Tramps on the South Island

Old Sep 26th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Tramps on the South Island

We are adventurous 55 year olds interested in doing one or more tramps. Our budget doesnt include a guided tramp so we will try to reserve at the government shelters. We are thinking about the Queen Charlotte tramp and a tramp in Fiordland Park. Is the Milford Track worth it despite its overuse. Any recommendations about tramps and carrying your own stuff?

Thanks
stevedore is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2004, 12:34 AM
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I must say that I have never seen any tramps in New Zealand!
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 03:48 AM
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I wish I was as fit as you! Have only done a one-day section of Q Charlotte.
Suggest you post on loneyplanet or bootsnall (sorry you will have to google for exact URL).

I did once see some info - can't remember if in print (SMH perhaps?) or on the net - about Q Charlotte. Not guided - cos not necessary - but "assisted" - ferrying your stuff for you from stop to (not luxurious)stop so you can walk unencumbered. And it may have included a leg by kayak.
Just posting to say such things are possible.

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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 04:28 AM
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The short answer is - the Milford (and all the other Great Walks for that matter) are worth it. When it's not raining the views are to die for, and when it is raining the waterfalls are spectacular. And when you get to the end tired and muddy, and see a coachload of tourists getting on a tour boat - you can smile knowing they are only going to see a fraction of what you have seen. With the tracks that use the hut reservation system the bonuses are
a) You are guaranteed a bunk each night and don't have to carry as much equipment or worry about getting anywhere first
b) The tracks aren't crowded or overused

Of course that means demand usually exceeds supply - so be prepared to try a few different dates.
Also remember that just because it's the best known doesn't mean the Milford is necessarily the best. There are many other fantastic walks in the area all with plenty of people who would declare them 'the best'. My preference is the Routeburn which has fantastic high alpine views - and don't worry about your age or fitness, I did it in 2003 and was frequently overtaken by Kiwi and Japanese retirees

Good Luck and enjoy
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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I too will put a vote in for the Milford. As noted above, because access is so restricted, you are guaranteed that you will encounter few people along the Track. The Big Three Fiordland Tracks are the Milford, Kepler, and Routeburn. All reach high Alpine ridges with spectacular views.

Lonely Planet has a very informative guidebook, "Tramping in New Zealand" (yes, that IS what they call it in NZ) that gives detailed info on all the major tracks.
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