We have assembled the following list of frequently asked questions. Please feel free to contact us if you can not find the answers to your queries.
What is included?
All meals, accommodation, transfers, hut and guiding fees, camping and cooking equipment and maps. We provide all linen. We have packs and wet weather gear available. All you really need to bring are your own personal belongings and hiking equipment.
What do we need to take?
Well to sum it up …. your own personal belongings….we will provide the rest. For comprehensive “What to Bring” information click here. Many people have their own favourites and it does depend a little on the walk you are doing… some people like walking sticks and gaiters can come in pretty handy on the Dusky.
What is the weather going to be like ?
Hmmm interesting question. Four Seasons in One Day… well that’s how New Zealand’s favourite son Neil Finn described it in one of his songs!
Fiordland being as it is there is most probably a heavy rain warning due or just been. Stewart Island has over 250 days a year when it rains but it comes and goes pretty quick and we do our best to dodge the big clouds…needless to say good light wet weather gear is a big bonus.
This can all change on the tops of Dusky Track and yes we can get snow up there pretty much any time of the year … golden rule be prepared for anything then when it is fine and sunny it will be even more of a surprise!
Summer daytime temperatures will range from about 10 to 20 degrees Celsius and night time wont get much colder than 5.
Evenings can be a little cooler but all many of the huts and lodges have heating.
Will I be fit enough?
You will enjoy your hike a lot more if you are well prepared. You need to be able to carry a medium sized backpack for 4-8 hours over 10-21km each day. We encourage you to set your own pace while walking the track, there is no need to keep up with the fastest walkers.
The track surfaces vary from beaches, natural tracks, boardwalk, old tramlines and rough terrain broken up by rocks and tree roots. We recommend you wear hiking boots, which provide firm ankle support on the more challenging tracks.
If you are not a regular walker, we suggest you begin a daily walk regime at least 6-8 weeks before your departure. Some practice carrying a pack and uphill and downhill walking during this time will make you even better prepared for your walk.
What do i need to carry?
Easy. Your own personal belongings.
How heavy will my backpack be?
Your pack is likely to be 8 – 12 kg.
I’ve heard about “sandflies”?
Yes we do have sandflies in many parts of Fiordland and Stewart Island but we will save the stories for when you get here. In the bush they are not so bad, and in cold or windy weather you are fine. However we recommend you do wear insect repellent each day.
Where can I leave my excess baggage while I’m walking?
Generally you will be able to leave any excess luggage in safe keeping at the beginning of your trip at the hotels/motels where you are staying. If you do not finish where you start we can arrange for luggage to be forwarded to your destination.
Is there somewhere secure to leave our vehicle?
Generally the hotels/motels where you are staying will store you vehicle while you are walking if you are staying on your return. We will confirm this with your accommodation. In some places we recommend taking public transport rather than leaving a vehicle in a remote area. Never leave valuables ( passport, cameras etc.) in your vehicle…it is not worth the drama.
What about our rental car / campervan?
If you would like to return your vehicle we can arrange a shuttle from the nearest depot. Sometimes on long term rental packages it is just as cheap to “hang on” to it.
Can I have a shower on the trail?
In most cases yes. On our Stewart Island hikes there are showers at Halfmoon Bay but not on the trail. On the Dusky Track all bets are off!
Can I wash my clothes?
Many of lodges have hand washing facilities with soap powder and drying rooms. Public DOC huts generally have a limited water supply and no separate basins so no.
I am a dairy intolerant vegan. Is this a problem?
Special dietary requirements are happily catered for. Please do let us know preferences.
Is it OK to travel by myself?
No problem. Our groups are small and by the end of the trip you will all be on first name basis.
Are there toilets on the tracks?
Many of the shelters along the tracks have toilets. These are back country toilets, some long drops, some compostable. Most of the lodges have flush toilets.
When is the best time of year to walk?
Depends on your interests. Most walking is done from November to April. Some of the tracks are also nice to walk in Winter. Peak periods are Christmas / New Year, February and Easter. Some of the popular tracks are busy all summer season.
In November and December the mountain flowers are just coming out and there is still snow on the surrounding mountains. Great visuals for the keen photographers. Generally January and February are warmer – not necessarily dryer. March is more settled – fresh mornings, sunny days and crisp cooler nights. The days are getting shorter.
Is there electricity in the huts?
Guided Walk lodges are run on solar and or generator power. Public DOC huts have no power. We recommend you bring your own small torch or headlamp.