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     Welcome to the Kiwi Tramping Online web pages. These pages are dedicated to those who enjoy the natural beauty of the New Zealand bush through the variety of great walks available to anybody who wishes to utilise them. The New Zealand bush, tranquil in it's own right, comprises special and unique flora and fauna that can only be found on New Zealand shores, as well as many other exotic plants and wildlife.
     These pages will endeaver to provide you with an insight into tramping (or hiking as it is known on other countries) in New Zealand, with information on popular tracks, the not so popular tracks and facts about the geology, geography and climate of New Zealand.
     They will also provide tips on what to take tramping in New Zealand, survival in the harsh and extreme climate, as well as all other aspects associated with tramping. Links to other popular tramping web pages, tramping club web pages and tour and equipment provider web pages will also be available for you to utilise.
     I hope you enjoy your visit to this site and gain some useful knowledge from it. Secondly, if you ever have an opportunity to explore the New Zealand bush, I hope you take it.

Bevan Ralfe

History Of Tramping

     Tramping in New Zealand came of age in the late 19th century with the establishment by parliament of the countries first national parks, Tongariro and Egmont, and with the setup of Fiordland National Park in 1905. This action stemmed from a belief that the wilderness and wildlife should be retained in its natural form and environment for future gernerations to enjoy, not be enveloped in the industrial age that was sweeping the rest of the world.
     Shortly after this, huge interest in the sport grew, and from this the New Zealand Alpine Club was formed. Members from this organisation volunteered many hours to create tracks, build huts, explore new regions of the wilderness and promote the enjoyment gained from tramping in the bush.
     The enthusiasm for tramping continued to grow, eventually leading to the formation of the Tararua Tramping Club in Wellington, New Zealand's forst tramping club. More clubs were soon founded after this to cope with the growth of the sport. Their members donated more time to cutting tracks and building huts throughout New Zealand.

Tramping Today

     Today, tramping in New Zealand is as popular as it was when it first began. Many hundreds of tracks have since been created throughout New Zealand, and with the formation of the Department of Conservation, were inherited and now maintained by them. Further huts and shelters continue to be built along these tracks, while more advanced huts equipped with better facilities are now provided on the more popular tracks.
     However, the adoption of a user pays scheme for trampers using hut facilities, aimed at fulfilling the Department of Conservation maintainence budget shortfalls, has obtained a somewhat disappointing response due to the fact that only about 30% of all hut users actually pay. The result of this is rundown facilities, fewer huts and a bleak future for the many of New Zealand's tracks.
     On a lighter note, the formation of a system of National Parks throughout New Zealand has ensured the beauty of the New Zealand bush has been preserved for current and future generations to enjoy, and one would certainly hope it stays that way. It seems that with over 100 different tramping clubs as members of the Society Of Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand (formed 1931), the future of tramping in New Zealand only looks to head for the sky. Members can always be called upon to lend a helping hand in preserving the beauty that so many have come and will continue to come to view.