We have visited New Zealand several times before. This time we went to New Zealand for four months of hiking and fishing. The first couple of months were fairly well planned mainly because friends were joining us for different hikes but after Christmas the final 2 months was fairly free flowing with most of the trip not planned more than a couple of weeks in advance, other than our flight home to Perth.
For those thinking of hiking in New Zealand and unsure of what to do we have put together our version of a beginners guide
A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking in New Zealand
Places we visited. We tramped or multiday hiked; the Dun Mountain trail, Abel Tasman Coastal Track, parts of the Travers-Sabine track around Nelson Lakes, Queen Charlotte Track, Banks Peninsula track, Kepler track, Milford track, Rakiura track, Tararuas, Kawekas, Matemateonga Track, Whanganui Journey, Taranaki Mountain, Lake Waikaremoana Track
We day hiked areas around; Glenorchy, Stewart island, Waikaremoana and Tongariro – Ohakune. We fished; Gore, Puketitiri – Kawekas, Waikaremoana and around Ohakune.
For safety reasons we bailed on several hikes including, Goldsworthy – Jumbo Circuit, parts of the Travers-Sabine, Rees-Dart, Taranaki-Around the Mountain Circuit and Summit and Tongariro Crossing (Again).
The list of towns we explored is long; Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Christchurch, Akaroa, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Gore, Te Anau, Invercargill, Oban, Dunedin, Masterton, Palmerston North, Napier, Stratford, New Plymouth, Ohakune, Wairoa, and Whanganui.
Accommodation. We stayed in a mix of DOC huts, B&Bs, and small hotels and motels and Baches, and despite great temptation managed to stay within a budget. We sometimes stayed in nicer more expensive places especially after several weeks of huts or crap motels where Rob did more plumbing maintenance in an evening than the proprietors had done in years. Great Walks huts were actually kind of expensive but were balanced out by our stays in backcountry DOC huts (Season hut pass $192 for 2) and the odd borrowed tent.
Getting Around. We bought Intercity bus passes for travel between towns ($450 each). These were flexitrips tickets and we only ended up using half of our allotted trips. This was supplemented with local transport providers to get to and from the start and finish of tracks. We hired a car for a couple of weeks while either Pip and Dermot or Kevin and Mary joined us because 4 people sharing a car is much less costly than 4 separate bus tickets. We also hired a car to get to some fishing spots.
Fishing. Our biggest single expense was guided fly fishing lessons. But it was also the highlight of the trip and has given us skills and a new hobby that will last a lifetime. Also Michelle never met a fishing tackle shop she didn’t want to visit and buy stuff from, since well before learning to fly fish, so we spent money on gear and tackle but also on our licenses for the season ($320 for 2).
Friends. We were joined by Wendy and Steve for the Queen Charlotte (the most civilised of our tramps with hotels for accommodation and our luggage transported each day by water taxi); Pip and Dermot joined us for a week of day walks in Glenorchy staying in a very nice bach ; and Kevan and Mary on the Milford and Rakiura tracks. This time around we greatly missed our partners for many other hikes and adventures, Geoff and Hwee. We picked up plenty more friends along the way, several gain a mention in the blog.
Tramps and Travels
Queen Charlotte Track
Abel Tasman Coast Track.
Banks Peninsular Track
The Heaphy Track.
Routeburn – Greenstone Tracks
Tararuas, Mt Holdsworth-Jumbo Circuit
Posts Coming Soon
Dun Mountain Trail
Fly Fishing in the Kawekas