Lonely Planet’s Hiking & Tramping in New Zealand may look like a travel guide, but it won’t just be tourists buying this book. With colour maps and photos, the book will also make the locals want to lace up their tramping boots and head out into the wilderness.
The book features some of New Zealand’s great walks familiar to most, such as the Heaphy and Kepler tracks, but there are also many lesser-known but equally interesting ones. A quick guide at the front, ‘If you like…’ goes on to list tramps for those with a yearning for volcanoes, mountain passes, rivers, beaches, wildlife, etc, and there are also basic itineraries for those with plenty of time on their hands to explore more than a couple of the tramps.
As an enthusiastic walker, the part that caught my eye was the section on choosing your tramp, because it lists them by duration, difficulty, and the best time to go. I may not be up to a five-day hike just yet, but there are some that only take a few hours that I am keen to try, especially the ones they class as easy-moderate!
The separate chapters on each region list the different tramps and all the information you need to know before tackling them. Distance is given in kilometres and miles, so it won’t send non-metric tourists astray. Whether you’re an experienced tramper or a novice, the book outlines what you need to know, including when to tramp and what to bring, where you can get maps, transport, and what accommodation options are available.
The highlights for each tramp are listed too, such as side tracks that lead to points of interest, or what views you can expect at different points along the way. For some there are also supermarkets and eateries listed near the start or at nightly stopping points on tramps of more than a day.
There is a pull-out touring map, a packing guide and a bird spotter’s guide, and a chapter at the back devoted to bring those from overseas up to speed on our country.
As can be expected with a Lonely Planet guide, the book is comprehensive and would be a useful addition for anyone wanting to get out of the towns and cities when they travel. Even if you’re not into tramping, it makes a great read for all the historical information it contains about New Zealand and our landscape.
Reviewed by Faye Lougher
Hiking & Tramping in New Zealand
Published by Lonely Planet