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I live in a small remote mountain town in the state of Colorado in the USA surrounded by a million hectares of public land. We are planning a round the world trip from March 2023 through June 2023 with a couple of weeks in New Zealand in late March. There are several different types of public lands here in the USA with different rules. The National Parks are the most popular with the most rules. The National forests are less restrictive and Bureau of Land Management tends to be the most laissez faire. Our tramping leans towards the more remote areas where there are no trails. The great walks look amazing, but seem to be rather busy compared to what we are accustomed to. Colorado and New Zealand are very similar in total land area and population. Are there remote places in New Zealand that one can tramp in solitude? Where you can you can set up your tent away from everyone? Thanks in advance for any advice
https://tramper.nz/places/wildernessareas there are 11 official wilderness areas in Nz but you need to do more research as to how they fit with your travel plans. Some are quite hard to get to and you could hit weather issues at that time. We might only get -10C winter but we do it with high wind and percipitation
Oh, there are only about a bazillion places you can go to be alone. I can't remember specifically, but I believe you can freedom camp anywhere that's at least 200 metres from an established track, and at least 500 metres from a Great Walk track. Kahurangi National Park is vast, with both an established network of huts and tracks, plus incredible areas of wilderness. The Lewis Pass area is a favourite of mine for off-track travel, as is Tongariro NP on the North Island. I'd suggest those areas over places like the West Coast and Fiordland, which are different beasts altogether.
The first time I visited Ant Biv, the previous entry in the hut book was from 8 years before. Plenty of solitude in that area.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the 'freedom camping' exclusion is 200m from a road (rather than 'established track', as gregor writes). The type of camping we're talking about actually isn't 'freedom camping'. To quote the Act : "freedom camp means to camp ... within 200 m of a motor vehicle accessible area ... or within 200 m of a formed road or a Great Walks Track" Gregor mentions the 500m exclusion from Great Walks - madpom explains why it's 500m and not 200m in a thread from 2017 : https://tramper.nz/forums/thread/9858 So, tomgalvin, if you're remote, you can pretty much camp anywhere. Be aware, though, NZ is not like Colorado (or anywhere else). Plan, prepare - take a PLB.
"Be aware, though, NZ is not like Colorado (or anywhere else). Plan, prepare - take a PLB." No dangerous animals here although a sandfly or 1000 can make your life pretty miserable. 3 main killers here are plants weather and rivers. Plants we have the famous ongaonga I think it has 2 confirmed kills but it is the most viscous stinging nettle in the world, and we have bush lawyer Just the name should strike fear. Weather cold wet and windy makes a perfect silent killer. I read a US study a few years back that over there more hypothermia deaths occur in temperatures 20 to 40 farenhight than at colder temperatures (this is -5 to 10 Celsius). It didnt really look into the reasons but my take was that you are more likely to be correctly prepared for the extra cold times. Here it doesnt get anything like as cold as Colorado but you can imagine near freezing rain in a 30mph breeze. That sucks heat far faster than standing naked in dry still 0F conditions. Then we have our rivers. Often fast often cold often deep rarely bridged except on major tracks. Several people drown every year. Learn how to read and cross rivers
Thanks everyone for the feedback. We have booked our flights and will be flying into Queenstown on March 28th and out of Christchurch on April 13th. Due to the time of year we are not creating a set itinerary, but rather assembling a list of candidate tramps, and letting the weather and conditions on the ground guide us, along with advice from the local DOC offices. We are sticking to the South Island for this trip. While the the Fiordlands look amazing, our trip will be too short to do them justice. Mount Aspiring, Mount Cook, Arthur's Pass, and Kahurangi are on the short list. They seem to have a range of options that, as summed up by a local blogger, put us "...waaay out in the backcountry with the tahr and the keas" Completely agree on hypothermia and water crossings. Our mountain rivers and desert canyons take lives every year too. In addition we are avoiding routes that require climbing or sketchy footing, though we will be carrying microspikes just in case of a surprise snow. Thanks for the pointers on dangerous vegetation. Antihistamines & hydrocortisone don't weigh much, but could prove invaluable. We have been carrying a PLB(In-Reach) for a few seasons, and we validated that we are covered in New Zealand with our subscription. We also will have trip insurance appropriate to our activities. We have made great use of the DOC online maps: https://www.doc.govt.nz/map/index.html Google Earth, Youtube, and the Hut Bagger site: https://hutbagger.co.nz for finding promising tramps. We were rather sad to see too many videos of folks not following leave no trace, but instead are seeking social media followers with drone shots. Sadly this seems to be all too common in the few remaining wild places across the globe. Again the assistance is greatly appreciated.
I've just been to Stony Stream biv to check out a new track cut from the stream up to the biv. No one had been in the biv since June when the track was completed.
I assume you mean no-one with sufficient literacy to write a name & date in the visitors book ... not quite the same thing! But yes, many places - Takitimus for example where huts get years per visitor rather than visitors per year. Literate visitors at least.
1 deleted post from PamelaJoseph
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