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Enjoy the day at leisure...

New Zealand is a destination known for many things, but the one I want to focus on today is hiking. Hiking, or “tramping,” is a great way to see the countryside. This can be done with or without a professional guide.

Tramping, either way, has its advantages.

Our experienced guides, which we have featured in our blog in the past, are the best in the business. They typically grew up in the areas they guide, and help convey the intricate workings of natural ecosystems, their wildlife, plants and trees and pressures the environment faces from human encroachment. The guides really bring the tramping experience alive for our clients. It’s also nice to have interaction with a local kiwi and talk about life in New Zealand.

Professional Guides

On the other hand, some clients enjoy traveling without the assistance of professional guide. This surely adds to the sense of adventure! There is nothing like setting out on a trail with a backpack filled with essentials such as water, layers of clothing (including rain jacket), map, camera and light lunch and heading off into the unknown. The thrill of the senses being attuned to the sights and sounds of nature and not knowing what is around the corner can be magnificent.

When it comes to choosing trails or destinations, however, pre-planning will help make the most of your time. You could be up in the Bay of Islands and have miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, national park on the South Island in Abel Tasman or theBayofMany Coves– the possibilities are countless.

There are some well known tramping tracks familiar to most international visitors, such as the Milford Track. This is a beautiful 5-day walk in the South Island. In fact, many pictures inNew Zealandtravel brochures include images from this Track. However, for the more determined/serious walker there are some amazing options that are known mostly to locals.

Unspoiled New Zealand

For example, Helen Clark, one of New Zealand’s ex-Prime ministers, was a walking fanatic. She took every opportunity to show visiting dignitaries her “backyard”. In particular, she would take her esteemed guests to New Zealand’s High Country–never on the busy, commercialized Milford Track. Sir Edmund Hillary, the most famous New Zealandmountaineer and one of the first people   to summit Mt.Everest, once said:

Our prime minister has been rather unique in being a great lover of the  out of doors and she’s always off climbing something, doing something exciting and I think that New Zealanders admire that. That is sort of the way of life that they have come to accept in our little old island in the south seas. But Helen as been particularly strong in this respect. So long may she reign.

We love putting together programs that show off a “local’s”New Zealand with unique aspects that you will not find in guidebooks. What you will find are majestic ranges, some of the freshest air on the planet, and be able bask in all its glory of it all without throngs of people around. Whether you choose to be under the care of an expert guide explaining the different flora and fauna, or “go it alone,” we can make sure you have the best experience possible.

Let one of our specialists put together a program that will avoid the crowds and allow you an insider’s peak at what New Zealandreally has to offer.

Happy trails,