Plan your trip properly and make sure your group has
a capable leader. For overnight or multi day hikes you
will need to carry a sleeping bag, cooking utensils,
sufficient food, basic first aid kit and adequate waterproof/warm
clothing including gloves and hat.
Injury or illness
What to take
Off Peak Winter Season
Intention forms and safety
Physical fitness and good equipment will make all the
difference to your enjoyment of the trip.
Although the tracks are not closed in winter, snow may
make travel very difficult, even on the valley floors.
Check with the DOC in Queenstown for information on snow conditions.
Always check the weather forecast before entering the
Register your intentions at the Glenorchy Information Centre, located at the Glenorchy Hotel before
you start your trip, and remember to sign out at the
end of your trip.
Safety beacons can be hired from the Glenorchy Information Centre located at the Glenorchy Hotel. Up to date weather forecasts are available from Glenorchy Information Centre, but remember the weather can change so be prepared.
Always cross streams and rivers with care. Side streams
and rivers can rise quickly during heavy rain. Levels
will drop rapidly once rain stops. If you are caught
between streams which are in flood, seek higher ground
and wait for water levels to drop.
Hikers should register intentions at the Glenorchy Information Centre located at the Glenorchy Hotel before you start your trip and remember to sign out
at the end of your trip.
Avalanches or slips can occur (especially in October
and early November), flooding and high winds (which
can occur at any time) may cause certain parts of the
track to become impassable. Walkers due to start on
the track may be unable to proceed.
with the Glenorchy Information Centre located at the Glenorchy Hotel for information on snow conditions
and avalanche and slip risk areas.
Fire is a major threat within Fiordland and Mount Aspiring
National Parks and open fires are not permitted.
Keep to the track at all times. If you become lost,
STOP, find shelter and stay calm – you will survive.
Put on extra clothing and try and assist searchers if
you hear them searching for you.
Injury or illness
If any injury or illness occurs during the Great Walks
Peak Season the Department of Conservation hut wardens
should be contacted. They will be able to arrange emergency
evacuation from the track if required. There is no cellphone
coverage on the track.
To avoid dehydration you will need to drink regularly
while walking, even on cooler days. As you may not be
able to find water on the track you should carry some
Drinking water at the huts and shelters comes from nearby
rivers, lakes or roof catchments and is not treated.
Giardia may be present in some areas. Regular testing
is not carried out. If you wish to treat water, boil
it for five minutes, use a filter or chemically treat
Please use toilets at the huts and shelters. If this
is not possible, bury toilet waste well away from watercourses.
Remember: Drinking water at the huts and shelters comes
from rivers and lakes.
What to take
The following gear is essential, no matter how warm
it is on the day of departure. Most equipment is available
for hire or purchase in Te Anau and Queenstown. A full
range of food is available from supermarkets in Te Anau
and at Glenorchy General Store. Basic stores are also available at Milford
You will need at least one set of clothes to walk in
and another dry set to change into at night.
It is not possible to dry clothes in the huts. It is
essential that this clothing is carried as your safety
and the safety of others could well depend on it.
NOTE: cotton clothing such as jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts
are not suitable. Polypropylene, which is quick drying
(but can be flammable), is recommended.
• Boots: need to be comfortable and well broken
• Socks: (wool/polypropylene) 2 pairs
• Shorts: (nylon)
• Shirt: (wool/polypropylene)
• Longjohns/trousers: (wool/polypropylene)
• Jersey/jacket: (wool/polar fleece)
• Undershirts/T-shirt: (wool/polypropylene)
• Gloves: (wool/polypropylene)
• Raincoat: (waterproof, windproof with hood)
• Over trousers (wind and water proof)
• Woollen hat/balaclava, sunhat and sunglasses
• Extra socks, underwear, shirt or lightweight
• Pack: with large waterproof/plastic liner
• Sleeping bag: good quality down or hollofil
• Matches/ lighter: in waterproof container
• Torch: spare batteries
• Eating utensils: knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup
• Cooking utensils: pot/pan/billy and cleaning
• Toilet gear: soap, toothpaste, toilet paper,
small towel (do not wash or use soap in lakes or streams)
• First aid kit: insect repellent, sunscreen, blister
kits, pain relief, assorted bandages
• Survival Kit: survival blanket, whistle, paper,
pencil, high energy snack food
• Drink bottle: 1 - 2 litre capacity (you need
to drink regularly during the day)
• Optional extras: camera, lightweight shoes for
in hut, ear plugs for communal bunkrooms (you will be
sharing huts with up to 40 trampers)
Food is not available for purchase on the track.
Food should be lightweight, fast cooking and high in
energy value e.g: cereal, firm bread, honey or other
spreads, cracker biscuits, cheese, salami, fruit, instant
soup, pasta/rice, dried vegetables/fruit, cheese or
dehydrated (freeze dry) meals, tea/coffee, powdered
fruit drink, emergency food in case of any delays on
Glenorchy Information Centre and General Store, located at the Glenorchy Hotel, supplies
these items for any last minute shopping prior to departure.
Off Peak Winter Season (May to Mid October)
During the Off Peak/Winter Season the tracks remains
open, weather and track conditions permitting. Some
bridges are removed to avoid damage from avalanches
and some facilities are not available. No bookings are
required but some Hut Tickets are necessary.
Huts may not have running water but a nearby water supply
will be available. Radios, gas cooking rings, lighting,
fuel for heating are also removed. Flush toilets are
closed but winter pit toilets are provided.
DOC staff are not always present on the track and their
availability should not be relied on in event of an
Outside the Great Walks Peak Season walkers have to
be totally self sufficient and should only be attempted
by experienced, well-equipped parties.
Always check current weather and avalanche conditions
before departing on your trip.
In addition to the equipment listed for walking during
the Peak Great Walks Season you should also carry: gas
cooker, toilet paper, torch or gas light for at night
in hut, extra food in case you are delayed on the track,
extra warm clothing, mountain radio or personal locator
Intention forms and safety
During winter for your own safety, intention forms should
be completed at the Fiordland National Park Visitor
Centre in Te Anau. Please don’t forget to sign
out. Intentions forms can also be left in the box outside
the DOC office in Glenorchy.
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