New Zealand is a beautiful country with spectacular natural beauty at every turn. One of the best ways to explore this compact yet diverse land is on foot. Hiking, allows you to experience some of New Zealand's best scenery, unique native birdlife, wildlife, stunning national parks and awe-inspiring views.
Hiking in New Zealand is a unique experience, so it's useful to understand some of the 'Kiwi-isms' you can expect to encounter. In this article we explain etiquette when hiking in New Zealand to help you connect with your fellow walkers, and have an truly memorable experience.
New Zealand is the perfect destination to combine your love of travel and hiking. You'll find it as friendly and safe as it is beautiful. To give you a head start on understanding the culture and etiquette on New Zealand hiking trails, we've put together the following tips.
Kiwis are a friendly and down-to-earth bunch. That extends to saying hello to the people we meet while enjoying our own backyard. So make sure you do the same and greet everyone you meet while hiking. You're likely to get a friendly greeting in return and it's a great way to connect with locals.
Walk on the left-hand side and pass on the right. Trails are sometimes narrow in places so you may need to wait until there is enough room to pass. Most hikers make space for you to pass as soon as possible. Some New Zealand trails are also used by mountain bikers so be prepared to share!
Stop and take in the sights
Hiking is the perfect way to be immersed in New Zealand's breathtaking scenery. Your holiday is about spending quality time together and having an unforgettable experience. So make the most of it: breathe in the clean air, soak in the views and take one last look before leaving a particularly beautiful spot. Who knows when you'll be back? Travelling by motorhome makes it even easier to explore the country's natural beauty, by combining transport and accommodation so you can stop when and where you wish as you journey through the country.
Keep it clean and green
Ever heard the phrase 'be a tidy Kiwi'? New Zealanders are passionate about protecting their environment, and they place a lot of importance on disposing of rubbish responsibly. Litter pollutes the surroundings and can be harmful to wildlife so don't leave any behind. That way you're doing your bit to keep New Zealand beautiful.
Respect the diversity
New Zealand is a country of contrasts. You'll find waterfalls, valleys and rivers, glacier-carved fiords, rugged coastlines and emerald lakes. For the ultimate experience, travel by motorhome and feel the rush of waking up to this natural beauty on your doorstep each day.
You'll also discover New Zealand has a unique cultural heritage. Celebrate this diversity and treat any places that have spiritual or historical significance with care and respect.
Hiking through New Zealand is a fantastic way to explore the beauty of this incredible country and to mix with locals. Understanding the etiquette and how to minimise your impact on the environment while out enjoying the wilderness is all part of the experience.