New Zealand’s Get Outdoors Week starts this weekend, so the Mountain Safety Council staff have chosen their top 10 South Island locations for you to get inspired to get out and explore, exercise and breath in some fresh air.
Get Outdoors Week is a national campaign, November 14-22, that encourages Kiwis to get into the outdoors, safely. Take the opportunity to explore your local area and make an adventure of it.
Not too far from Nelson city centre, the Rabbit Island cycle trails offer a variety of tracks that pass by estuaries, historic sites and picturesque beaches. Tip: take the ferry or drive to the start of the trail from Nelson city.
A 3.9km side track off the renowned Queen Charlotte Track lets you explore the Anitmony mining era while taking in the native bush of the Marlborough Sounds. The historic walk is classed as advanced level with a range of steep climbs and flats.
This short 2km walk along the stunning Hokitika Gorge takes you through a pristine forest, over boardwalks and swing bridges, past waterfalls to reveal views of farmland and the gorge. It’s advised not to swim in the Hokitika River as it is very swift and dangerous.
One of the more gradual tracks in the Arthur’s Pass village area, this track appeals to many walkers and is family friendly. A gentle climb through mountain beech forest, tussock grassland and subalpine scrub with views up the Waimakariri River valley, the track is 2.5hours one way.
At the Mt Grey summit of just over 900m, you can enjoy some of Canterbury’s best views. The easy walking Mt Grey/Maukatere Track is 2-3 hours one way through native bush and pine forest before reaching the tussock summit of Mt Grey/Maukatere.
The Packhorse Hut is an achievable overnight trip into the Kaituna Valley in Banks Peninsula that boasts views of Lyttleton Harbour. Tip: Be sure to book your spot in the nine-bunk hut ahead of your trip.
Packhorse Hut, Christchurch
This 12km cycle trail takes you alongside the mighty Clutha River between Alexandra and Clyde. Mainly flat with a couple of boardwalks and bridges, this is a great trail that sees flocks of people being active all year round.
This 2.8km track is the whole package including farmland, forest and coastal views. Navigate your way around to the Chasm for amazing views of the coast.
This two-hour loop trail around Moke Lake is a scenic off-the-beaten track that is easily reached from Queenstown centre. The undulating trail is framed by mountains with the lake below and is well worth the 15minute drive to begin the trail.
The Sandy Point Domain is the home of four short tracks just 7km from Invercargill town. Take your pick of the Kilmock Bush track, the Rover Track, Daffodil Bay Loop and the Silver Lagoon, all no more than an hour and a half each and offer beach and forest views.
No matter the track, be prepared for anything and pack appropriately. For more helpful guidance and free resources for planning a family outdoor adventure, head to Mountain Safety Council.
Head to getoutdoorsweek.co.nz, for more information, and don't' forget to share your Get Outdoors Week adventure to be in to win! #GOWeekNZ @getoutdoorsweek
Refer to the new New Zealand Land Safety Code:
- Choose the right trip for you: Learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it.
- Understand the weather: It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.
- Pack warm clothes and extra food: Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected night out.
- Share your plans and take ways to get help: Telling a trusted friend your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.
- Take care of yourself and each other: Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together.