The endless variety of trampers found in New Zealand
You are likely to encounter a wide variety of people when tramping in New Zealand. Outdoor activity is an important aspect of what it means to be a Kiwi and we love being out on adventures. It is also an important part of may other peoples way of life as well.
You should remember that New Zealand is 30% larger than the UK with about a tenth of the population.Its empty (relatively speaking) out there.
Squirt, the Old Man and Stinky Pete: Te Araroa hikers
There will be some sections where you will only encounter TA trekkers, the tracks are just not used by anyone else. Examples of this would be the tracks between the Rakaia River and Wanaka, Snowdon Forest and 90 Mile Beach. Almost all of the high country trails are only walked by TA hikers with the occasional Kiwi hunter being the other small user group.
|Gerald, Kiwiscout and James, TA 2014 from; Kiwiscout Walks Aotearoa|
Sven, Yuki, Greta, Jakob and Rob-bo the Aussie...tramping tourists!
|Party of 'tramping tourists' I meet at Lake Rotoiti in 2016|
Most are from Europe, Australia and North America. You seldom see people from Asia, Africa or South America...possibly some cultural reason they do not tramp???
Language may be a problem but make sure you try to talk to people from other countries, you would be surprised how similar we are under our particular cultural baggage.
The "Great Walkers"
|Great Walkers in their natural habitat: Routeburn Track|
|Misty Mountains from LOTR: aka The Remarkables|
As a Kiwi, I make a point of talking to everyone I see on the trail or at a hut because we are all in this together. You should do the same.
Hunters and Collectors
There is a strained relationship between trampers and hunters in NZ but some of the most interesting people I have meet while tramping have been hunters/anglers. Its all about the person, not the sport they engage in.
You are most likely to encounter them at the various DOC offices, working as hut wardens and occasionally out in the field.
|DOC Ranger at work|
Some can seem overly officious, especially if they believe you are doing something wrong. Hey, both you and I might be slightly peeved if we turned up at a hut (which is also our home) and found mud, food and wet gear all over the place! Especially if you haven't paid the very reasonable hut fees...sacre bleu as the French say..the cheek of it!
|...exactly, add the government and your right on the money!|
These women and men work hard at their jobs, and it is not always an easy job, so again show them some respect. Just take them as you find them and remember, they will most likely be the first people coming to look for you if you get into difficulties.
Some final advice to Kiwi and tourist both...
|DOC Hut pass and hut tickets...if you use the huts, then pay for your stay!|
Pay up people, this includes the New Zealanders! As I have said before, no you haven't paid for it already with your taxes. Joe Blogg's paid for it back in 1967 when the hut was built. You are paying to maintain it...