One of our favorite places in the world is New Zealand! The tramping (hiking) opportunities, as the kiwis call it, are endless and provide a unique experience we have found nowhere else on our travels. Since we only had limited time and gear, we chose the Routeburn Track,  32km of beautiful backcountry terrain through both Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Park.

During the Great Walks peak season (October-May), reservations are required for the huts and campsites you use during your trek, costing NZD 45 and NZD 10 per person a night respectively. Huts and campsites are free during the non-peak season (June –November) operating on first come first serve basis, but are very simple compared to serviced apartments in Liverpool. There is no pressure to complete the tracks in a defined amount of time, so many tracks accommodate a wide range of itineraries, allowing you to thoroughly enjoy your tramping experience. For example, we chose to complete the Routeburn in 3 days, staying in huts for 2 nights. Additional huts on the track are available, allowing you to extend your track up to 5 days if you like, staying at each hut only once.

Some of the gear we picked up in Queenstown included:

  • Hiking Boots – $5 a day x 3 days = $15 per person
  • Hiking Backpack – $5 a day x 3 days = $15 per person
  • Rain Jacket – $5 a day x 3 days = $15 per person
  • Rain Pants – $5 a day x 3 days = $15 per person

You will also need to take anything you need to eat and cook along the track. During the peak season, gas burners are available, as are running cold water taps. The water is supposedly safe to drink, but you can boil or treat if paranoid.

In anticipation of taking on one of the world’s great walks, we came to the realization that it is also one of the world’s most expensive, at ~$300 per person, but sadly, compared to everything else in New Zealand, this is a bargain. Lesson one in New Zealand tourism, nothing is free!