Conservation

We are committed to preserving the environment we live and work in.

Ultimate Hikes is proud to work with the Department of Conservation and Wildlife Trusts on conservation and sustainable tourism in our World Heritage National Parks.

Ultimate Hikes have been practising sustainable tourism on the Milford and Routeburn tracks since the late 1980s.

In pre European times New Zealand was teeming with birdlife, but over the last 200 years things have changed dramatically. European hunting, and trapping, the destruction of natural habitats and the introduction of diseases, has seen the reduction and even extinction of many of New Zealand's native birds.

The biggest impact on our birdlife however has come through the introduction of animals that prey on native wildlife. Possums, rats, mice, and stoats have been catastrophic to the environment and are extra-ordinarily difficult to control let alone eradicate.

But eradicate them we must. The New Zealand government has embarked on an ambitious plan to eradicate predators from our National Parks by 2050. To this end they have set aside grants to organisations and communities to reach this goal.

 

Click on the gallery below to see just some of the birdlife you will (hopefully) encounter on the Milford and Routeburn Tracks.

We work closely with DOC on predator control in the region and particularly on the tracks themselves.

In 2018 the company increased its commitment to reaching a real tangible goal in our National Parks, not only by our own methods of predator control, but by investing in organisations that actively work to bring back endangered birds to the areas of the Routeburn and Milford where they used to be plentiful but are now sadly rarely seen or heard.

Our main focus in the Mt Aspiring National Park,is on working with the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust on predator control. The Braided River Project, whose aim is to create a predator free corridor to ensure birds such as the Rock Wren have a safe environment in which to breed and survive.

In the Fiordland National Park, and in particular on the area surrounding the Milford Track, we intend to work with the Kea Project to begin a detailed study of Kea in the area. Kea are increasingly becoming endangered due to close human habitation and in particular lead poisoning from old building materials and lead nails previously used in buildings in the Park.

How can you help?

You can join us in protecting the birdlife in our National Parks, by directly supporting our partners - the Kea Conservation Trust and the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust.

Kea Conservation Trust

Go lead free to save Kea!

Kea are very curious birds and they love shiny things. Their beaks are extremely sharp and one of their favourite things is to prize lead nails from old buildings in our National Parks.  The KCT has a programme of catching, testing and treating Kea for lead poisoning.  Last summer was the first time the trust has included the Milford Track area in the programme and we are helping them to identify Kea families, and we have almost completed a programme of removing all lead based materials from the buildings along the tracks.

 

Find out more

Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust

Saving the birdsong

The Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust is committed to saving the birdlife in the Routeburn Dart Valley.  The core method is predator control and the trust has laid 50 Kilometres of traplines in the valley forests, starting near the Routeburn shelter, targeting rats and stoats. We are supporting the trust and assisting in checking the trap lines and doing our own predator control around our lodges on the Routeburn Track.

Find out more

And when you are in National Parks, please respect the principles of the Tiaki Promise to protect the environment for everyone to enjoy.

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The Tiaki Promise