October 24, 2020
Walking/Hiking is synonymous with NZ culture. In New Zealand we refer to multi day hikes as tramps and as a kiwi it is a right of passage to tramp in the bush. Hiking is a large drawcard for tourism in New Zealand with people travelling from all over the world to experience the famous great walks, however there is an endless number of walks in all corners of New Zealand which are well worth exploring, leaving you feeling like a character from The Lord of the Rings exploring middle earth.
It is incredibly easy to hike in New Zealand (apart from the difficulty of undulating terrain) as the Department of Conservation which is the government arm concerned with environmental preservation establishes walking tracks in as many reserves as possible. Most reserves will contain multiple tracks and most towns or cities will have their own tracks (trails) accesible for the people living or visiting there. The quality of these tracks and trails are of a very high standard, well marked and typically (but not always) formed from gravel and cut out so there are not often tree roots or other tripping hazards. The department of Conservation also looks after huts in the backcountry of New Zealand which provide a safe place to rest for travellers exploring by foot. This means you can spend multiple days in the bush in New Zealand and so long as you have planned correctly you will have access to beds, fire, fresh water etc (please note it is necessary to book in advance if you plan on staying in a DOC hut).
Aside from the weather there are very few dangers in the New Zealand outdoors i.e. no large predators or poisonous snakes or spiders, so as long as precautionary measures are taken for time spent in the outdoors then it is very safe to walk majority of New Zealand’s trails.
Whilst walking the tracks and trails of New Zealand you can expect to see rare native birds such as Tui or piwakawaka while surrounded by enormous native trees and prehistoric endemic fauna. Most of our walks climax with spectacular views of pristine nature and more often than not you will find you have the space all to yourself after passing a handful of other walkers on your way to the summit.
For anyone considering hiking in New Zealand it truly is a breath taking experience well worth undertaking.
Author: Corben Turner