New Zealan or bust!
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Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
New Zealan or bust! on 09/17/2012 21:13:14 MDT Print View

I'm planning a backpacking trip to New Zealand in 3 years, can anyone give me some tips and advice on trails and flights, which island would be a better choice for hiking? Pictures or videos would be great also. Thanks, Jack

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: New Zealand or bust! on 09/17/2012 21:56:07 MDT Print View

Here is an American's take on it. BPL member as well.


http://www.youtube.com/user/crawlingroad?feature=results_main

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
Re: New Zealand or bust! on 09/17/2012 22:52:46 MDT Print View

Thanks, Ken

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Re: New Zealand or bust! on 09/17/2012 23:11:43 MDT Print View

Jack,

Check out this report from Ryan a few years back:

Report

The pictures stuck in my mind.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
New Zealand on 09/18/2012 01:22:02 MDT Print View

Tell us what you are interested in, how long, what time of year etc, and I'll come up with some good suggestions for you.

UL trip to NZ by Alan Dixon, one of the founders of BPL

http://adventurealan.com/NZ_2006/index.htm

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: New Zealan or bust! on 09/19/2012 20:25:39 MDT Print View

Personally I wouldn't bother with the North Island, but I suspect a lot of North Islanders might disagree with me! Only other advice I can give is to come prepared for all seasons, no matter what time of year you make the trip. Maybe cut your teeth on a couple of the Great Walks (Routeburn, Abel Tasman, Heaphy) and then go more off the beaten track if you are comfortable after that.

NZ looks a small place on a global map, but there is a lifetime worth of exploration in these small islands. The biggest challenge is what to see and do in a limited amount of time.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
Re: Re: New Zealand or bust! on 09/19/2012 22:19:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Barry and Lynn for the info. @ Barry, I'm looking for a hike between 7-10 days that would cover 10-12 miles a day, no kayaking, or pack rafting at this time. I would like to camp on the trail vs huts if possible. Moderate hiking with lots of great views, that shouldn't be to hard, it all looks gorgeous to me, The pics at the begining of that thread you posted look amazing, the one looking down at the huge valley/river is great. I'm probably looking somewhere between March through November, after that work won't allow me any time off. Hope this helps narrow it down for you.


Thanks, Jack

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: New Zealand or bust! on 09/20/2012 16:08:22 MDT Print View

I would suggest, if possible, you aim for March/April. These are usually the most settled months in terms of weather.

Two good scenarios I can think of in terms of 7-10 days with camping: either link the Routeburn with the Rees/Dart tracks, or the Heaphy and Abel Tasman. The first option is mostly alpine, whereas the second takes in a range of NZ terrain from subtropical to Alpine. Depends on whether you prefer sweeping mountain vistas or lush tropical flora and beaches. These are all pretty busy tracks, so if you are looking to really get off the beaten track, there are plenty of other choices. But honestly, with such a short time to walk, I would stick to the high impact/easy logistic options of the Great Walks.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
Some trips to consider on 09/30/2012 16:56:45 MDT Print View

I agree with what Lynn says , except for the bit about the North Island :) (since I live there).

For fantastic moderate tramping check out the Great Walks, although booking is often required (for a price), and camping can be limited. I've listed some other trips below to consider as well.

Since you are in NZ during March to November remember that is autumn to spring here. The best months are definitely March through to May, then October-November. In the South Island unless you like snow, thats probably your lot. In the North Island, there is much less snow, however the there still is the same amount of water falling out of the sky, so you'll need to deal with lots of rain and mud.

The tramping hut network in NZ is awesome, most huts apart from the high-end serviced huts are $6/night and provide great shelter from the storms that often blow through. the huts usually have some sort of fire, and bunks/sleeping platforms with mattresses, and a water supply. You can get a 6 month hut pass that allows unlimited use of the huts for about $90, so if you are planning on more than 15 nights use of huts then it's a bargain.

Along with what Lynn has already suggested and the Great Walks, in the North Island consider:
- a 3-4 day loop through Whirinaki Forest Park
- Mt Taranaki Round the Mountain track
- Either loops including Sunrise hut or Rangaiwahia hut in the Ruahine Forest Park
- ANYTHING in the Tararua Forest Park but especially Holdsworth/Jumbo loop, any of the northern, middle or southern crossings, and from Otaki Forks a loop along the Main Range taking in a climb to Kime, along the ridge, over the Tararua Peaks to Maungahuka, keep following the ridge to Junction Knob then down to Waitewaewae, then back following the river to Otaki Forks. This trip over 4-5 days would certainly give you a grounding in the variety of NZ tramping in the birthplace of trmpaing in NZ.

In the South Island consider:
- Queen Charlotte Walkway
- combining the Heaphy with the Wangapeka Track
- Follow the Te Araroa Route through the Richmond Range
- The Sabine/Travers loop through Nelson Lakes NP with side trips to Blue lake and Lake Angelus
- the Matukituki valley with side trips in Mt Aspiring NP
- the Hollyford

Along with these longer trips there are so many moderate trips of 2-3 days that I just don't have time to write about here. As pointed above, you can live in NZ all your life and only scratch the surface with whats available.

Some other places for info:
doc.govt.nz
website of the govternment department responsible for looking after the national and forest parks.

tramper.co.nz
NZ forum for trampers.

Also there are plenty of books with lists of trips. 101 great tramps, X marks the spot are two that come to mind.

If you have any more questions just ask away.