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Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

ireland
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Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

Hello,

I was on the Department of Conservation checking availability for a place on the Milford Track walk for Feb ,March,April and all the dates I entered showed them full.Now I'm wondering if I want to walk all the recommended hikes in the South Island,,such as the ''famous 5'' hikes mentioned on one website and others that I'll have to go through all booking systems just to check if I can walk on a particular date etc.Does booking online just apply to The Milford Track or will it also apply to other recommended hikes.I've hiked all over the world and I'd be disappointed if I had to specify on what date I wanted to start a walk weeks or months in advance.I'd be hoping I can arrive in place and just get out there and hike for a few days without having to specify weeks in advance what date I'd intend to start a walk/hike etc. I plan to do hikes over a six week period and normally when I'm out hiking I keep things flexible regarding which hikes I do and when depending on feedback I get back out there from other hikers and weather conditions too.So my question is, is much of the great hiking and trekking in the South Island regulated like the the Milford Track hike.I'dbe disappointed that If I thought that I had to plan hikes and walks over six weeks well in advance with military precision ,Thanks for any information,

John

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

Yes, generally speaking you will have to book in advance for the great walks - however there are plenty of other walks which, in my opinion, are superior to the Milford, Routeburn etc.

Also, try your luck, you never know.

Nelson-Tasman...
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2. Re: Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

Yes. They are very popular and to avoid overcrowding the bookings are heavily regulated. No camping, or restricted camping, on most as well.

Most of the others would hopefully have some spaces in March.

The Whanganui Great walk is a river trip, not a walk, and I highly recommend a three day canoe trip. One of the best great walks I have done.

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

To allow unrestricted access to the Great Walks would destroy their character and reason why anyone goes there. There are other walks where you can take your luck. Keppler, Routeburne etc. (Ok... I cant spell :( )

Nelson-Tasman...
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4. Re: Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

NZMike You need to book on Kepler and Routeburn as well and they are also very popular and are also part of the great walks.

Other walks I suggest are Queen Charlotte Sound, Nelson Lakes National Park.

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

As above - Yes. For Great Walks you need to book the accommodation (hut or campsite) in advance. If you are fit enough to complete any in one day without spending a night on the track then you don't need to book!

However there are many other excellent tramping tracks which do not require prebooking (you still need to pay for huts / campsites). Check out the other non-Great-Walk tracks on the doc website or take a look at Greenstone/Caples, Travers Sabine, Queen Charlotte, Abel Tasman Inland Track, Wangapeka, Pelorus River, St James, Hollyford for starters. Tramper.co.nz also has a database of tracks you can browse.

6. Re: Do you need to book in advance to walk all the great hikes?

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