Tramping: Walking with purpose in New Zealand


...the recreational activity of going for long-distance walks in rough country.

...walking with purpose.

Hiking, trekking, rambling, bush walking. Every country seems to have a different word for it. Tramping must seem like an odd word to those who have never been walking in the New Zealand bush, but to those who have, it’s the only word for it.

It’s almost as if the equivalent word for tramping in each country directly reflects the terrain and conditions of that country and the images that word conjure up.

Take rambling for example. The English coined this term which means to ‘walk for pleasure in the countryside.’ In England, you can most certainly ‘walk’ and it is most certainly (mostly) pleasurable ambling along the rolling countryside.

And then there is hiking – to ‘walk for a long distance, especially across country’. In the large open spaces of America, hiking trails that cover many miles and even cross states are common.

Then we have tramping - nothing to do with being homeless (going on a tramp means a very different thing altogether in America). When lacing up your boots here in kiwiland, you better be prepared for anything. New Zealand is a country of micro-climates, changeable weather and diverse terrain that should be respected and never, ever underestimated.

Exposed tree roots can be tricky to navigate if you're not used to them!

A bit of scrambling here and there to get to those amazing views!

Effort vs. Reward

Although we do have a range of grades for our tramping tracks, a heavy downpour or dry spell can change the grading of that track on any given day. Tree roots, slippery rocks, mud, clay, dirt, sand, bog, gravel – these are all surfaces you will find yourself navigating on New Zealand tracks, and usually a combination of many of these on any one track.

For kiwis, tramping is perfectly descriptive of the grit and determination you need when walking our tracks. Walking in a determined fashion, through mud, rain, up a ridge line to a stunning view, clambering over a fallen tree or trudging through ankle deep bog amongst the pristine native flora.

There’s something extremely rewarding about leaving the everyday behind as you tramp through a pristine patch of New Zealand bush. The effort is always worth the reward, and the reward is also in the journey - and not just at the top of a mountain or hill.

Whether you consider yourself a tramper, hiker, trekker, bush walker or rambler, come and explore New Zealand with us, we'll have you tramping like a Kiwi in no time and enjoying a glass of wine and some delicious kiwi 'nosh' at the end of the trail.

A well maintained track in the Coromandel on our Coastal Charm tours.

A good sturdy pair of boots will be your best friend when tramping in New Zealand.

A very well maintained gravel track in New Zealand.

Spot the track! An advanced tramping track with roots, leaf litter and rocks.

A beach track on our Coastal Charm tour.

Can't go over it, can't go under it, as we say here - 'straight up the guts'! (through the middle of the bog patch.


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