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Kyle Miller Sums Up the Trekking Experience in New Zealand
Posted on August 25, 2014

The Promised Land

Last year, Eddie Bauer athlete Kyle Miller jetted to New Zealand for the counter-seasonal snowboard season. He had many, many adventures in the Southern Alps, but he stuck around for a few extra weeks to sample the legendary treks and tracks with his new Kiwi friends. While the system of tracks and huts in New Zealand is world-famous, Kyle provided us with his best images and recommendations for hiking that land of adventure. This is Kyle’s recap of his long walk in the Southern Alps. —LYA Editor

French Ride Outhouse

Words and Images by Kyle Miller

So if you are looking into a premier hiking destination with lush forests, an amazing network of hiking trails, a land with huts scattered in the most scenic of areas, and a culture that is both kind and thoughtful to travelers, look no further than New Zealand.

Last season I had the good fortune to spend 4 months in the place labeled “The land of the long white cloud” or Aotearoa, to the local Māori people. I focused 3 months on snowboarding and one month on hiking, not knowing what to expect. I quickly found an extensive system of over 600 huts put in place by the DOC (Department of Conservation), which had a season pass for less than US$100,and it was on. I quickly fell in love with the rugged glaciated mountains, the golden tussock, and the cheeky keas (world’s only alpine parrot), which were both playful and mischievous.

My time was spent focusing on the central and southern regions of the South Island, where you can travel between glacier-carved fjords and the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere—Queenstown—all in a day’s travel. The thing that really impressed me was that no two valleys are the same and that, although the country is so isolated, the trail and hut system is first class. I found December to be the perfect time to get on the trail, with the transition from spring- to summer-like weather and long days of sunshine, but still cool enough that you’re not hiding in shaded areas.

New Zealand is such an amazing place that within a week of coming back to the United States, I was already thinking of what I would do on my next New Zealand trip. there I highly recommend getting a hut season pass and a map and enjoying a trip of a lifetime.

Track and Hut Recommendations

Routeburn Track

Greenstone Track

Cameron Hut

Murchinson Hut

Kelman Hut

Welcome Flat Hut

Hump Ridge Track

French Ridge Track

Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Cook National Park

Pioneer Hut

First Gallery

 

Second Gallery

Author: - Monday, August 25th, 2014
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