Hiking in New Zealand - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 3Likes
  • 1 Post By zeljkok
  • 1 Post By CWF
  • 1 Post By Dru
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
Starting Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Calgary
Posts: 21
Default Hiking in New Zealand

I'm going to be spending about 3 weeks on the South Island of New Zealand starting mid-November and am looking for ideas on the best places to go.

I think I will probably be doing a couple of their Great Walks, like Routeburn, but would love some thoughts on some less popular/busy areas.

I'm not a climber, but enjoy the Moderate rated days from the Scrambles books for the Rockies, so if you know of mountains that would be worthwhile let me know.

My outline right now is a few days up at the north of the island, maybe a couple days around Arthur Pass, a few days at Mount Cook park, Aspiring and Fiordland. Trying to decide if hopping over to Stewart Island will be a good idea.


So basically I appreciate general suggestions. And if there are things besides hiking/scrambling/backpacking, please let me know those as well.

Thanks everyone!
KevinH is offline  
Quote Quick Reply
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canmore, AB Canada
Posts: 2,510
Default

I spent a month in NZ few years back; rented a car and drove around, with split 1 week on North and 3 weeks on South Island

On North I'd definitely recommend Tongariro Crossing with side scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe ("Mt. Doom"). Ferry ride Wellington - Pickton over Cook strait is fantastic! (and can be booked in advance)

On South:


-- Abel Tasman NP is beach setting, but very nice hiking with backpack options. I regretted not spending more time

-- visit to Aoraki (Mt. Cook NP) is a must. I did Mueller Hut & it is fantastic day-hike. There are much more adventurous options

-- I'd recommend setting up base in Te-Anau for several days. Day trip to Fiordland (yes, Milford sound is touristy, but still fantastic. They just finished filming of Alien: Covenant there too!). Then Kepler Track. Day hike to Mt. Luxmore was 1 of highlights of my stay.

-- Queenstown is young crowd, touristy spot. Reminded me of Kelowna. If you are there rent a bike; good riding trails around the lake. Otherwise not a big deal if skipped

-- Stewart Island: YES! Very remote, and very exotic. There is day hydrofoil from Invercargill. Fantastic seclude beaches. High waves sometimes on crossing

I did not have time to visit Mt. Aspiring, but heard only good things about it so it might be worth looking at as well.

I have online blog documenting hikes I didwith plenty of pics here
alpalmer likes this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:36 PM
Intermediate Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ALBANY, OR, USA.
Interest: SEA KAYAKING HIKING FISHING
Posts: 724
Default

Stewart Island, definitely a YES. Haven't been there since 1986 but terrific place to explore. Hike out to Mason Bay then head south. Look at the Tin Range for some out of the way hiking in the bush.
alpalmer is online now  
post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 03:43 PM
Starting Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2
Default

I have hiked Pyke Big Bay Route last year and it was great! 6 days in the real backcountry! I have seen only four other people out there... Can only recomend this route!
If you are looking for something more alpine hike to green lake hut (south west of Te Anau). Set a base camp there and make day trips to the surrounding peaks...
Stony is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 04:56 PM
Intermediate Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ALBANY, OR, USA.
Interest: SEA KAYAKING HIKING FISHING
Posts: 724
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stony View Post
I have hiked Pyke Big Bay Route last year and it was great! 6 days in the real backcountry! I have seen only four other people out there... Can only recomend this route!
If you are looking for something more alpine hike to green lake hut (south west of Te Anau). Set a base camp there and make day trips to the surrounding peaks...
The Pyke Big Bay - Hollyford Loop looks awesome!
alpalmer is online now  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 01:17 PM
CWF
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Whitehorse, YT, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, backpacking, travel, reading, movies, cooking, drinking wine, eating.
Posts: 162
Default

