FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We help with huts, car relocation, food and hire gear.

Answers to the most common questions 

Here you’ll find answers to track transport questions and so much more. There’s a lot of planning needed to get you to the track and back. Finding the best options for you or your group takes time and effort. We get that.

We’ve broken up the frequently asked questions into groups to help you find an answer faster.

If you have any other queries feel free to get in touch with our friendly EasyHike team. 

Tracks & General Hiking

Car
relocation

Booking & Cancellation

Gear
& Food

Hut
Packages

Tracks & General Hiking

It’s my first time hiking - what track should I start with?

If you’ve not done a multi-day hike before, we recommend starting with the Routeburn Track. It’s the shortest of the three Fiordland Great Walks and the least challenging terrain. At just 32kms in length, it’s very achievable, has incredible scenery, and is extremely rewarding.

Can I hike with children?

We are a big supporter of getting kids out hiking and the answer is yes! It does depend on their age and we recommend the full Great Walk experience for kids over the age of 10. Younger if you’re doing day hikes.

How fit do I need to be to do a Great Walk?

The key to being prepared for a Great Walk is preparation. If you’re not a regular walker, build up to it at least 8 weeks before your trip. Start with some walks in your local area and regularly increase the weight you carry and distance you cover. Introduce yourself to some different terrain like hills and stairs. All three of the walks have alpine passes with steep ascents and descents so you’ll need to prepare your knees accordingly! Hiking poles can also be a great help with this. Learn more about preparing for your Great Walk here.

What is the hiking season in Fiordland?

The Great Walks season runs in the New Zealand spring/summer/autumn from the end of October/early November to late April. Outside of this is considered winter and is not recommended for walking the entire tracks. See our Winter Overnight Hiking for more info.

What will the weather be like?

It depends entirely on what time of the year you’ll be hiking! The Great Walk season crosses our New Zealand spring, summer and start of autumn with each season bringing its own pros and cons. Check out our blog on the best time for hiking and what to expect with each season here.

What facilities are available at the DOC Huts?

During the season, the Great Walk huts are equipped with:

  • A water supply, flushing toilets, basins with cold water (no showers)
  • Communal bunk rooms with mattresses
  • Heating
  • Cooking facilities with gas, tables & seating (you bring your own utensils/pots/pans, etc.)
  • DOC ranger – for emergencies and local information about the conditions and environment.
What do I need to bring?

Our Great Walk Gear Hire and Premium Packages take care of all of the key elements you need for your Great Walk, but you do still need to bring your clothing, personal effects such as medication, cameras, any night time entertainment etc. Check out our suggested Great Walk packing list for suggestions.

Is there water available on the track?

During the Great Walks season (November – end April), lovely, clear running water is available inside the DOC Huts. In general, this is fine to drink however there may be signs recommending you boil/treat the water. 

Once you’re on the tracks, there are lots of natural sources from waterfalls and streams. It is likely to be some of the purest quality you’ve ever had. Locals have been drinking it for years, but there are some risks as infected water can give you Giardia, which can cause upset stomachs and diarrhea. It’s best to take your water from high upstream or a flowing waterfall as the risk is lower, small streams close to the track and bush are likely to have a higher chance of infection. Alternatively, you can boil or purify it to be sure.

Can I camp in a tent on the tracks?

The Kepler Track and Routeburn Track do have camping sites at select locations. Camping on the Milford Track is not permitted. Let us know if you are interested in camping and we can tailor a package to suit.

What happens if the Department of Conservation closes the track I’m hiking?

We work closely with DOC and if they notify us of the closure before you start your hike, we will do our best to contact you in advance.

If they close the track while you are on it, we will work with DOC to obtain information about your return to ensure any arrangements with us still go to plan. i.e. Car relocation/transport.

Can you help us book on other New Zealand Great Walks?

Fiordland is our backyard and we specialise in the Great Walks and other tracks in Fiordland National Park and Mt Aspiring National Park. We are happy to provide recommendations for other operators who cover the other Great Walks throughout New Zealand.

Can you recommend somewhere to stay at either end of the track?

As locals, we can give you great advice as to where to stay and what to do in the area.  Let us know if you would like a few ideas on making the most of your time in our backyard.

Tracks & General Hiking

Car
relocation

Booking & Cancellation

Gear
& Food

Hut
Packages

Car Relocation

How does your car relocation work?

You drive your car to the start of the track. We collect it from the car park and drive it to the end of the track while you’re walking. When you finish your walk, it’s waiting for you to drive away. You don’t have to meet us, pick us up, or adjust your plans. Find out more about how our 5 step car relocation works here.

Is fuel included in the price?

No, fuel is additional.  Before starting your walk, we ask that you ensure the vehicle is full of fuel to ensure our driver can relocate it safely for you. With all of our Routeburn Track relocations, we include a $40 top-up service.  This ensures the distance between the start/finish of the track (approx 324kms) can be covered and you have enough to continue exploring without having to get to the nearest gas station.

We’ll leave you a receipt for this in the vehicle and if it isn’t necessary to top up the full $40, we’ll refund you the balance. Usually, vehicles have ½ a tank left after the relocation, depending on the type of vehicle.

When will you pick up and/or deliver our car?

It depends on our scheduling and bookings for the day. Sometimes we collect on the same day you start and deliver it on the day you finish, however, this is not guaranteed. Otherwise, it will be anytime between your specified start and finish dates/times.

Why do we have to specify a start and finish time?

We have these start and finish times to minimize waiting around for you and also our driver. We also schedule our driver’s movements around the times that you specify when booking, so it’s important that if your plans change before you start your hike, you let us know beforehand (note no phone reception in some track starting points).

How do we swap keys?

