New Zealand is great for a holiday destination from Australia because it is so close you don’t have to waste much time getting there. That means you have more time to spend exploring the country and one of the best ways to do that is to go hiking. Of course, you could travel to New Zealand by cruise liner if you are not in a hurry.
Here are some tips for hiking in New Zealand
- Just because it is close to Australia, doesn’t mean the climate is the same. It’s much colder and wetter, with summer not really warming up until Christmas. Even then the weather is very changeable and people often claim there can be all four seasons experienced in one day. This means you have to be extra careful to wear warm clothing on hiking trips and make sure you have gloves, parka and rainwear.
- Get the warmest sleeping bag available if you intend to go camping on your hike.
- Since New Zealand is so wet – it rains for 185 days a year – never go anywhere without a rain hat and poncho. For hiking, add waterproof trousers and a waterproof backpack cover to keep your things dry, especially if you are going to camp in a tent.
- Be prepared for steep climbs. New Zealand is mountainous and most hiking trails include mountainous climbs. The scenery is stupendous because of the mountains and lakes, but it means you won’t be able to walk as far as you think per day, unless you are very fit. Plan to walk less and you’ll enjoy it more. Spend time getting fit before you go as well. If you tour by car is also takes longer than you might expect due to steep and winding terrain.
- Taking a guided hiking tour the first time is a good idea. It will be safer while allowing you to experience some of the best hikes with guidance.
- Most hikes are quite long. There are huts to stay in overnight that are very affordable, but if you go in the peak summer season these can be crammed full. Taking a tent is often better if you don’t like crowds. Or you could go just before or just after peak season when there are less people about. Huts have racks to dry wet clothing and good heating so you won’t have to shiver all night.
- You’ll need to book into both hikes and the huts ahead of time so you can show your pass to the guide.
- The most popular hikes are booked out early, so don’t leave it all to the last minute before you decide on this destination, especially if you are going to go hiking. This can be done online, although booking facilities are not open all year round.