Tramping in New Zealand

Mt. Aspiring National Park, NZ

We live among titans.

We have no other way to describe it.  “gods” seems too presumptuous for monotheists and “demi-gods” too second-rate.  “Champions” too sporty and “giants” too dependent on physical proportions.

Google software engineers, F-16 fighter pilots, world-class preachers, property barons, lawyers and teachers, real-life Coast Guardsmen rescue personnel that make Kevin Costner look like a pansy (and the guy who actually did the stunts for him in the movie), freewheeling gypsies, ivy league college grads & PhDs, internet millionaires, global circumnavigating sailors, national level speakers and coaches, songwriters, sales directors who spend their free time climbing the ice encrusted peaks of Colorado, proud parents of beautiful, intelligent children the list goes on…

These are not people who we hope to someday become, or observe in awe from a distance and pray might deem us good enough to network with.  These are the people with whom we drink beer and play Dungeons and Dragons. (Well, some of them.  The rest are more into video games.  We mix it up.)

Of course, they aren’t all those things to us.  Usually they have first names and are, in general, rather humble about it all.  Nonetheless when we stop to think about it the people around us are quite the collection.  If we are indeed the product of those that surround us then we are grateful for the excellence of those we call friends. (That would be you all, in case you were checking.)

So as you might guess when we get an invite from one of these exceptional people for an amazing adventure, we do our best to make good…

Which is pretty much how Dan convinced us to hike our happy butts up the Great Southern Alps to spend a week chilling (literally) in a hiker’s hut on the mountain.

Come on, he smokes a pipe! Who says no to adventure with a dude who smokes a pipe!?

Also, it’s New Zealand right and if you haven’t noticed yet, outside is basically what these people do.  So to spend a few months here and never once go on a hike would basically be akin to visiting Mexico for six months and not having a taco.

In the name of good friends, good times, and actually being able to answer the ubiquitous question “did you see the South Island?” with a good yarn, we sallied forth on our final Kiwi adventure: tramping Mt. Aspiring.

(PS – Tramping is what they call hiking.)

The first 4 hours of the hike was, in a word, stunning.

As you can see, it was also mostly flat and as we have hinted at by the whole “Mt.” part of the name of the park and the valley-like appearance is that there would be some elevation change in this little jaunt.

Oh just you wait…


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at!

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8 Responses to Tramping in New Zealand

  1. Abby says:

    Lol I can’t wait to see where this goes… The pipe is great! And I’ve never heard the word “tramping” before. Love the lingo!

    • Tiffany says:

      Yeah, we were introduced to the term while we were down in NZ. Apparently “hiking” is too tame. And I must admit, Kiwis definitely have a very different outlook on the outdoors than most Americans!

  2. Greg, you got a hair cut! By golly, I thought that day would NEVER come!

  3. Love New Zealand tramping in general and Mt Aspiring in particular. You’ll have a great time…well, maybe you’ve already had it, so you’re chained to a blogging computer.

    Have fun and take care.

    • Tiffany says:

      Ha ha! Yes, we have already completed our NZ tramping adventure. Thanks for the good wishes!

  4. Ronni Norte says:

    You are the most handsome man in my life no matter the length (course, you are the only man in my life (sad “smiley” face)

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