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usxguy
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Trip Planning: Backpacking In New Zealand

Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:44 am

Aloha,

My mother passed away earlier this year from horrible stage 4 lung cancer (not sure she even knew she had it; went into intensive care/emergency room with pneumonia) and we didn't quite get along, especially in the past 15 years, our interactions were limited and we'd see eachother maybe once a year for an hour or two, if even that - because of my job(s) and responsibilities with her estate, I haven't quite been able to grieve / think about things. So, a cancelled work trip to Hawai'i for 2 weeks next month had me thinking I should finally use some non-rev ZED opportunities and think I want to hit New Zealand and go backpacking (yes, alone... I'm OK with that) for a week.

Most of my friends HAVE been to NZ, but not during the change of seasons and Trip Advisor doesn't quite have much info - so I figured with the sizeable amount of Kiwis here (and avid travelers) I could get some feedback.

Right now I'm HOPING to hop on HA from HNL to AKL, then hope for GrabASeat (or a ZED Low) on ANZ to Nelson, hop a bus Marahau and do a lazy walk for 4 days, taking one of the water shuttles back. I also have been given a pass on QF, so I could do HNL-SYD-WLG too... (or backtrack to LA on DL, then hop the A380 down). I haven't hit up our interline contact at Jetstar yet, but that's also an option to head south.

This would be in mid-September. I'm a VERY experienced backpacker, so sleeping in a tent and water crossings don't scare me. I'm rounding up a solar USB charger so I can keep my cell phone & galaxy tab charged; figure I'll bring my small 2 person tent, sleeping pad, a 40* sleeping bag, water filter (MSR), whisperlight stove, and some dry goods. Probably can keep my weight under 35#s.

I assume I'll need to buy my IsoPro fuel in Nelson, along with any other necessary goods (unless Marahau has a store)...

so has anyone had experience on the Abel Tasman Track or area.... or would you recommend a different region/trail where one can be OK hiking alone and enjoy some pure solitude...
xx
 
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NZ107
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RE: Trip Planning: Backpacking In New Zealand

Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:14 am

Quoting usxguy (Thread starter):
so has anyone had experience on the Abel Tasman Track or area.... or would you recommend a different region/trail where one can be OK hiking alone and enjoy some pure solitude...

Abel Tasman National Park is awesome. But seeing you're an experienced backpacker, maybe it's a bit too easy of a hike. But then again, most tracks in NZ have bridges and the like, unless you were to stray from the main tracks. I don't know how you are with the temperature but if you're fine with cool weather, I'd suggest the Milford/Hollyford Tracks (or the area around Milford Sound/Fiordland). The scenery is absolutely amazing.

About September - it can be a nice time to visit but it all depends on the weather.. The weather does usually seem to start improving by then but it's still spring so nothing's ever really settled. That's one good thing about the Nelson area - it's usually sunny; and it'll probably be a lot warmer than Fiordland. By September, there are quite a few people around on the Abel Tasman tracks so you'd be fine going alone.

Quoting usxguy (Thread starter):
I assume I'll need to buy my IsoPro fuel in Nelson, along with any other necessary goods (unless Marahau has a store)...

Either in Nelson or Motueka; both places will have somewhere to stock up on supplies, including gas.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
Arrow
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RE: Trip Planning: Backpacking In New Zealand

Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:25 pm

My wife and I did the Kepler Track a couple of years ago -- but it was in November which is late spring. Had pretty good weather. Not true backpacking (we've done extensive real backpacking trips in Western Canada) because you can (and we did) stay in huts. You do have to book these treks, although you can usually get in at the last minute of you5r've got flexible dates.

We really enjoyed it -- spectacular terrain. We had no trouble getting gas for our backpacking stove. And no nasty beasties to worry about in NZ (other than sand flies, and the keas can get a little aggressive if you let them get near your backpack.)
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bookishaviator
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RE: Trip Planning: Backpacking In New Zealand

Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:13 pm

Milford Sound/Fiordland has already been recommended, but I'd like to second that.

I've just come back from a week in NZ, most of that time spent in and around Queenstown, but with some time also spent in Fiordland. Blew. My. Mind. So ridiculously beautiful.
When I die, when I die, I'll rot. But when I live, when I live, I'll give it all I've got.

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