indoors.

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Susan Langridge's avatar

Susan Langridge

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Jon-o is the perfect mountaineering guide, moving from rock to rock with his arms folded and a sheer drop on one side, carefree with perfect balance! He has quite the sense of humour and was good company as well as a confidence-building guide. His culinary skills are superb, managing to produce exceptionally interesting food out of nowhere - especially impressive as I am vegetarian and he is not.

We tackled the Ball Pass Crossing, which included an interesting, picturesque ascent to the magnificent Caroline Hut, and a long, occasionally challenging descent on a slightly different route to the normal one. This route avoided a long, less enjoyable scree descent and included one particularly challenging area for which there was the option of being roped up.

Caroline Hut is a magical place, wonderful to just hang out or use as a base to explore the area.

Despite the challenges, I really enjoyed this trip which fulfilled a personal ambition of climbing close to Mt Cook, so it was well worth it. This is just about as close to Mt Cook as you can get, without actually climbing it.

I had read a review suggesting not to look down, but had ignored it as being from a less experienced climber. They were absolutely right! Just don't look down!

Reviewed 11 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Susan, it's great to have your detailed description of what it was like for you doing the Ball Pass Crossing. Yes, because you are so close to Aoraki/Mt Cook itself, it really is awe-inspiring. We're really pleased you enjoyed the whole experience, including being served well in terms of vegetarian meals. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Anne

Halla Malik's avatar

Halla Malik


Ranking: 10/10

I did the Ball Pass Crossing hike with Alpine Recreation and had a fantastic experience. They were very helpful in initially working out the most suitable trip for my ability and dates in New Zealand. The trip was very organised but still allowed flexibility, with a very user friendly website for information on what the trip entailed. Jonathan our guide was fantastic - very experienced and knowledgeable of the local area, he was able to cater to the differing needs of our group of 4 and has a very calming presence which helped build group confidence through the more challenging sections of the track. I would highly recommend Alpine Recreation and look forward to organising another trip in the near future - thanks again and keep up the great work!

Reviewed 12 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Halla, for taking the time to share your experience of the Ball Pass Crossing. Your words will help others gain an impression of what this demanding trek is like.