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Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

Melbourne, Australia
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Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

Can you recommend a multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old. We will be doing it as a trial run for the 300km Coast-to-Coast in the UK.

Day pack only. Sleep in a bed. Was thinking maybe the Queen Charlotte Sound walk...?

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

The Hollyford or Abel Tasman are both good trips with kids in tow. We have done both with ours.

Our youngest walked the first 2 days of the Hollyford when only 2. We recently did it as the full walk when he was 7. The first two days share the track with a guided walk outfit, so the track is a great standard.

The Abel Tasman is also a good level of track, so would be suitable for your girl. Do you mean to do a guided walk or independent with adults carrying all the gear?

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

Thanks for the reply. If possible, we would do an independent walk with our main gear transported. I gather this is pretty standard on the QC walk and is how we would do the C2C in England next year. Don't think we would use a guide.

Have you done the QC walk? Do you know how it compares to the Abel Tasman & Hollyford?

We are flying from Melbourne into AKL (where I have family) & out of Queenstown three weeks later. So the bookends are in place. We will probably spend Christmas in the Wairarapa (more family) before hopping on the ferry to Picton & the SI.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

No, we have not done the QC, but I imagine the scenery is similar to Abel tasman. AT has lovely yellow sand beaches, lots of chances to see/swim in the sea, and mostly scrubby kind of bush. I believe you can have gear transported by boat.

The Hollyford is accessed from Te Anau (it is half way to Milford Sound). You would have to carry your own gear on this one. It is very different scenery. It follows the Hollyford River, and is surrounded by mountains (the famous Routeburn Track is on the ridge above it. It is a valley walk (the highest point is only about 200-300m), but extremely scenic. The first hut is 9km on a very easy track (we left the car at 7pm and got there at 10pm (in high summer) just as it was getting dark. We had three kids and very heavy packs as we were doing the full 10 day walk. The next hut is beside a lake and is another 10km - again easy track with one small saddle to go over. We walked all the way out on day 3 (with 3 year old and 6 year olds). We swam in both the river (really cold! but beautiful water) and Lake Alabaster.

The Hollyford would be a lot less crowded than either of the other tracks. It depends on how much you need packs carried, and the type of scenery you prefer.

Check out the Depart of Conservation (DOC) website for ideas of tracks.

…govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

QCT & ATNP are really very different., both in landscapes and land tenure.

ATNP is a National Park so almost totally undeveloped with the exception of the camping ground with road access at Totaranui ( so you can buy ice creams!!) and Awaroa Lodge (where the adults can buy a cappuccino of a beer). Having your gear carried is possible, but not quite as easy to organise as on QCT. The main accommodation is DoC huts so you need to carry cooking utensils as well as sleeping bags. The beaches are lovely.

QCT OTH crosses private land, mostly cut-over scrub, not bush. Mostly you are high above the water, and although the views are lovely, the beaches are stoney. The big advantage of the QCT is the fact that there are jetties/piers in almost every bay and your wtaer taxi ticket is technically a two way, with most people only using it one way and having their packs carrtied the other way. You are given a bunch of luggage tags and every morning you label your packs with the next destination, drop them on the pier and pick them up at the end of the day. Accommodation ranges from slightly grotty (Resolution Bay) through quaint (Woolshed at Endeavour Inlet) to reasonably luxurious (Furneaux Lodge). Restaurants at Furneaux, Punga & Portage. Sleeping bags not required. You can also opt out at any stage and jump aboard the Water Taxi.

Edited: 24 June 2013, 12:45
Nelson-Tasman...
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5. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

I live between the Abel Tasman and Queen Charlotte. Abel Tasman has great beaches, but its too popular. queen Charlotte is my favoured walk at present because it is much less busy. I suggest a water taxi to Ship Cove and then walk to resolution cabins or endeavour inlet. Next day to punga cove, the portage, mistletoe and out. Water taxis can transport packs. All budget of accommodation available. Great kayaking, possiblity of seeing Dolphins, penguins and if really really lucky, Orcas.

Nelson-Tasman...
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6. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

Pur kids were only 2 and 4 when we walked the Abel Tasman. Just depends on what you want to do and where. But if you want to stay in bed will need to book DOC huts quickly. Wilsons are the only ones who offer private accommodation in Torrent Bay and Awaroa. There is also the Awaroa lodge. Kayakaing is also a really good way to see the Abel Tasman.

Christchurch, New...
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7. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

I think the Queen Charlotte would be a good choice, it is set up to make a trip like yours very easy to arrange. You definitely wouldn't need a guide. The scenery is different to Abel Tasman - no golden sandy beaches - but still very nice. I walked from Torea Bay (near Portage) to Mistletoe Bay with my 9yo cousins last summer. There is one long stretch - from Camp Bay to Portage is about 20kms for the day and around a 400m climb, there is no option to break this up if you are having your bags ferried. Will your 9yo manage this? AT does not have any compulsory long days like this.

Some pictures from our own walk on the entire track here:

christinayls.webng.com/Queen_Charlotte.html

Nelson-Tasman...
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8. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

You can also just arrange to take a water taxi for any long stretches and Id suggest it from Punga Cove to Mistletoe with a 9 year old. Would then cut the trip shorter, and take out the longer 20km plus walks. And still see the best scenery.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

Thanks to all for the replies. I'm definitely leaning towards the Queen Charlotte walk if there are no suitable alpine walks. We can keep the ferry option open for the longest day if our daughter needs it.

I expect we will do the walk from late Dec to early Jan including NYE.

Do you think it worth booking an independent / freedom / unguided walk through a local operator? They typically book accommodation, transfers, transport, lunches etc.. And we could leave the bulk of our luggage with them. If so, are any recommended?

Anywhere along the QC walk that gets busy on NYE? If so, we would avoid. Many people have a rest day at Portage. Perhaps we could spend NYE there & rest the next day?

Christchurch, New...
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10. Re: Multi day hike suitable for a 9 year old?

Everywhere in QC will be crazy on NYE.