Things you'd like to tell trampers from overseas
I'm following the forum for quite a while now. I'm about to set up a small business in Germany advising people on non-guided tramping in a few selected countries/regions including NZ. I'm trying to follow an integrated approach as much as possible so that my clients are fully prepared for what to expect when they go tramping. I'm interested to know from you: What are the most important things you would like to tell visitors from overseas who come to New Zealand for tramping? It can be in regard to safety, track etiquette and behaviour, experiences you have made or situations you have been in with international trampers or whatever you find important I should also let my clients know. I appreciate your feedback, thanks, Happy Easter Daniel PS: I know the articles about the basics, I am interested about your opinion.
I guess a more general message is that it's important to budget for actual costs, and not treat a visit to NZ as if it can be done for nearly free once you've covered the airfares, irrespective of what some other backpackers might say is possible.
@izogi Exactly. The tramping/hunting/outdoor community in this country has been very slow to realise that we should be actively communicating this kind of message to our overseas guests. I'm generally ok with the idea of them being here and enjoying what we have to offer. But they also need to know that the unique kiwi back-country experience, with its numerous tracks and facilities open for anyone to use unfettered - only exists because us locals value it. And that it's our taxes, hut-fees, advocacy and voluntary work which protects and sustains it.
theres funny rules around the great walks, if you are passing by a hut without a booking you can pop into the hut for a drink or a rest or to eat or answer the call of nature as long as you dont stay the night or use any cookers... if you are booked at a neighbouring campsite you arent permitted to go near the hut in theory you shoudl be using whatever facilities there are at the campsite, at least i've heard hut wardens express that to campers coming to great walk huts. although they put a massive day shelter next to routeburn flats hut and the campers use it extensively especially in bad weather. and hut wardens have done nothing about it.
1 deleted post from Pro-active
Just had a thought....with accident and rescue compensation through the ACC being limited, should we be recommending that people take out personal insurance when planning on travelling to or staying in remote areas?
Thats an interesting point. Travellers to or from any country would be stupid not to have travel insurance. Maybe ACC should consider making a claim against that insurance more often than it does. It could be though that the insurance sold to NZ visitors has taken into account the fact that ACC will pay for these events and the insurance is cheaper as a result. It shouldnt be.
The main thing is to impress upon people how much more dangerous our tracks and conditions are as opposed to most other hiking areas globally. How many die here regularly. That a black dotted line on a map is by no means a guarantee that you will be able to travel along it relatively easily. And how greatly this can differ from park to park within NZ.
Are our trails really that bad? Ive heard Tasmainia is much the same as here with the added bonus of little critters that want to eat you. A lot of American trails are not much better but there is a catch in the back country trails are bad but can be a several day walk just to start but there are also other trails that are not much worse than SH1. Even Europe has trails as hard as here but often you know they are like that because of the booking system. The common trails have to be better as they have to cater for and are paid for by far more people.
"Maybe ACC should consider making a claim against that insurance more often than it does." I'm guessing but that might need a law change. ACC covers accidents based on them occurring in New Zealand. Most insurance policies (which I've seen) tend to state that they won't cover anything already covered by someone else like a government, even if their general policy statement says things like "it'll cover any rescue costs" in whichever non-specific country you're visiting. Plus, ACC only covers some rescues (where accidents occurred). Other times it tends to be Police or Maritime NZ picking up the bill. It could be opening a bit of a mine-field, too. People take out insurance to protect them for stuff which they might otherwise end up liable for. By making a travel insurance company liable you're effectively saying that visitors without travel insurance, or without the right type of travel insurance (maybe they wore a helmet for 2 minutes and their insurance decided they were mountaineering) should be billed for rescues. And whatever one might think about that, it does run back into argument about whether back-country SAR should be billed to subjects. [Blah blah, see a million other threads about the topic.] Like you also said, though, travel insurance is still a really good idea generally, imho. Especially if you don't want to be trapped in New Zealand for potential long term treatment following an accident. ACC (I think) usually requires that treatment be carried out within NZ.... which makes sense to be because it was never designed for funding someone's excessively highly priced treatment in a completely unrelated health system, like in the USA. Yeah. Get travel insurance.
I never said it would be easy. I was saying these people have travel insurance and ACC was paid for by tax payers not tourists. If there insurance is charging them for the risk of this type of event then surely that risk should be contracted to ACC and apropiate fees between the two change hands. Poor rescuee should not need to notice a difference
Even having travel insurance may not cover high risk activities, what those exactly are would be important to check out before leaving home. Recently a German tourist was ordered to pay reparation to a motorcyclist she crashed into. She thought her travel insurance would pay her costs but because it was an offence, they declined. A friend came over on a 'wwoofing' holiday from Germany and fell off a horse and broke her clavicle in two places. ACC covered all her costs, she did not expect this and could not understand why the NZ taxpayer footed the bill. However, the injury did not 'heal on its own' and she faced a long wait for surgery. So she went back to Germany and had the op within 3 days of landing. Surgery waiting times in NZ are far too long under this current system.
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