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  1. #1

    Default Just got back from "Tramping" in NZ. 3-"Great Walks" and one other trail.

    I just posted a few pics in the gallery of my 3 1/2 weeks down in NZ.
    We did 2 of the "Great Walks" on the southern island: "Old Ghost Road" (which is a fairly new one) and the "Heaphy Track" (a bit too crowded for my liking, but beautiful trail.
    Then we had a change in plans because of a huge storm that was hitting the deep south so flew up to the north island and did the "Around the Mountain" track in Tungoriro National Park (center of north island) and that joins into the "Northern Circuit" which is a "Great Walk" but super crowded because it was in the movie; "Lord of the Rins" as Mount Doom apparantlly. In 3 days on the "Around the Mountain" track, we saw 6 other hikers, in 1 1/2 days on the "Northern Circuit" hike, we saw at least 500!
    Anyway, it was a great 3 1/2 weeks and we travelled by foot, bus, train, airplane, and except for being quite expensive, it is a great country with the friendliest people I've ever met.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Yep, what a fantastic and friendly country. Two years ago we did a similar trip, loved every minute.

    One example of a cultural difference: We took a short flight from Nelson to Auckland to catch our long flight home, arrived at the Nelson airport, sat and waited, then boarded the flight. Wait, I thought, where do we go through security??? WHERE's security? Well, guess what, no security checks, we just got on the plane.

    And their prime minister? What a cool lady.

    My personal highlite: Body surfing the tidal flows along the Able Tasman trek. Then there's Hobbiton....

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    ...........Then we had a change in plans because of a huge storm that was hitting the deep south .............
    My wife and I went on a hiking tour of south island the first 2 weeks of January (the wife will not camp). We had a great time. We were in the area hit by flooding about a week before it happened. We took a boat tour of Milford sound and I saw pictures of the visitors center during the flood with a foot or two of water in it and the road we traveled to the area washed out. Between the flood and the coronavirus I expect the tourism to NZ has taken a bit hit considering how many tourists are from Asian countries and how many Chinese airline flights go into Auckland. For a small nation of 5 million people, I hope their economy isn't too badly affected by all this.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  4. #4

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    I did the Milford and the Routeburn tracks as post thru hike trip. Hard to beat southern NZ in their summer/fall.

  5. #5

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    Although this was my first time to NZ, I can't see that they are hurting for tourists. That 4th hike we did: North circuit of Tungolino NP, we must have seen 500 people in 2 days. Huts full, tens sites cramped. If that's hurting from tourism, then I wouldn't want to be there when it's crowded. (i think mostly because parts of the movie was filmed there)
    So much of the country is geared towards tourism and they do a great job. The train did have a few empty seats, I'd say about 80% full. Same with the plane from Christchurch to Auckland. In comparison, the plane from Singapore back to Phuket Thailand was about 50-60% full.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  6. #6

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    Did the Routeburn track as a day hike two years ago. Great stuff.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Although this was my first time to NZ, I can't see that they are hurting for tourists. .......
    So much of the country is geared towards tourism and they do a great job. .......
    Glad to hear tourism is holding up. I was surprised by how well constructed and maintained the hiking "tracks" were and the hiking infrastructure in general. We hiked on a number of different trails - Abel Tasmin, the west coast, the Mt. Cook area and around Milford Sound - and all were great trails. Was that your experience as well? If you like hiking, NZ is a great place to go.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    Glad to hear tourism is holding up. I was surprised by how well constructed and maintained the hiking "tracks" were and the hiking infrastructure in general. We hiked on a number of different trails - Abel Tasmin, the west coast, the Mt. Cook area and around Milford Sound - and all were great trails. Was that your experience as well? If you like hiking, NZ is a great place to go.
    Yes, all of the "Great Walk" trails were very well maintained and graded. They put money back into their trails for maintenance and signage, that's for sure.
    However the one that we did that was NOT a "Great Walk", the "Around the Mountain" track on north island's Tungariro National Park was quite rough. Often, no trail, only posts to show you the way, which is fine with me, but instead of maintaining your elevation, while traversing, instead of keeping it level and using switchbacks, they just run it straight and it's all up and down unecessarily IMO. One of the glacier melt, creek crossings was quite dangerous. Definitely not for beginners on that hike. The Great WAlks were fine for anyone though and not hard at all. (except for the big wind and freezing rain we had on the last one Tungariro northern circuit.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

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