Planning your trip and considering where you're going, the track conditions and skill level of your group increases the chances of staying safe while in the outdoors. Involving everyone in the trip planning ensures you are all prepared, and that the group has the right gear, skills, and expectations to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Good outcomes are the result of good planning.
Try our new interactive learning tool: How to plan a trip like a pro
Watch how to plan your trip
New Zealand uses a national system to identify the difficulty level of a track, there are six different levels. Remember, the weather has a huge influence on how challenging your trip might be. Even an easy, well-graded track can be difficult in extreme weather. The terrain in New Zealand varies a lot. In a short distance you can walk/hike along flat tracks and then find yourself climbing steep hills. Before you start make sure you know what’s ahead of you and consider whether your fitness is suited to the challenge.
In most parts of NZ you can find multiple trip options, so pick something that’s suited to you and your group and consider each person:
- Fitness level
- Experience level
- What does everyone want from the experience?
- Any health conditions to consider?
- Any kids going?
Get local knowledge about your destination such as the DOC website, Walking Access Commission, TOPO maps, talking to staff at local DOC Visitor Centres and friends to get a good idea of what to expect. From here, it will help you choose what kind of equipment you will need or additional skills that are required for rivers, difficult terrain and exposed ridgelines and hazards.
Get your whole group involved and take your time to do this. Get a map out, get together and scope it out.
Do a break down of the day/each day
If not – it’s okay! Choose a different trip, take the time to up-skill on outdoor safety techniques, reschedule. Let your trusted contact know you are rescheduling.
Continue your preparation with our online resources, there is still plenty to learn to ensure for a safe and enjoyable trip!