Hiking in New Zealand: Five reasons to choose a private hiking guide

23 Jan 2017

When it comes to hiking in New Zealand, the options are endless – which can sometimes be a little overwhelming if it’s your first time here and you want to explore on foot! We think there’s nothing better than lacing up your walking shoes and heading out into one of our National Parks. There are many options for hiking in New Zealand – you can choose to go it alone, hike on a small group tour, or have your own private guide. If your time here is limited and you’re after a seamless hiking experience, we’d definitely recommend enlisting a private guide.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Tailor-make your hike to your exact needs

Want to spend a day hiking the Routeburn Track, or dreaming about getting up close to the thundering Giant Gate falls on the Milford Track? Do you only have one day free in your itinerary to explore? Then hiring a private guide is a great option. Because you don’t need to fit in with a group tour, you can choose the exact date and time you leave, and then customise the hike to meet your needs. If you would prefer something more easygoing, your guide with their local knowledge can recommend something more suitable. If you want to be rewarded with epic alpine views, then you’ll be able to choose a hike that gains plenty of altitude.

2. Go at your own pace

Sometimes, hiking in a group can be frustrating – you want to take your time trying to capture a perfect photo, but the rest of the group is on the move. Or, you’re just hitting your stride but slower hikers are holding things up. With a private guide, these niggles are no longer an issue. You’re able to go at the pace that suits you – for the entire day. Feeling unhurried and being able to enjoy the hike on your terms makes for the perfect day in NZ’s Great Outdoors.

Hero shot Lake Gunn

A private guide knows all about New Zealand's flora and fauna

3. Enjoy the time to connect with a friendly local

Getting to know the locals is a great way to understand what New Zealand is all about. With a private guide, you’re not competing with other people to chat to them. Over the space of a day, you’ll learn more about life in NZ – and you can ask any burning questions you have, like why on earth do kiwis call a holiday home a ‘crib’ in the South Island…we’re a funny bunch!

4. Learn all there is to know about NZ flora, fauna and history

Again, without the distractions of others, a private guide will fill you in on all there is to know about the NZ forests and landscapes you’re walking through. Do you know how to spot a bellbird, or how the Milford Track came to be built? Did you know that Kea are the world’s only alpine parrot? Having a private guide gives you a value-added experience.

5. You won’t get lost, and everything will run like clockwork!

With a private guide, everything is 100% sorted – allowing you to get the most out of your time on the trails. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation and driven to the start of the track (pre-decided by you!) so you don’t need to worry about the sat-nav, scenic stops or “where is the nearest bathroom!”. And on the track getting lost or making a wrong turn are simply not an issue – hiking guides know our forests like the back of their hand! A private guide takes all the stress and logistics out of your walk. You’re on holiday, why not let someone else do the work for you?!

Heading out into NZ’s national parks with a private hiking guide makes heaps of sense – you’ll really get to make the most of your time exploring. We offer a range of stunning hiking options in Fiordland National Park, and we offer upgrades on any of our small group tours to a private hiking guide. Want to explore your options with us in Fiordland - get in touch!

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