New Zealand Tramping Resources
This is a collection of resources related to tramping in New Zealand.
Most of these will be on the Internet but I will also include some things
outside of the web (e.g.. books).
| Trip Reports
|Te Araroa - The Long Pathway
The Te Araroa Trust is an organisation dedicated to the formation
of a walkway down the entire length of New Zealand. Currently (January 1998),
Geoff Chapple has walked the North Island along their proposed route. As he
went, he updated a very good Web site on his travels - good pictures, great
maps and wonderful tales of the peoples he has met and the country he has
|The Milford Track
This very popular track takes you from Te Anau Lake over a high
alpine pass to the usually placid waters of Milford Sound. It is part of DOC's
"Great Walk" system, so you have to book well in advance (months or even a year
for the most popular times). Each day up to 40 independent trampers and an
equivalent number of guided walkers start the walk. The track is not as crowded
as it might appear since the independent and guided tramper huts are staggered,
people soon spread out along the track at their own pace and the traffic is all
one-way. Most of the walking is done in a rainforest that receives 5-8 metres
of rain per year. This gives luxuriant vegetation, wonderful waterfalls and
unique surroundings at a cost of a usually wet walk (waterproof boots and good
coats are needed). Luckily all the huts have drying rooms (along with gas
stoves, running water and a resident warden).
For independent walkers the trip schedule is:
- The first day starts with a boat ride from Te Anau Downs (a
half hour bus ride from Te Anau town) down to the start of the track. Clinton
Hut is reached after 3.5 kilometres of easy walking beside the Clinton
- A slightly steeper days walking takes you up the Clinton Canyon
with the high Mackinnon Pass visible at its head. The Mintaro Hut is situated
next to the crystal-clear Mintaro Lake. If you arrive mid-afternoon and the
weather is clear then rush up to the pass (about an hour climb without a pack)
for glorious views.
- An early start will allow plenty of time at the top of the
pass. The numerous zigzags on the climb ease the effort needed and there is a
shelter at the pass handy for a brew. The steep descent on the other side is
the hardest part of the trip. On reaching the private Quinlan Hut, drop your
packs for the side-trip to Sutherland Falls - a massive 850 metre drop forming
the highlight of the track. The day ends a gentle hour away at Dumpling
- Walking to a timetable to catch either the 2pm or 3pm boat from
Sandfly Point (yes, there are lots of sandflies) to the Milford Sound
|The Routeburn Track
|Abel Tasman Coastal Track
|Tongariro Crossing/Northern Circuit
|Tararua Ranges (North Island)
|Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited provides weather
forecasts for the entire country on a commercial basis. However they have a
good set of free basic forecasts. Enter by their
page. I usually use them for the mountain forecasts.
Footprints: A Tramper's Guide to the Tararua Ranges by Merv
|As the cover says, this is a guide to the Tararua
Ranges and covers all of the main tracks and most of the routes in the ranges.
The author is very experienced (40 years tramping in the Tararuas) and has
walked all of the tracks and routes in the book. It includes a section on river
gorge rafting. The book's construction is quite sturdy to encourage carrying it
Great Tramps in New Zealand by Mark Pickering &
|Yes, there are 101 tramps in this book ranging from
local trips (the Tararuas!) to tracks known around the world (e.g. the Milford
Track). There are also lots of black & white photos (about 1 per trip). The
trips vary from easy family walks to true, tough wilderness experiences. Access
to the beginning and ending of the tracks is well described.
|Tararua, the story of a mountain
range by Chris Maclean (Whitcombe Press, 1994)
|This coffee table style book is probably of local
interest only. However it is full of wonderful photos. It covers the history,
geology, ecology and culture of the Tararuas in good detail during its 271
pages. I found the author's descriptions of the old-time characters
fascinating, especially Bert Barra (the most successful deer culler in NZ) and
Joe Gibbs (the last of the real bushmen).
Boots in New Zealand: Nine Great Walks, Three Islands and One Tramping
Virgin by Gillian
|A uniquely English look at
NZ tramping, life and nine Great Walks. You may recognize the cover photograph
which was taken by yours truly.
|It is always handy to have some place to stay that is close to the
tramping areas. Many of the
Hostels fit the bill.
|Have a look at the home site of the
Conservation - the agency responsible for much of our beautiful
New Zealand Government Online for official information about our
|KiwiLink Coaches a comprehensive coach network for the top
of the South Island.
|The New Zealand Yellow Pages a good place to look for
businesses such as outdoor stores and transport.
the TerraLink Map Shop
offers convenient access to a comprehensive range of New Zealand maps,
including the topographical map series, the Department of Conservation's park
and track maps, Wises urban maps and a range of other map products. Over 400
maps of New Zealand and the Pacific are for sale from this secure e-commerce
|NZ Deer Cullers. A
site about the legacy of deer culling in New Zealand. Many of the tracks and
huts were first established to facilitate deer hunting.