First tramp to NZ from Michigan USA - Resv at Huts

My wife and I (Retirees in our 60s) are 30 days away from beginning our first ever tramp in NZ. We have Abel Tasman, Milford, Keplar, Routeburn, Mt Cook/Mueller treks all scheduled and huts reserved (February/March). I did not plan to carry a tent, just a tarp for emergency, as we have reservations at the huts, but I have heard that huts may be over-booked or people stay in them without reservations. My wife and I love to take our time and enjoy the outdoors and take plenty of pictures, rather than race to the hut to claim a bed, versus the floor. We have backpacked many places around the world and have not ran into this issue, yet (luck i expect). Is it an issue in NZ? Last thing we want to do is cause a stir upon arrival to a hut, as we will be tramping with these same people for a few days, I expect.
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DEET based insect repellent works to keep the sandflies from biting, but it dissolves plastic so watch out for your watch strap etc! I use 40% but I think 30% is also effective. It is OK to use in pregnancy (recommended if travelling to malaria areas in pregnancy, in any case) and there is no evidence that short term use (eg a few weeks) causes any health effects. However you need to cover yourself in it - eg push down your socks, apply to your legs, then pull up your socks, otherwise you will get a ring of bites just above your sock line. Same with shirt sleeves - if there is an area that is not covered, they will find it. I react badly to their bites but find that ones on the face / head don't bother me much so use very little repellent there. You also need to reapply if your skin gets wet or muddy, and reapply every four to six hours. They don't bite at night. They can't fly if it is too windy and they don't tend to be around in farmland or main cities (at least not Chch and Dunedin, not sure about Wellington / Auckland). Unfortunately most of the great tramping places have them! Don't worry about not getting a bed and mattress, if the hut is bookable and you have booked, you will get one. You are going to have a fantastic trip, enjoy!
Thanks for the input from those answering my question, appreciated.
Guaranteed beds where you've booked a hut. Take your time & soak in the vibe. Hope the weather stays good for you. :)
We are excited to see New Zealand and Tasmania and see how the huts,tramps and good old mother nature compared to the other places we have hiked in the world, its going to be great. See you all next week!
Can't send you web mail coz there's a gap between your forum names "Robert Brosko", but Milford Road has just washed out due to heay rain. Closed for at least a week. Wouldn't stop you from getting on to the Milford Track, but might be a problem getting out from the Milford end ?. Get in touch with Department of Conservation (DoC) who administrate the walks you've planned. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12305697
routeburns closed until further notice
>We are excited to see New Zealand and Tasmania and see how the huts,tramps and good old mother nature compared to the other places we have hiked in the world, its going to be great. See you all next week! Good old mother nature is doing her thing at the moment I'm afraid. I'd guess the Milford Road, Milford Track, Routeburn Track are completely out of action for several weeks at least. Howden Hut damaged by landslide, people inside injured, attempted evacuation underway this moment. More than a metre of rain in Fiordland in the last couple of days. Enjoying the beaches in the Gisbourne, Hawkes Bay, East Cape area might be a better option.
you could still to an out and back on the routeburn from the queenstown side... using one of the hut nights assuming it would be the flats or falls... you could do the same on the milford for a night from the te anau end, possibly up to the second hut but you'd have to be able to get back to the boat in time and its 20k back
Thank you all for your rapid response. Our first thoughts are we hope all are safe. Our first hike in Abel Tasman looks ok for Feb 9 - 13, Now we hope for the best and YES, we need to start thinking about alternatives. Our plan was to do the Milford trek on Feb 16-Feb 19 (Clinton Hut/Mintaro Hut/Dumpling Hut). then do the Keplar on Feb 21-24 and then finsih with the Routeburn on Feb 25-27 (Lake Mackenzie Hut/Routeburn Fall Hut) with our final trek to Mt Cook area. PLEASE PLEASE, keep the ideas and updates coming coming.......... We are scheduled to get on a plane Feb 5, but also looking at canceling, as we do have insurance, UGH
e mail is broskorobert@gmail.com. We have planned this trip for over a year............ Can't control mother nature.
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Started by Robert Brosko
On 7 January 2020
Replies 72
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