5 reasons to choose a guide vs. going it alone on your next Fiordland walk
23 Apr 2021
Wandering aimlessly through the tranquil native forest of Greenstone Valley or along the banks of Lake Marian with neither stress nor schedule sounds like a beautiful way of connecting with nature, and with yourself. But is heading out on a wellness walk solo actually the wisest choice?
Here’s why choosing a Guided Walk is the best way to get the most out of your walking holiday in Fiordland.
1. You get the wisdom of a skilled Guide before you even take the first step.
Selecting the right route for your skill set is paramount. A recent study by The Mountain Safety Council (MSC) revealed that nearly 50% of all tramping fatalities were caused by people walking alone, and just shy of 70% of all injuries were the result of a fall due to unknown terrain*. And while the tracks that Trips & Tramps follow are by no means perilous, it’s still wise to have professional guidance.
Trained guides know the landscape of the walks they lead like the backs of their hands (or, more aptly, the tread on their well-worn boots). They know which routes are going to test even the hardiest of walkers and which ones are more leisurely. When you first research your Guided Walk options, reach out to us so we can help with selecting an experience that best matches your capabilities.
2. Your holiday snaps will look professional
Anyone who conquers numerous tracks in Fiordland in only a handful of days deserves to brag! Choosing a guided walk over a solo one will mean that no epic shot is left untaken. Your guide will know where to find the best angle for a spectacular waterfall photo or where the best chance of snapping a cheeky kea is. Your Instagram profile will look like a digital magazine.
3. They'll help change plans at the last minute
Fiordland’s weather can be difficult to plan for. There may be a light drizzle in the morning followed by a heavy pour after lunch, but perfectly calm skies for your après-walk wine. This can make the terrain a little trickier to navigate than what you might be accustomed to, especially if a city stroll is more your type. And unlike the city streets, help is not just a phone call and a short drive away.
A trained guide will help you prepare for whatever Fiordland throws at you. On days when the weather is going to be particularly rough and tumble and high wind and rainfall turn streams into rivers, a trained Guide will ensure you still make the most of your time with the right equipment and careful pace. You’ll be safe and sound, and still enjoy the walk regardless of Fiordland’s mood!
4. You’ll learn a thing or two while also enjoying the exercise and view.
Did you know that Fiordland National Park officially became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986? Or that there was a failed conservation project on Resolution Island in 1898 that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of native birds?
Fiordland is astoundingly beautiful, but also rich in history. And there’s no better way to learn about the region, its legends and legacies, than from a knowledgeable guide while taking in the scenery on a guided walk. Whether a local or a tourist from Australia or further, you’ll learn some surprising facts.
5. Focus on your surroundings, not on the niggly details.
Preparing for a walk in Fiordland is a massive undertaking. You’ll need to make sure you have the right clothing, the right amount of food, the right plans in place should the weather take a turn, and so on. The best thing you can do is book a package with a trained guide so that you can focus on preparing your mind and body for the experience ahead, not on how much scroggin to throw into your snack pack.
An expert guide can also help you to explore parts of Fiordland in ways beyond the track. Milford Sound can be enjoyed by foot and by boat, for example, and the logistics required to do both can sometimes feel daunting for someone new to the area. Our Milford Sound Coach, Cruise & Walk is a great option so you can simply turn up on the day ready to take in one of the world’s most breathtaking spots, and have the itinerary and lunch sorted for you.
*A Walk in the Park?, 2018 report by the Mountain Safety Council (MSC)