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#28753 - 10/27/12 07:50 AM New Zealand hiking (tramping)
rpm Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 65
Loc: San Diego, CA
My wife and I are starting to plan our next awsome adventure and are interested in tramping (term used for hiking in New Zealand) in New Zealand. I've found some general information on a few websites, but wondering if anybody here has been tramping in New Zealand.

From what I've found, it seems huts are used for camping and there is very little mention of permits. Any information would be appreciated.

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#28754 - 10/27/12 08:06 AM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: rpm]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
Where are you thinking of? I've spent some time down there on a few occasions, most recently earlier this year.
North Island? South Island, both?

Here are some shots and details of Tongariro area in the central North Island from that trip. Highly recommended!

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11405&parmuser=nyker&cpgm=tripuser

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#28755 - 10/27/12 08:22 AM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: rpm]
NYHiker Offline


Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 12
Loc: NY
I have been to New Zealand twice and have hiked several of the Great Walks. Yes, the tramping is hut to hut. Have hiked the Abel Tasman, Routeburn & Milford tracks and will be hiking the Kepler track this December.If you have any questions, just ask.

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#28756 - 10/27/12 08:36 AM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: NYHiker]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
My niece went to college in Christchurch. She shared lots of awesome photos but only advice I have is to check out the remote hot springs. Apparently NZ is one of the best places on the planet for soaking with a spectacular view. Don't ask me for details though, just planting the idea. Google should help.

Have a great trip down there, Mate. Cheers.

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#28757 - 10/27/12 10:02 AM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: SierraNevada]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1018
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
In my opinion, a mixture of pre-planned adventures interposed with surprise-me days works out well.

On the South Island
, Milford and Routeburn are superb. You can go as a backpacker and use their backpacker "huts" ,bring your own everything.

or, you can do the Grand Style, staying in their all-everything "huts". These have meals ,even hot-air drying rooms for your boots and wet clothes. It does rain a lot on the West Coast. There are even private rooms with ensuite available. Yes, you better check out the permit status as these routes are highly regulated. Milford for example, can only be done one-way direction.

There are other treks with varying facilities, but the two above are the most famous.

If you fancy a short 2-3 day crampon adventure, do the Ball Pass hike (and hut) on the side of Mt Cook.

On the North Island,
The Tongariro Crossing is perhaps most famous. Day hiking it, or hut overnights in the area are available.

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#28764 - 10/27/12 06:02 PM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: rpm]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
Here's an article about the North Island steaming geysers. It's geared toward the hotel staying tourist, but there is a few lines about hiking.

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#28768 - 10/28/12 08:15 AM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: wazzu]
rpm Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 65
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thank you for all the responses. We are interested in a 3-7 day tramp. Like most people on this webpage we love visiting high passes, alpine lakes, and seeing fat marmots sunning themselves.

Are the hut to hut tramps very crowded, permits, do they allow tents?

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#28780 - 10/28/12 04:09 PM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: rpm]
NYHiker Offline


Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 12
Loc: NY
You could combine the Routeburn and the Caples tracks for a five day tramp in the South Island. The huts can be crowded depending on the track and time of year chosen. The huts on the Great Walks normally have gas cookers and bunk beds with mattresses but campsites are also available. Need to reserve the huts and campsites in high season which is normally Nov thru April. I would recomend reviewing the New Zealand Department of Conservation website under Great Walks for added info. Hope that helps.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/

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#28782 - 10/28/12 07:44 PM Re: New Zealand hiking (tramping) [Re: NYHiker]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
For your alloted time, I would focus on only one island, either north or south and then probably focus on one area, particularly if your time is more towards the 3 day mark.

Both have a lot of options. Prepare for rain wherever you go in NZ.

Also, keep in mind many tracks can only be tramped in one direction. The Routeburn is an exception here.

South Island

The South Island has more alpine terrain and more remote areas particularly in fjordland. For anything in the South Island, try and fly direct into Christchurch. You will lose a few hours by going into and connecting via either Auckland or Wellington.

You could either do a longer track or break it up experiencing a few different areas of the south island with shorter hikes

For example, spend a couple days around Mount Cook area and do some dayhiking, a day or two in Kaikoura where you can
do some hiking or take a marine wildlife trip where you can see albatross, petrels, whales, etc. Possibly also see Arthur Pass NP enroute.

You could stay the whole time in Queenstown and do day excursions including the Routeburn (albeit in a LONG day).
or split it up tramping a few days and then in town a few days.

The Milford Track would be great (assuming you can get hut reservations) but keep in mind you need to commit some time here, I think 5 days, plus getting to an from the area, so the time needed here may preclude you from doing it.

The Dart and Heaphy Tracks are also worth looking into.

North Island

The North Island has some wonderful terrain, especially around Tongariro. Check volcano status here, but assuming you can walk along the track, you can do the entire circuit there plus the two volcanos (Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) in a few days. Highly recommended. Prepare for snow on Ruapehu.

You can also visit a place called Rotorua, a place known for its geothermal activity and Maori cultural center.

Mount Taranaki is also a cool peak to think about climbing, but is more remote and doesn't have a lot of wild terrain about it like Tongariro does and is surrounded by more farmland. It also rains more there and you may not even get a chance to see the peak, but would be worthwhile to investigate!
Taranaki (aka Mt Egmont) was featured in the Last Samurai (filling in for Fuji) since that film was filmed in NZ. Stunning mountain when visible.

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