Our magnificent South Island summer tramping programme

Spectacular Christmas and 'Interim' Tramps

Every year starting just after Christmas we descend on a stunning South Island location for two weeks of spectacular summer tramping. 

Typically we’ll have different tramps rated easy, medium and fit, and of varying lengths – from 3 to 5 or more days. Members can join one, or several of them.

It’s fair to say these two weeks are the highlight of the year for many members.

ATC tramper group at Pask Saddle

And then in February we do it all again!!

Yes, we’ll head to a different but equally awesome location for a second series of superb extended tramps, historically called our ‘Interim’ tramps .

So keen members can get in two weeks of awesome tramping over late December and early January, and then head back for another dose in mid to late February. Now that’s hard to beat!

Note: These extended multiday tramps typically fill up (real) fast, so be sure to get in early. 

Our 2020/2021 Summer Extended Tramp Programme

The tramping programme for Xmas/January 20/21 has been finalised with some fantastic tramps on offer.

There' s a 5-day tramp with a challenging ascent of the South Island’s highest mountain outside the Southern Alps, an extended tramp through the Richmond Range, and some wonderful options in spectacuar Nelson Lakes National Park.

Check out the details in our Extended Summer Tramps Calendar.

The February/March programme is still taking shape but is likely to include a tramp in the Arthur Range. Keep an eye on the calendar and of course each month’s Wanderlust.  

Our 2019/2020 Summer Extended Tramps

Here are the fantastic tramps we enjoyed last summer – be sure to read our members’ trip reports on each one!


Minchin 2020 01 06

Tramp 1: Three Passes Circuit - Three Passes, Newton Saddle, Taipo, Kelly, finishing at Arthur’s Pass.

Report: Three Passes 

Tramp 2: Upper Waimakariri Exploration - Carrington Hut base with day/overnight tramps away to Waimak Falls, Harman Pass, Barker Hut, finishing at Arthur’s Pass

Report: Waimakariri Explorer 

Tramp 3: Minchin, Hawdon, Mingha – Taramakau, Townsend, Minchin, Hawdon, Lake Mavis, Goat Pass, finishing at Arthur’s Pass.

Report: Minchin, Hawdon, Mingha

Tramp 4: Hawdon/Edwards, Otehake to Aickens

Report: East to West via Taruahuna Pass

February (Interim) Trips

2020 02 Interim Fit 04

Tramp 1: Doubtful Tops – Nina Valley, Devilskin Saddle, Doubtful Valley, Lake Man

Report: Lewis Pass – The Doubtful Tops

Tramp 2: Spenser Mountains - criss-crossing the Spenser Mountains in southern Nelson Lakes National Park

Reports: Interim Fit Trip and Tales from the Spenser Mutineers

Tramp 3: Banks Peninsula – Hilltop; Mts Sinclair, Fitzgerald, Herbert, Bradley; Gebbies Pass

Report: Banks Peninsula – Te Ara Pataka

South Island Safari

Most years we’ll run a “safari” after the Interim extended tramp programme.

These are typically 2-week road trips through scenic areas of the South Island with a few nights in each of a small number of great tramping locations.

There’ll be a variety of day hikes / shorter hikes / overnight tramps offered at each location. Accommodation is typically in camp grounds using cabins and/or self contained units; lodges and outdoor centres are also used depending on location.

Transport is courtesy of Big Blue.

Programmes are normally put together around mid year for the following year’s trip – keep an eye on the calendar and our Wanderlust magazine. 

ATC bus and safari trampers ATC Safari trampers resting amongst tussock



Interested in our extended tramps? Then you’ll need to know what gear to take. Check out our comprehensive tramping gear advice and checklists.

And be sure you understand our tramp gradings and what each level requires.