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If you can’t find an answer to your question below, simply call us on +64 (0)3 545 7544, or CLICK HERE to email us your question – we are only too happy to give advice!

HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE FOR A GUIDED WALK?

Southern Wilderness have different guided walk options for each fitness or comfort level. A person who is new to hiking might like to start out on the Nelson Lakes Three Day Guided Hike, or The Three Parks Experience. These options are broken up into day walks suited to the level of the group; your backpack will only weigh a few kilograms as it only needs to have your lunch and limited clothing. Each evening you return to your accommodation, where you can enjoy a hot shower before your restaurant meal. For an easy but rewarding introduction to multi-day walking, you may consider the Two Day Abel Tasman Taster. If you have hiked before, then the Heaphy Track is a great journey, on a well graded track. It requires a moderate level of fitness as you will be carrying a pack around 10-12 kilograms for 4-5 days. Leading up to your Heaphy Gourmet Guided Walk you should be heading out at least twice a week for a walk around 2-3 hours long. This preparation will help you to enjoy your hike far more. For those more adventurous types, we have the Travers Sabine Back Country Circuit and Wangapeka Backcountry Adventure. These are for those who have been on a number of multiday hikes and have a good level of fitness –  the track can be rough in places and you are expected to carry some group food or equipment meaning that your pack weight may be around 15 kilograms.


WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE WHEN I AM ON MY TRIP?

Weather is one thing no-one can guarantee, so we always insist on guests coming prepared for any weather conditions. For each of our trips we supply detailed trip notes that includes a suggested gear list. This list should be adhered to for maximum safety. We have put together some tables of each of the areas we operate in to give you an indication of the average rainfall, and temperatures in degree Celcius.

Please note these tables are an indication only, and are in no way a guarantee of the weather you may face on the Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park

MONTHAVE. DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE
AVE. DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE
AVE. NUMBER OF RAINY DAYS
JULY13113
AUGUST14314
SEPTEMBER15514
OCTOBER17615
NOVEMBER19813
DECEMBER211012
JANUARY221111
FEBRUARY23119
MARCH20910
APRIL18712
MAY16413
JUNE14213

 

Abel Tasman National Park

MONTHAVE. DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE
AVE. DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE
AVE. NUMBER OF RAINY DAYS
JULY13
3
10
AUGUST13
3
10
SEPTEMBER17
7
10
OCTOBER17
7
10
NOVEMBER17
7
10
DECEMBER22
13
6
JANUARY22
13
6
FEBRUARY22
13
6
MARCH18
8
8
APRIL18
8
8
MAY18
8
8
JUNE13
3
10

 

Nelson Lakes National Park

MONTHAVE. DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE
AVE. DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE
AVE. NUMBER OF RAINY DAYS
JULY8
-2
10
AUGUST10
-1
12
SEPTEMBER12
2
13
OCTOBER14
3
14
NOVEMBER17
6
13
DECEMBER19
8
12
JANUARY21
9
10
FEBRUARY22
9
9
MARCH19
8
10
APRIL15
5
10
MAY11
2
12
JUNE9
-2
11

 

WHAT ARE THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION HUTS LIKE?

If you are travelling with us either on the Heaphy Track, Travers Sabine or Mt Angelus, you will be staying in Department of Conservation (DOC) huts. These are public huts that anyone can book to stay in. They are basic (no showers!) but comfortable. The huts are usually (but not always) divided into three main rooms. Two unisex bunk rooms with mattresses provided (but no linen or pillows) and space to organise your gear. The usual etiquette is that, once you arrive at the hut, you claim your bed space by placing your sleeping bag on a mattress and keep your personal possessions in a tidy manner (its very easy to misplace things if they are scattered around the room). The third room is a communal living and cooking area. There is running water and a fireplace within the huts. Toilets are usually found outside, and are either a long drop or sometimes a flush type. The huts are a great place to relax and meet new people. They are often located in beautiful locations, many stories are shared and there is a definite feeling of camaraderie.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF FOOTWEAR FOR MY HIKE?

