When you are tramping you need to be able to interpret the surrounding terrain using large scale topographical maps. New Zealand topographical maps are produced by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), while the Department of Conservation has taken over production of Parkmaps and Trackmaps. Both sets of maps are available at libraries, large bookstores, information centres, outdoor equipment stores, and online.

There are a number of map series useful for tramping and walking. These series include:

  • Topo50
    General purpose, large scale (1:50 000). Because of their scale, these are usually the best maps for tramping purposes. The contour lines are drawn at 20m intervals which gives a clear idea of the shape of the land. These maps superced the older NZMS 260 series.

  • Parkmap (273/74)
    Each sheet covers one national park or forest park, so the scale varies from 1:50 000 for Paparoa to 1:250 000 for Fiordland. Good for planning, but only the the large scale sheets are usable for tramping.

  • Trackmap (335, 245, 300)
    Each map features a major tramping track. Some of those available are Heaphy, Milford, Routeburn/Greenstone, Hollyford and Kepler. Limited in detail, although the high usage of these tracks means that more detailed maps are not necessary. Popular as souvenirs.

Check the LINZ website for retailers.