Find the answers to all your questions here.
Do I need travel/medical insurance?
Yes. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take out your own medical/travel insurance to cover your walk and any circumstances in which you may not be able to walk. In the unlikely event of a medical / accident emergency on the track, a medical evacuation by air will be carried out by New Zealand emergency services which may incur some financial cost.
Will I be fit enough?
To enjoy your walk you need to be able to carry a medium sized backpack for 4-8 hours over 10-21km of mountain track each day. To maximise your enjoyment we encourage you to set your own pace while walking the track, there is no need to keep up with the fastest walkers. There is always a guide at the back of the party. The track surface varies from smooth well-formed paths to rough terrain broken up by rocks and tree roots and we recommend you wear hiking boots, which provide firm ankle support. If you are not a regular walker, we suggest you begin a daily walk regime 6-8 weeks before your departure. Some practice carrying a pack and hill/staircase walking during this time will make you even better prepared for your walk.
What weather should I expect on the month I am walking?
The unpredictable nature of the weather in this region means that snow, high winds and rain can occur at any time of the year. It is therefore very important to be prepared for the worst weather conditions, and carry the appropriate clothing at all times. Generally January and February are warmer, not necessarily dryer. In November and December the mountain lilies are just coming out and there is still snow on the surrounding mountains. If you are a keen photographer this would be the time to walk. The month of March is more settled weather wise: fresh mornings, sunny days, cooler nights and the days are getting shorter. Due to the nature of Fiordland we cannot predict any forecast.
How heavy is the pack?
It's likely to be 5-7 kg (10-14lbs) full.
Do I have to carry my pack or do you transport it?
You will carry your own pack from lodge to lodge. Unfortunately we do not offer a service for transporting your luggage.
What clothing do I need to bring?
For walking: boots, polypropylene underwear (top and bottom), fleece or merino hat, fleece jacket, gloves, shorts, walking socks, t-shirt for fine days. For evenings: shirt, trousers, underwear, sandals or light shoes, night wear. See What to Bring for a complete, downloadbale list.
Can I wash my clothes?
Lodges have hand washing facilities with soap powder and drying rooms. Being able to wash and dry clothing helps keep the pack weight down.
Do I have to bring all my clothing with
We can lend you a raincoat. If you do not wish to bring all your clothing or do not have a particular item, we have a very reasonably priced shop where items can be purchased prior to your departure from Queenstown.
Where should I leave my excess baggage while I'm walking?
Milford Track: A small bag (we can lend you one if necessary) of clothing for use at Milford Sound will be sent by road from Queenstown to await your arrival. Any further baggage can be stored at your hotel (it is advised that you stay at the same hotel after the Milford Track as you stayed before walking). Please note that because of weight restrictions on our coaches, suitcases can not be transported.
What time do I arrive back in Queenstown?
We arrive at approximately 4pm. This arrival time may connect with some flights from Queenstown. Milford Track walkers can finish at Queenstown airport if required.
How bad are the sandflies?
We recommend you wear insect repellent each day. They are notably worse on the Milford Track. Insect repellent can be purchased from our retail shop.
Where can I park my vehicle?
Generally the hotels/motels where you stay before the walk will store you vehicle while you are walking, if you are staying again on your return. It would however pay to confirm this with your accommodation.
Is there alcohol on the track?
New Zealand Beer and wine is available for purchase at the lodges. This is paid for at the end of your walk.
I am vegetarian. Is this a problem?
Vegetarian meals can be provided on all tracks. We will endeavour to cater for your dietary requirements, however please remember we operate in an extremely isolated and challenging environment. Please advise us of your dietary requirements when you make your booking.
How many people share the bunkrooms?
Bunkrooms vary slightly on each track, but generally sleep 4 - 6 people with shared bathroom facilities. Private rooms are available on the Milford Track and Routeburn Track with either a queen-sized bed or twin beds and their own bathrooms. Please request these as they sell very quickly.
I will be travelling by myself, is that a problem?
No problem. It is a great opportunity to walk with like-minded individuals from around the world.
Are there toilets on the tracks?
All our lodges have flush toilets. There are also toilets (some flush, some Kiwi long drop style!) at all our lunch shelters and huts.