For each of the hikes you will want sturdy but comfortable shoes. They should have ankle support and be footwear that you can comfortably wear all day. Your footwear should be worn in prior to your hike. You should avoid pulling out the pair of boots from storage that haven’t seen the light of day for more than 10 years! The last thing you want is your boot soles falling off half way through your hike. Neither should your boots have been bought the week before your departure, as often this will result in sore uncomfortable feet and bad blisters.

CAN I HIRE EQUIPMENT?

Yes, Southern Wilderness has a limited number of tramping packs, sleeping bags, goretex jackets and hiking poles that can be rented on a per item basis at the time of booking. Please enquire about the items that you need when you secure your place on a trip. CLICK HERE to go to our gear hire page.

HOW WARM WILL IT BE AT NIGHTS?

Depending on the trip and the time of year, the evening temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit. Look at the tables above to get a rough indication of how cool it will be. Then of course think about the package that you have chosen. The Heaphy, Mt Angelus and Travers Sabine Hikes all stay in Department of Conservation (DOC) huts. These huts are well built and have fireplaces. With these, as well as the body heat of everyone in the hut, the environment is cosy, warm and comfortable. As a general rule of thumb, a 400-500 gram feather down sleeping bag is great for most of our walks during the summer season. If you are on the, Nelson Lakes Three Day Package, or The Three Parks Experience, your accommodation will be a serviced room, so sleeping bags are not required.

HOW DO I GO TO THE TOILET IF I AM NOT AT AN ACTUAL TOILET?

A delicate question but one that should be asked. Every hut we stay at will have a toilet, and quite often the shelters and huts between our accommodations will also have toilets. However, if you get caught between the two it’s often hard to know the right thing to do. What follows is a description of how to sensibly do your business in a no-fuss, environmentally-friendly way. Firstly, ALWAYS leave your pack on the track; this is so the guide at the back of the group won’t leave you behind. They won’t stand by your pack waiting for you, but will wander ahead with the knowledge that you are a little way behind. Remember to take your hand sanitizer/wet wipes (supplied by Southern Wilderness) and walk off the track a little way, checking behind you to make sure you have a good visual bearing of where you came from for the return trip! You won’t have to walk far, maybe about 10 metres. The rule here is that once you have done your business, no-one should be able to tell you have been there. First scrape out a shallow hole in the ground squat down and do your business.Once you have finished bury your waste with the soil you scraped away (wetwipes and toilet paper are biodegradable) and then cover with sticks and leaves. Remember to use hand sanitizer to sterilize your hands. Giardia is a water-borne gastrointestinal parasite that is mainly caused by contamination of drinking water by human or animal faeces. So the prime rule is don’t defecate near water supplies, streams or rivers.


HOW BIG DOES MY PACK NEED TO BE AND HOW MUCH WILL IT WEIGH?

We recomend a pack size of around 50-65 litres for our multi-day hikes. For the other walks a small day pack will be fine. When we receive a booking we send out to our guests a suggested gear list. This list has all the items that you will need for your walk, plus what we provide. Depending on the weight of your personal gear, your pack will weigh between 6-12kgs. The guides will carry the food and safety equipment for your walk.

DO I HAVE TO BE IN NELSON BEFORE MY WALK DEPARTS?

Yes, all Southern Wilderness trips depart from Nelson. We then pick you up from your acommodation early the morning of your trip. After your walk we can drop you anywhere in Nelson that suits your onward travel plans. In special circumstances we can arrange pick-ups en route to the trail heads but this must be organised at the time of booking.

HOW BAD ARE THE SANDFLIES?

Depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, they can vary from non-existant to quite prolific. We strongly suggest bringing some insect repellent and to have it handy througout your journey. Sandflies will not bother you while you are walking and go into hiding at night. The best solution is to have some long-sleeved clothes to wear in the evening when you are relaxing outside the huts.

I HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS –  WILL THIS BE A PROBLEM?

Not at all. We cater for any diet, so long as we have advance notice and appropriate details. We want everyone to eat delicious food!

Contact us to book your Southern Wilderness journey today!

Call us on +64 (0)3 545 7544 or Australia on 1800 355 768

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