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5 weeks in New Zealand

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5 weeks in New Zealand

Trying to figure out how best to travel (car or camper) and what best to bring for a 5 week trip in January/February. We want to do some hiking (tramping) - but would rather carry tent, sleeping bags, food, etc. Are there hostel to hostel hikes with provisions at the hostels? Is it worth it to get a camper for the whole 5 weeks? or will a car suffice? Ideas on places not to miss are also welcome!

Ballarat, Australia
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1. Re: 5 weeks in New Zealand

Did you mean rather *not* carry tent etc? (Your post doesn't quite make sense to me.)

Camper hire over summer is expensive - the hire companies double or triple their prices, and the holiday parks put up prices for sites over school holidays too. At this time of year you will almost certainly find hiring an ordinary car and staying at private rooms in hostels much cheaper.

For hiking on a budget, you should consider staying at tramping huts. You will have to carry a sleeping bag and food, but not tent or sleeping mats. The newer huts are very comfortable, and they are in some of the most spectacular parts of the country. Usually there is no other way to see these places other than hiking in. …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Other options would be guided walks with lodge stays (relatively expensive) eg ultimatehikes.co.nz/en/guided-walks… the Queen Charlotte Track (a variety of accommodation options) http://www.qctrack.co.nz/ or you could try a sea kayak trip - some of the freedom outfitters hire camping gear and everything you need as well as the kayaks.

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2. Re: 5 weeks in New Zealand

Thank you so much for this great advice and helpful links (and understanding what I meant despite my typo)! Very gracious of you to provide so much detail.

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3. Re: 5 weeks in New Zealand

There are lots of day hikes in NZ. Eg. If you stayed in Mt Cook VIllage or Arthurs Pass you could do many hikes ranging from 1hr -6+ hrs. Have a look at the Sealy tarns and Red Tarns, Hooker Valley walks. All beautiful and have views of Mt Cook.

Otherwise check out greatwalks.co.nz (I have done Abel Tasman and The Routeburn both are awesome). Tourists from the states rated them higher than tramps they had done in the rockies. There are doc huts you can stay in here for about $30-40 a night - just need food, a pot to cook it in and a sleeping bag.

There are also tonnes of day hikes on the West Coast of the South Island (Fox & Franz Glaciers etc.). Tramps in the North Island are no where near as scenic - I wouldn't bother!

Check out jucy.co.nz for cheap camper hire

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: 5 weeks in New Zealand

>Tramps in the North Island are no where near as scenic - I wouldn't bother!>

Sarah, have you done the Te Urewera circuit or the Tongariro Northern circuit? These are both fabulous "Great Walks" with first rate hut accommodation.

Generally NZ hostels don't provide meals the way English YHAs do; and mostly people do not walk from "hostel-to-hostel". Most of our tramping is done in National parks where the accommodation is limited to DoC huts. You can use hostels as a base for day walks if you like a bit more comfort and do not want to carry a pack - e.g. Te Anau, Arthurs Pass or Mt Cook.

A thrid option is to do one of the "private" walks such at the Banks Peninsula Track which starts in Akaroa. This is a walk over private farmland with beautiful coastal scenery & even penguins. You stay in quirky farm cottages & can pay a little extra to have the farmer transport your pack on the first & last days, which are steep. Other similar walks to look for are at Kaikoura & the Tora Track in the Wairarapa. This one is a little more expensive because it is fully catered.

Wellington, NZ
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5. Re: 5 weeks in New Zealand

I was also wondering how many tramps Sarah has done in the North Island. The Whanganui River journey is another very scenic "Great Walk" - even though it's a canoe trip. OP, if you have time and the inclination, I can recommend the canoe trip. It's 3 - 4 days, huts are available and you can hire sleeping bags etc from the canoe providers.

6. Re: 5 weeks in New Zealand

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