How do I know what to expect?
Trekking, Hiking, Rambling…here in New Zealand, many people call it ‘tramping’ – so don’t be surprised to hear this term used all over the country by locals.
It’s one of the best ways to experience the untouched beauty of New Zealand as well as meet our people – New Zealander’s of all ages, from all sorts of backgrounds, are keen trampers.
From the tip of the North Island to the bottom of Stewart Island, New Zealand is covered in walking tracks ranging from gentle 30-minute bush walks to challenging 5 day treks through mountain ranges.
While it’s possible for people of any ability to enjoy hiking in New Zealand, most of our popular tracks require a good level of fitness
If you’ve never been hiking in New Zealand before and are unsure what to expect, a helpful place to start is the track grading system employed by the Department of Conservation (DoC) – this nationwide classification system makes it easy to decide if your fitness and experience will allow you to complete a hike safely.
Visit www.doc.govt.nz and do a search for “tracks and walks” for more information on how DoC rates New Zealand’s most popular walks.
Make sure you are well prepared
Here in New Zealand, the weather can change very rapidly and catches out a lot of international visitors who are used to relying on accurate forecasting. Due to our remoteness and geography, the forecast is often inaccurate.
Use common sense and do not proceed with your hike unless you have the right gear to do so safely.
Always hike with extra food, extra water, quality waterproofs, sturdy hiking shoes or boots and first aid gear (including a survival blanket and whistle), just in case you get caught out and need to wait for assistance.
Be aware that you must be self-sufficient when hiking anywhere in New Zealand – our trails are remote and have no shops or services whilst you are walking.
Do not rely on the ‘kindness of strangers’ to help you survive – be prepared for any weather, as well as possible delays in your journey.
Unless you are a highly experienced outdoor adventurer, we do not recommend lite-packing anywhere in New Zealand due to the increased risk this places hikers under.
Always carry all the water you need as it’s not possible to drink the water from most New Zealand rivers, streams and lakes unless it is boiled and treated first.
Always wear appropriate footwear when hiking in New Zealand –‘flip-flops’, sandals and heeled shoes are an absolute no-no on all trails around the country, even short walks.
Register your intentions
Take a look at this website for excellent advice on how to let other people know where you are planning on hiking: https://www.adventuresmart.org.nz/outdoors-intentions/