We provide you with a lockbox with a combination lock before you start the track. You need to fix the lockbox to your vehicle with the key inside and leave your car parked at the start of the track. We retrieve your key from the lockbox, relocate your vehicle and return the key back into the lockbox. When you finish the track and locate your car, the lockbox will still be attached to your car with your key. You retrieve your key and return the lockbox back to us.

Are proximity keys ok?

Yes, proximity keys are fine. When you pick up your lockbox, they will provide some tinfoil for you to wrap your key in (this breaks the sensor signal) It’s very important to test the key in the lockbox (and in the location, you plan to fix to your car) to ensure your car stays locked. We suggest doing this at the time you pick up your lockbox before you start driving to the track.

Will it be easy to find our car at the other end?

Routeburn & Kepler Tracks: The car parks are not very big, vehicles are easy to find and we will try to park in the shade and suggest you do the same.

Milford Track: Your vehicle will be parked at Deepwater Basin, Milford Sound where there are no parking fees and the water taxi’s drop off.

We will provide you with a map showing the car park location. It is #2 on the map. If #2 is full we will park your car between #2 and #3, closer to the water taxi.

Can we call you from the car park?

Kepler Track  – There is mobile coverage at the Kepler Track car park at the control gates, however none at Rainbow Reach. There is also some coverage on parts of the track.

Routeburn Track – There is no mobile phone coverage at The Routeburn Shelter (coverage is generally is lost just outside of Glenorchy heading to the start of the track). There is now coverage at The Divide.

Milford Track – There is no coverage once in Milford Sound, however, if it is an emergency there are a few payphones in the terminal and you can call 0800 Easyhike (0800 327 944) free of charge.

If you have any final questions or a last-minute change of plans, please contact us before you leave Glenorchy or Te Anau to be assured of the connection of the call.

We will have a rental car or camper. Are we covered for insurance?

Yes, we contact your rental company and add our driver to your rental agreement.  Whichever insurance option you have chosen will apply when we are driving too.  This is free of charge and no problem for most rental companies, check if yours is one of them here.

If your rental company isn’t on the list, please give us or your rental company a call to find out more.

We will be driving our personal vehicle. Will I be insured?

Yes, most car insurance in New Zealand is to cover the vehicle, not the person driving.  If you are unsure if this applies to your insurance, please check directly with your insurance provider.  We will need confirmation from you or your insurance company that our driver is covered under your insurance policy.

How safe are the car parks on the tracks?

There haven’t been any issues with car park security for a while now, but there is no guarantee.  We suggest keeping valuables out of sight and taking the usual precautions when parking your car, just in case. We are happy to drop your luggage into storage for you along the way.  There may be additional fees for the storage.

What transport is right for me - car relocation or bus?

We recommend car relocation over bus transport, simply because it allows you more flexibility and independence. No waiting for other people or on a set schedule to get on to your next destination. But we understand that car relocation isn’t for everyone and can easily also assist with bus transportation.

Tracks & General Hiking

Car
relocation

Booking & Cancellation

Gear
& Food

Hut
Packages

BOOKING & CANCELLATION INFO

How much do I need to pay at the time of booking?

We have a different cancellation policy for our packages and car relocations. Both can be read here.  In general, full payment is required at the time of booking, unless you are booking a hiking package prior to 6 weeks before the start date – in this case, the deposit amount is 25%.

Can you just book our DOC huts for us if we don't have a package?

We are not a booking company. We could help you secure your huts for an administration fee. However, please be aware our customers on Premium Packages will take priority. Only once those are secured could we look into availability to secure huts only. Contact us directly to find out more.

Tracks & General Hiking

Car
relocation

Booking & Cancellation

Gear
& Food

Hut
Packages

Gear & Food

What do your packs weigh?

This will depend on your food choices and your personal belongings. Generally we aim to deliver your packs including food and gear at between 7-8kgs. By the time you add your personal clothing and personal items you should not be carrying any more than 10kg.

Can I hire any of your gear individually?

We are unable to hire individual gear items, but we can certainly provide recommendations to local providers who can. Talk to us about your plans.

What does your food weigh?

This also depends on your choices, by the time your food and other hire-gear is loaded into your packs, along with your personal items, you should not be carrying any more than 10kg.

Can I purchase meals individually?

Individual meals can be purchased in addition to our hiking food and gear packages, or if you have booked a package or transport service. We are unable to provide individual meals as a stand alone purchase.

How do I collect my gear and food from you?

We have a base in Te Anau and Glenorchy and you are more than welcome to meet us to collect your equipment. We are also able to deliver to your local accommodation in Queenstown, Glenorchy or Te Anau the day before you start your hike.

Tracks & General Hiking

Car
relocation

Booking & Cancellation

Gear
& Food

Hut
Packages

Packages & Huts

If I book a premium package can you guarantee my space in the DOC Huts?

The DOC Great Walks booking system generally opens in June before the season following (i.e open in June 2024 for October 2024 – April 2025 season). If you book a premium package before the DOC booking system opening, we will make your booking once the system is open. Premium package bookings made once the booking system is open are still subject to availability and we will check your preferred dates and advise before confirming.

We have several measures in place to secure spaces as soon as practically possible, and we strive to do our best, however, we have access to the booking system at the same time as the general public and spaces can sell out extremely quickly.

What People are Saying…

My husband and I completed this hike in early Feb. and it was one of our highlights from New Zealand. It is a great 3 day 2 night hike, but could be done in 2 days pretty easily. We used Easyhike to organize the trip for us. We selected their premium package and didn’t have to do anything but show up, which was great! They provide high quality gear, supplied all of the food, reserved our huts and transferred our car.

Meredith L, Alabama