Buy a Backcountry Hut Pass. You can't use it on a "Great Walk" but there are almost a thousand huts to choose from: Mueller Hut, Brewster Hut (a must), Granity Pass Hut and Mt. Owen (another must, trust me on this one)... the South Coast Track, Blue Lake... Paparoa NP: Fox River to the ballroom. Loop to Punakaiki on the Pororari River Track... Sawcut Gorge north of Kaikoura... Wye Creek Basin, The Remarkables Conservation Area... the Routeburn is very scenic but be sure to do a side trip to the Valley of the Trolls.
Some links to keep you occupied:
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...uteburn-track/

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...#activitypanel

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...#activitypanel

https://tramper.nz

http://www.tramping.net.nz/huts/#

http://remotehuts.co.nz/huts/

https://www.wildernessmag.co.nz/trip/

http://www.backpacker.com/trips/the-...n-new-zealand/

Rent a car from Scotties: http://www.scotties.co.nz $20/day with an airport pickup. Can't go wrong.

Some tips:
No tipping!
Drive on the left side.
Turn signal on right, wipers on left of steering wheel.
Sign up for a shoppers discount card at Countdown.
Drink Hummingbird coffee. Bring a plunger (Bodum or french press).
If you drink wine, ditch the bottle and bring a platypus to carry the wine in.
Get a pack liner.
Carry an extra freeze-dried meal for just in case.
You almost always wear your boots through streams.
Bring hiking poles. Bring gear from home.
Wear a hat, sunscreen (extremely high UV level).
Bring earplugs for the huts.
Grab your bunks as soon as you get in.
Bring a few cuphooks and 6' of cord for hanging wet clothes, etc.
In older huts, hang your food up in a bag (mice).
Get a backcountry hut pass.
Buy camp-stove fuel at the hardware store (Mitre 10).
Don't leave anything visible in your vehicle when parked at a trailhead.

Have a great trip!
Trail Talk likes this.

Last edited by CWF; 10-14-2016 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Adding links
CWF is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 10:36 PM
Starting Member
 
vovamir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 4
Default

Warning: Long post!

I spent 3.5 weeks driving around the South Island and 1 week on the North Island in February of this year. Definitely rent a car. The South Island is fairly easy to drive. The towns/cities are very small and simple to navigate once you get used to the constant reverse round-abouts. The rural roads are decent, but mostly single lane and there are a lot of tight mountain passes and single lane bridges throughout the country.

We ended up booking our accommodations as we went based on weather and developing interests. This meant sometimes staying in hostels, airbb, camping, and one night sleeping in the car. I personally wouldn't do it any other way as it gave us the flexibility and freedom to change the trip and not be stuck in a place we had no interest in. Camper vans are also extremely popular in NZ and rent-able for reasonable prices. That's something I would also consider next time I visit.

We flew into Christchurch, spent the night to recover from the long flight and drove to Arthurs Pass. Amazing alpine environment, but from my research the weather is very hit and miss. We lucked out and had 3 days of clear skies. We hiked the Avalanche Peak/Scotts Track loop which was my favorite day hike in the area. We also did Bealey Valley (which was a beautiful hike up a valley to a seasonal hanging glacier), Temple Basin (great views), and a few of the short waterfall hikes (Devils Punchbowl etc). On the way out of the area we hit up Castle Rock which was OK for stretching out the legs, but not much more.

We then drove through Lake Tekapo (check out the white bluffs if you're camping in the area) and then to Wanaka/Queenstown. Wanaka is quiet and quaint whereas Queenstown is touristy, busy, and bustling with lots of attractions. A lot of good hikes in the area, but we had a few days of bad weather so we only did Diamond Lake/Rocky Mountain Loop, Mount Crichton Loop, and The Iron Mountain in Wanaka.

