Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

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Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby Oncall » Sat 04 Jul, 2015 10:24 am

Hi all finally off to NZ for first time next October with the family. We do lots of hiking with the kids in Australia and Europe and what we love best with the kids is moderate multi day hikes over 2-4 nights where we can find a place to camp as required if the kids get tired.

One of the great family things about the Australian Alps is with a bit of good route planning we can do a multi day hike from the car and back to the car, with us being allowed to camp as we require, and providing there is no fire ban, have a campfire and great family adventure.

I was hoping whilst in the South Island we could do a few similar multi day hikes, but I'm struggling to know where to start. Online NZ seems very commercially orientated with many of the main hikes requiring booking, huts, drop off and pick up.

Does anyone have any ideas for multi day hikes with kids 10-13 that are circular loops and where we can camp as we require. The kids walk an easy 6-12 km per day (terrain dependant) and want to get a feel for the wilderness of NZ and see the scenery.

We will spend time around Arthur's Pass, Mount Aspiring, and Milford Sound so some good hikes with camp spots around all those or in between would be great.

If anyone has any suggestions I'll get the maps and take a look. Thanks loads.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby johnrs » Thu 16 Jul, 2015 2:45 pm

Hi Oncall
have you had a look at the DOCs NZ website.
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recrea ... -tramping/
Lots of stuff there.
You will find some uncrowded but steeper walks around Athurs Pass
and some easier stuff north of the Canterbury region.
Due to climate huts rather than tents are the norm.

The Routeburn and other great walks are beautiful but expensive for a family and often busy.
And its early season .
If the kids are up for it look at some of the Hollyford valley but take your wet weather gear
There are lots of alternative, have a look at some sections of the Te Aroroa trail.
The north of the island will be warmer and drier, look at something around the Travers and Sabine in the Nelson Lakes too
John

I would
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby madpom » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 10:12 am

You might be a bit early in the year for the stuff I've tried around Arthur's Pass, but is the snow's gone then the Cass-Lagoon might be worth a look. I've only walked the Lagoon end but that has a good track and frequent huts, but climbs quite high at Lagoon Saddle.

Similarly down south you're early restricted to valley walks that early in the year. Some ideas - there's loads more out there though:

Around the Twizel/Mt Cook area you'd be confined to valley walks.

Sth Temple is typical of the area - tongues of beech up the valley floor and rock / shingle peaks above. About 9km with a hut at the end, there and back though.
http://routeguides.co.nz/routes/371?zoom=13

Huxley forks, and maybe Broderick Hut is another similar with better views, but you'd want 4WD to reach the roadend at Monument hut, and want to check with DOC that the road is passable as it washes out.
http://routeguides.co.nz/routes/xrv367xrv368?zoom=13

Near Milford, and again - only if the snow level is high:

Caples or Greenstone are normally good, popular walks. But with the removal of some of the huts you're looking at 16km between huts, so you might want to camp if you went there and the distances were too great.

http://routeguides.co.nz/routes/xrv-595 ... 08?zoom=13
http://tramper.nz/5/route-guide-caples-track/

Hollyford has already been mentioned. Popular, but a good easy to follow track with huts at short intervals. Walk in, jetboat out. Options of guided walks and plush lodges or independent walking using basic DOC huts.

http://routeguides.co.nz/routes/xrv868x ... 70?zoom=13

===

Loads more out there. If you have a more detailed route I can suggest others.
Last edited by madpom on Fri 17 Jul, 2015 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby Kainas » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 10:39 am

Just a note about kids and costs.

I am pretty sure kids under 14years old are free... even in the huts on the great walks.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby madpom » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 10:46 am

0-10 are free. 11-17 half price. At least for backcountry huts. Not sure about great walks ...

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recrea ... nd-paying/

(it doesn't mention the price of tickets, but they're currently $5 for an adult, $2.50 for a child)
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby wayno » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 10:53 am

October, often still has winter weather.. cold wet and miserable.... a lot of higher tracks like the routeburn are a no go then for anyone not very fit and experienced in winter alpine conditions, avalanche risk usually very high.
EVERYONE PAYS ON THE GREAT WALKS IN THE BOOKABLE SEACON NO MATTER HOW YOUNG. check with doc about charges for kids in other huts.
the warming climate now brings more snow to nz due to higher humidity levels. this winter there have been massive amounts of snow, and snow in some places that haven't seen any in decades.. minus twenty recorded in parts of the south island.
Last edited by wayno on Fri 17 Jul, 2015 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby Kainas » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 11:18 am

Not trying to argue Wayno, but this seems to indicate differently. Am I misreading it?

https://booking.doc.govt.nz/Prices.aspx ... eat%20Walk
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby wayno » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 11:47 am

Kainas wrote:Not trying to argue Wayno, but this seems to indicate differently. Am I misreading it?

https://booking.doc.govt.nz/Prices.aspx ... eat%20Walk



you're right, I thought they had to pay, they definitely have to book a bunk though.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby madpom » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 11:49 am

@wayno - there were a few news stories a year or two back about DOC making kids free on great walks ... looks like it happened.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby wayno » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 11:57 am

madpom wrote:@wayno - there were a few news stories a year or two back about DOC making kids free on great walks ... looks like it happened.


#imustbeinthedarkages. :?
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby Kainas » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 12:23 pm

:) Or you have better things to do then plan trips that you can't take for another 10 years (... which is how I noticed it).
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby wayno » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 6:55 pm

from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby Oncall » Sun 19 Jul, 2015 6:58 pm

Thanks everyone...great advice, tips and ideas. I'll do some research on the suggestions and may look at moving the dates a little more into summer to enable more options and certainty with the kids, especially as they love the tents and camping too. Any other regions, ideas, routes etc greatly appreciated.
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby wayno » Mon 20 Jul, 2015 4:30 am

late summer, to mid autumn, your odds are better for weather,
but nzs seasonal weather is stop start, today its summer tomorrow its autumn, the south island can still be exposed to sub antarctic weather any time of the year.
also depends on how much the weather is in an el nino or la nina pattern, which scews things..
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Re: Advice needed on multi day hikes with kids

Postby Oncall » Mon 20 Jul, 2015 7:02 am

Thanks Wayno, read a lot about the weather and always well prepared as done a bit with the kids in Scotlands Highlands and Wales where the weather is never reliable. Camped in the snow in the Australian Alps over school holidays recently, good fun but not something we really want to do higher up in NZ. I Shall revisit dates for NZ and see if I can better match weather, with a good time to go when it will not be to packed or to expensive. Great advice all...
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