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6 reasons to ditch the compass and go guided for your New Zealand hike

A necessary stroll is one thing, actually walking for fun is another. But throw a few mountains and some seriously glassy lakes in the mix (yes, we're referencing New Zealand’s Milford Track) and it’s almost beginning to sound appealing.

Especially if there's a trip to the other side of the world involved. And when you can choose to have all your gear carried for you, a hot shower every night and gourmet food to boot - the decision has never been easier.

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

With its dramatic landscapes and diverse scenery, Kiwiland is renowned for its hiking (or tramping, as christened by the locals). Nine ‘Great Walks’ - including the aforementioned Milford - make up its core tramping structure. Scattered throughout some of the country’s most  spectacular locations, whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual day-walker there’s something here to fit any level of expertise.

So if you're chasing a little adventure for next year's vacation - but are really more of the glamping type - then you've come to the right place. Because we’ve drawn on our extensive expertise and put together six reasons why you should go guided.

Every detail is organized for you. 

All your transport, lodging, meals and snacks - both on and off the trail are organized for you. Even your backpacks and rain jackets will be provided, and you'll be given advice on exactly what to bring. No lugging heavy camping equipment on the plane, and best of all, no planning required. Your backpack weight will be around 5-7 kg (11-15 pounds) as opposed to a 20 kg (44 pounds) pack if you were to do the walk independently.

Exclusivity.

All the lodges you’ll stay in are private and not accessible to the public. Each is equipped with heating, hot running water, comfortable beds and a fully staffed kitchen. You’ll enjoy three course meals paired with local beer and wine - the perfect end to an invigorating day on the trail.

Local knowledge and expertise.

Your guides will provide in-depth information on the history, ecology and geography of the area. You’ll leave with a unique insight and understanding of New Zealand's environment.

Safety.

A guided walk is a remote wilderness experience without the risk of going it alone.  Your guide will be aware of and monitoring any hazards, and the safety of you and your group is paramount at all time.

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Go off-the-beaten-track.

As you complete your New Zealand hike, you'll be shown hidden pools, secret side-tracks, and secluded spots for lunch. These unique encounters are easy to miss when hiking independently and are much more enjoyable without a heavy pack!

The friendships.

Spending several days with like-minded people from all corners of the globe in a remote area of the country will leave you with friends for life!  You'll enhance your communication skills, learn about other cultures and head home truly enriched.

Tramping or hiking (whatever you choose to call it!) is the best way to immerse yourself in the splendor of nature. And doing a guided walk means you’ll have more time to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. So whether you choose the infamous Milford Track or one of the other nine Great Walks, put away the trail mix, forget about the guidebook and book yourself in for stress-free adventure vacation.