From there we drove through Hast Pass in a torrential downpour which sucked for driving, but created some out of this world waterfalls. Some crashing down right onto the road. From there we hit up Fox and Franz Glacier which I found kind of disappointing. The glaciers in the Rockies are far more impressive, although being next to a glacier surrounded by rain forest is a new experience. The glaciers have been shrinking at an extremely rapid rate and are far less prominent than they once were. We did the two valley hikes and did the Roberts Point Track at Franz Josef Glacier which was the highlight of the area for me. When I go back I will probably skip the West Coast, Glaciers, and the infamous sand flies.

From the Glaciers we drove up the coast, hit up some small drive up spots and headed towards Nelson. We took a stop and hiked the Mount Robert Loop off HW63. Great mountain hike, but it was a bit tougher than we were expecting from the descriptions we read. Maybe we were just tired from driving.

The rest of our stay was based out of Nelson. We did a bike wine tour in Blenheim to give our legs a break (which was a lot of fun), did the North portion of the Abel Tasman great walk as a day hike (basically tropical beach walking), hit up Wharariki Beach at low tide (definetly recommend it although its out of the way), and hiked Cape Farewell/Pillar Pt Lighthouse which gives great views of the ocean and rugged coastline.

From Nelson we flew (cheaper and faster than the ferry) to Wellington to continue our adventure on the North Island. I honestly enjoyed the South Island way more than the North. It's more rugged, has a lower population density, more trails, and a friendly relaxed atmosphere. Everyone we met was extremely helpful and friendly.

There is still a lot of the South Island we didn't see, but thats for another trip. We meant to hit up Milford Sound, but it was pouring for the next few days when we had the chance so we opted to skip it. Mount Cook/Hooker Valley is another area I really wanted to check out but we just didn't have time. I'm only half way done processing my photos from the trip, but I've attached a few of the places I mentioned to give you a feel for them.

Hopefully that was helpful. If you have any questions about the trails I listed, country, driving, whatever shoot me a message or post here.

Some Photos:

My wife nearing the Avalanche Peak Summit (gives an idea of the terrain)


Kea bird at the summit


Incredible 360 views from the summit


Bealey Valley


Bealey Valley Scrambling


White Bluffs of Lake Tekapo


Rocky Mountain/Diamond Lake


Franz Josef Glacier


Roberts Point at Franz Josef - neat steel walkway built right into the cliff face.


View from the end of Roberts Point
vovamir is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 04:34 PM
Dru
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Climbing, a mountain, Canada.
Interest: climbing and spraying
Posts: 15,912
Default

One area I really enjoyed that I don't see mentioned much was Mount Owen, in Kahurangi NP near Murchison on South Island's northwest side. The karst there is phenomenal. I did a solo day trip from Murchison to the summit and nearly 20 yrs later it still stands out as one of my best mountain days ever. Mostly hiking with some easy scrambling near the summit. Didn't see anybody all day, bar an Army helicopter flying over - military was practicing caving in an adjacent valley.

alpalmer likes this.

Last edited by Dru; 10-11-2016 at 04:36 PM.
Dru is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Starting Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Calgary
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks for all the recommendations guys.

Piecing it together, and I think it will be a pretty busy trip.

For those that have been there, would you recommend the great walk on Stewart Island? I know there a 125k loop as well, and I'm sure there are day trips to do, though I haven't found much information there.

I'll definitely put Mount Owen on my list as well.
KevinH is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 10:51 PM
CWF
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Whitehorse, YT, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, backpacking, travel, reading, movies, cooking, drinking wine, eating.
Posts: 162
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinH View Post
I'll definitely put Mount Owen on my list as well.
The missus and I are going back for our 9th time, from Dec. 5th to Feb. 23rd. We'll be packing the Hubba Hubba to Mt. Owen so we can spend more time exploring the area around the mountain. Let us know if the dragon is still on the peak, he was there last time we visited:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	MtOwenDragon.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	204.3 KB
ID:	184234  

Click image for larger version

Name:	MtOwenCrevasse.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	238.2 KB
ID:	184242  


Last edited by CWF; 10-20-2016 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Added pics.
CWF is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the ClubTread Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1