KIWI QUICK START Huts Use DOC huts (doc.govt.nz) for most tracks. Prices vary with services, but start at about $15NZ/night. Also, check the New Zealand Alpine Club huts (alpineclub.org.nz/hut). All are near life-list quality treks and packed with artifacts and guidebooks.
GPS data Get free tracklogs and waypoints for all of the trips listed here—and more—at backpacker.com/nz12.
HOW TO PLAN THE PERFECT ROAD TRIP
“It’s a roving basecamp, rustic love nest, and budgetsaving bombshelter rolled into one,” our editor-in-chief says of the cozy campervan he and his wife rented for their 20th anniversary trip to the South Island. “You can go anywhere, anytime, and never worry about waiting out storms in a tiny, sodden tent.” The price of freedom— about $180NZ/ day for a two-berth campervan with shower, toilet, sink, microwave, refrigerator, and satellite TV—is less than you’d pay for a car-andhotel combo, with lots more storage space. Bring your own towels, and reserve an automatic transmission in advance if you can’t drive a lefthanded manual. Rent fromkeacampers.com