Google New Zealand + hiking, or tramping, and you will find a countless number of websites describing hikes and experiences. New Zealand surely appears to the world as the ultimate destination for outdoor adventures. And with a reason. It is beautiful, wild, safe, exotic... and it has such a range of different environments, tropical beaches, glaciers, volcanoes, mountains, rain forests.... not to mention the rich biodiversity characterised by a land of mammals (with the exception of bats and the seals)...
Find on this page links to useful sites for planning your hike, a description of the hikes we liked, and also recommendations on baby products we tried while here and were happy with.
"Wilderlife" is an on-line space for NZ´s outdoor community, made available by Federated Mountain Club of New Zealand. Their 2019/20 campaign is... Family tramping!!!
In their website you will find a lot of resources about hiking with little ones, tips, tricks, inspiration and hikes in NZ!
The Department of Conservation (DoC) is the place to go to find your hike. As they say "No matter where you are, or how long you've got, there's a walk for everyone. Take a break in the outdoors and get in touch with nature."
On their website you will find your hike, see where the huts are, check for warning and for the status of the trail. It is a must go website.
The trails in New Zealand are amazingly well maintained and you must have done something really wrong to get off the path and get lost. But the biggest difference from European hikes is the lack of phone reception and the distance from the closest settlements. Huts are not managed, no catering or central heating, so be prepared to take with you all you need to survive by your own.
Shortly, if something goes wrong, calling for help is not that easy.
If you are unsure, join a group, plenty of operators on-line), start easy to test yourself, and choose highly trafficked hikes, like the "Great hikes"
Note: this website does not include all the hiring options. Check with your local DoC office as well.
Consider the remoteness of your hike, and add a baby to the equation. Are you prepared to keep him/her safe? Our NZ family was a bit concerned when we told them about our intention to go tramping. Generously, they bought a beacon (personal locator) that we could take with us on our hike to call for help in case of need.
Ask your local DoC office for one for hire, or check on-line, there are different hiring options (about 15 dollars/day, less for longer hire).
A real must go, the perfect place to overcome jet-lag in the most constructive way ever: look for kiwis at night, enjoy a magnificent morning choir, enjoy short walks, learn about New Zealand´s birds and test all your hiking gear, relax on the beach, stay in a DoC bunkhouse...
Just a short ferry ride from Auckland, this amazing bird sanctuary is a pure magical place that your children and yourself will never forget, also a real life lesson of the power that community-based initiative can do.
Read more about it and find useful links to plan your trip in our blog post.
3 days, 2 nights in un-serviced huts, 35 km.
The hike, located within the Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Conservation Park, evolves along rivers, creeks, often it is excavated on steep sides on the mountains. You will be amazed by the old forests (trees up to 1000 years old) and if you like birds, you will see numerous native birds, including kiwis (good chances of seeing them close to the huts), and the whio/blue duck (see the 10 dollars note).
A wonderful retreat for those seeking remote places away from crowded paths.
Munch, Wollbabe,Phil&Teds, Mokopuna, Macpac, Kathmandu, Icebreaker