New Zealand - South Island
My wife and I (60's) are planning to visit NZ for 3 weeks and Tasmania for 2 weeks. We would like to do three treks in NZ, while we are there; 3 - 6 day in length for each. We are experience hikers and carry 30-40 pound packs at altitude, so we feel we are up for challenges. We have backpacked around the world and are now planning a New Zealand / Tasmania trip. We are up for camping, if required, or hiking/tramping hut to hut and cooking our own food! Guide is not necessary, but sometimes worth it to learn more about the area. Any suggestions are welcome. We like it where there is less people and the challenge gives you amazing scenery!
is the drive worth it? Not a problem driving if that is part of the adventure and scenery, not just a means to an end
with everything that we want to do and see the right way, I think we will be spending about 4 weeks in NZ
Small country, but it has a little bit of everything. Suggest, again, you check your wishlist with reviews & comments on "TripAdvisor" website. Luckily you're planning to travel a little off-peak, so should have better luck with accomodation etc. NZ workers & school kids have finished their Christmas holiday break by mid-Feb. Happy trails !
Accommodation can be scarce around that time in QT and Wanaka. You've usually got the golf in Arrowtown. A number of festivals happen around then.
Yep, there are almost too many options! I'm from the States, so I'm used to the family vacation of endless driving. The first time I visited NZ was 2004 with my then partner. I saw it was @ 400 miles from Auckland to Wellington. Visualizing I-5, I figured we could get it done in @ 6-7 hours. 11 hours later we crawled in to Welly and my partner stopped talking to me for two days. Our State Highways are 2-lane, windy roads with an occasional passing lane, a few one-lane bridges, and lots of road works thrown in for fun. Driving can be a tedious affair. It's really exciting to be exploring a new country, though, so if you guys love driving then go for it. In 4 weeks you can do a bit of everything. Is the drive worth it? SH6 is the more scenic route, but that's a long day up to Paparoa. Options along SH6 include glacier exploration at Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, and maybe that's far enough. SH8 goes through the tussock laced Mackenzie Country (some of my favourite tramping), and passes by the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo. Mt Cook is kind of a destination unto itself, with Mueller Hut one of the only accessible huts for non-mountaineers. I haven't been to Mueller but most all reports are positive. Even more options abound! You could consider an overnight kayak trip in Doubtful Sound (I did this in 2006 and I've never regretted it) or a day kayak trip in Milford after you finish the track (I scheduled this in 2006 but they put us on a boat due to heavy rain and the mountains came alive with incredible waterfalls!) And again, there are "freedom" tramping routes that don't require bookings. SH6 around Makarora tramping options are plentiful, including the amazing Gillespie Pass Circuit. There's also the Motatapu Track between Wanaka and Arrowtown, made possible after Shania Twain purchased the station in that area. Driving can be cool and fun, but I found the most enjoyment I have in NZ is in the wilderness. When Joanne and I first visited in 2004, we tried to do way too much and I regretted not spending more time in less locales. And here's a plug for the very informative Department of Conservation website, www.doc.govt.nz. All the tracks we've mentioned on this thread have information on the site- check it out!
thank you all for the information.
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