Next april, myself and my girlfriend are going to be in NZ (3weeks in the south island and 2 weeks in the north). We have seen many amazing pictures and would like to participate in a few guided walks. We are by no means experts so was wondering if anyone could recommend some of their favourite walks for sites/scenery etc. How much are the guided walks roughly? are they worth it or could the walks be done independantly.
P.s I've heard Milford sound is amazing!
Yep, Milford Sound is spectacular.
If I was you I would wait and see about whether to go on guided walks.
Read what you can about the place and look at what walks you think you'd like to do, but you will get a better feel for it when you get there. As long as you have decent boots and waterproof, you'll be OK. Only the Alpine regions are for specialists.
Get a good book - one with pictures! - to help you choose the places you'd like to go. We're all different and prefer different things and enjoy walking to a different extent.
Whatever you do though, I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
I'm not an expert on the walks in NZ but i do know that Abel Tasman National Park have some gorgeous ones. I'm sure you could check it out on the net. Its at the top of the south island. Good Luck!
The best resource site for NZ walks is the site of DOCS - Department of Conservation - at www.doc.govt.nz. This is the Govt org that manages the tracks. This site will give you info on the hut prices and other related fees. But its not expensive and the range of walks are amazing. My recommendations are all on this site:
North Island: Tongariro Crossing. This is the walk across the volcanoes and is awesome. Lake Waikaremoana in the Te Urewera National Park.
South Island: Abel Tasman is an absolute must-do; Routeburn track; and the ever-popular Milford. Holyford is also cool.
www.doc.govt.nz/Explore/002Tracks-and-Walks/Great-Walks/index.asp This link will take you straight to the great walks.
Queenstown is a good launching point for some walks. DOCs have an office there.
Kiwis call trekking tramping by the way.
The Abel Tasman is at the top of South Island, and it's really really beautiful - you can get a taste for the scenery here by catching a boat from the starting point, then walking back. If you do this in a day you won't have to carry any overnight gear, and you'll be able to cover a couple of days distance, leaving yourself more time for another walk. I second the previous recommendations - the Routeburn is spectacular. Milford Sound is a must, but I don't think the Milford track is as spectacular as the Routeburn, so maby you could get to Milford Sound by car/bus?
The Dept of Conservation in NZ puts out fantastic little local brochures (they're $1 each or something!) which you'll be able to pick up periodically. These suggest places of interest and local (usually day) walks to supplement any bigger walks you decide to take. I would recommend you spend minimal time in the towns in NZ, and get out amongst it at every opportunity!
Enjoy - NZ is WICKED!!!!!!
Certainly check out the D.O.C. site, but keep in mind that you are heading into our autumn and winter months, so be prepared for the weather, as it can change from bright sunlight to crap in a very short time.
If you are going on the Great Walks, you shouldn't need a guide, as these seem to be very popular.
The Tongariro crossing is well worth trying.
Also look at:-