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Anybody in NZ?
Old 12-05-2015   #1
Rangefinder 35
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Anybody in NZ?

Hello there. I'll be going tramping around in NZ this Feb/Mar, mostly on South Island. Anybody there with ideas?
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Old 12-05-2015   #2
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I think you need to book some of the more popular tracks such as the Milford Track. Best to check asap so you don't miss out.
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Old 12-05-2015   #3
alan davus
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I go to New Zealand every summer for 3 weeks to go tramping (leaving Adelaide Christmas night this year) always in the S. Island. Like Lynn suggests all the popular tourist tracks known as the "Great Walks" have to be booked well in advance. If you are an experienced tramper/hiker avoid them like the plague. If you like to go off track the possibilities are endless. I love the parks at the top of the S. Island, Nelson Lakes and the vast Kahurangi. Plenty to do up here tracks and otherwise. Lots of DOC huts and wonderful alpine lakes and tarns offer fantastic camping. Adjacent to Nelson Lakes are the Rainbow and Leatham Conservation parks which are less developed (you would be unlucky to see anyone else in days). The Kahurangi is a different kettle of fish, wet and wild and you really need to know what you're about here. There are good tracks though like the Wangapeka and the Leslie Karamea. Further south Mt. Aspiring N.P. is probably the most under developed of the parks (this is where I'm headed this year). The "Five Passes" in my book leaves the Milford and Routeburn for dead but this is mainly an unmarked route though navigation is not difficult. It's unmarked nature and lack of huts keeps the hordes away. Other possibilities include the lovely Hollyford Track which is well marked with plenty of huts. This walk ends up at Martin's Bay on the beautiful West Coast and most trampers take the option (bonus) to fly out from the end to Milford Sound rather than retrace their steps...Either way have a great time. New Zealand everything considered is possibly the best place on the planet to go hiking.
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Old 12-14-2015   #4
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Thank you, lynnb, alan davus for all the info. When I learned that one needs reservations to Great Walks, sometimes a year in advance I was ready to call it off. but since then I got a new hope. I will not give up yet (depending if I get few extra days off at work). Here they regard one as not loyal to the company if one wants more time off than contractually alloted...
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Old 12-14-2015   #5
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Also, alan davus what about some mountain hikes avoiding crowds? I'll be flying to Queenstown in Mid-february. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 12-14-2015   #6
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we live in Thames, about 110 Km from Auckland by car. Up our way there is the wild and wonderful Coromandel Pensinsula. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coromandel_Peninsula)

There are dozens of tracks through this wilderness which is filled with the remnants of 19th century native forest logging and mining. There are the remains of large kauri dams built to flood timber down to the coast from the highlands. I would suggest starting from the Kauaeranga Valley and walking up "The Steps in the Rocks" track to the very nice hut DOC built with hot water and a fire. (used to be the Power Board Hut before it burnt down). From there you march across a saddle for 45 minutes and ascend "The Pinnacles" which gives views from Whangerei to New Plymouth on a good day. This rock is also magnetic and your compass needle spins whilst you are up there...

Come back down "The Billy Goats Track" and see the remains of an ariel railway that sent timber down the side of a mountain. There are also rock spires in this section of the valley. Spectacular.

It's hard going and you need to be fit. I could meet with you for a coffee in Thames if you like and give you whatever help I can.

There are also more relaxing places like Hot Water Beach where you can dig down to a geothermal spring on the beach and sit in a private, if sandy hot bath.

Peter

see also:

(http://www.coromandelfun.co.nz/)

(http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...rn-coromandel/)
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Old 12-14-2015   #7
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Good sound advice from both Alan and Peter.
I am not far from Peter, rural Hamilton, but grew up and spent the early chunk of my flying career in the top half of the south island, Nelson, Motueka, and the Northwest Nelson area. Stunning, and less "populated".
While the big tracks further south command a fair chunk of the attention, you could easily base yourself in and around the Northwest nelson area and be very happy, from tops to golden beaches.
And as Peter suggested, a bit of forward notice could lead to at least a cuppa and catch up with locals, Thames with Peter, Hamilton with me, and who knows.
Gary
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Old 12-15-2015   #8
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Thank you guys. I'll take it all into consideration. I'm supposed to fly to Queenstown. Anything recommended to do in that area?
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Old 12-15-2015   #9
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Depends what you are wanting to do, it is "The Adventure Capital of NZ", evidently.
Too many people, too many tourists etc.
Lots to do, all touristy stuff.
Gary
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Old 12-15-2015   #10
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Just do some hiking in the area, or use it as a base for such.
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Old 12-15-2015   #11
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Hi Rangefinder 35, Harry (from Berlin) asked me to pass on a message to you, he would like to tell you that Skippers Canyon is a first class destination.
Cheers,
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Old 12-15-2015   #12
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If you get to the top of the South Island in the Nelson region:

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...nelson-tasman/

you could try the walk through the Abel Tasman National Park:

(http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...n-coast-track/)

It's very beautiful and an easy walk over several days. There is a boat that will drop you off or collect you from take each camping ground on the walk, plus bring in supplies should you need them. Like beer... You could accomplish that track in sand shoes or 'sneakers'. I wore my heavy leather, deep-soled hiking boots and regretted it - they were unnecessary.

Unlike the "Steps in the Rock" track at Kauranga valley that ascends 600 metres in 3 hours:

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...a-kauri-trail/

the Abel Tasman bays walk gently undulates between sea level and about 30 metres ASL, so no problem for almost anybody. There are several bays that you can only cross at low tide, so a degree of planning is required.

(http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...before-you-go/)

There are so many wilderness options in NZ...
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Old 12-15-2015   #13
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A lovely walk not too far from Queenstown is the "Rees and Dart" Track. It is well marked and there are good huts and plenty of places to camp. Climbing up to Cascade Saddle from Dart Hut is an absolute must. Fantastic views from here across to Mt Aspiring and down over the neve of Dart Glacier. If you camp up here beware the Keas (alpine parrot). They gave us hell once night. Wrote a story for a magazine entitled "the War of the Keas on Cascade Saddle." This walk takes 4-5 days and there's good transport options to the start and finish from Queenstown.
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Old 12-15-2015   #14
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anybody in NZ

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Old 12-16-2015   #15
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Thank you again. I'll keep all these suggestions in mind. Is there something I could bring from US for anybody in NZ, that's cheap here/ expensive there, from photography area?
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Old 12-28-2015   #16
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Alan Davus: I looked at some pictures from Cascade Saddle. Very enticing. On one of them there was a wild parrot. Are there wild parrots so high in the mountains?
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Last edited by Rangefinder 35 : 12-28-2015 at 11:23. Reason: Grammar
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