Independent Walking is the low cost "no frills" way of tramping, (as compared to the commercial guided trips available on some tracks). Independent walkers carry all their own equipment, clothing, sleeping bag, food (we supply the food and cooking equipment but you help us carry it) and assist with the domestic chores. The trips are suitable for people of a wide age group, provided they are healthy and prepared to attain a good standard of tramping fitness. One needs to have access to suitable tramping equipment (we supply a list) and can carry a pack of about 11 kg for three or four days, (less weight on Aspiring, Borland, Catlins).
Generally we do not recommend that children under 13 years of age participate, though that can depend on the individual. DoC give free hut accommodation to children under 18 - if you do book teenagers with your family you will be reimbursed their hut fees, but will need to pay the full fee on the web booking page first. The administrator will contact you or please email her to say you have booked under 18/s.
On Lodge trips you can leave your pack at the lodge and enjoy carrying less weight in your day pack on day trips around the area.
DoC regulations require us to run our trips on a “cost recovery” basis only, but we do hope to receive donations (which are tax rebatable), from participants.
There are a variety of bike trips from grade 2 upwards. Accommodation is varied from back backer style to motels, with all linen supplied. Food is supplied, transport, trailers for bikes and luggage and bikes can be hired through the club or bring your own. You need a reasonable standard of bike fitness and be prepared for gravel tracks. Each trip has four leaders; two drivers who provide transport to struggling bikers if required and prepare food for your lunch stops and two bikers who provide low key assistance. Bike hire is an additional cost to the trip fee.
To be eligible to participate in the trip(s) that we organise, people need to be financial members of our Tramping Club, which costs $55 per adult, $30 school child, or $110 for a family (Family membership is parent/s and dependant children under 16 years of age). The membership fee is paid with your trip fee when you book online. Only one membership fee needs to be paid for each person per season.
As we operate as a tramping club and provide non-commercial tramping opportunities on public lands, we are required (by DoC regulation) to run our trips on a “cost recovery” basis only.
We do point out, however, that all our trips are organised and lead by a large team of unpaid volunteers who collectively put in thousands of hours to bring you this opportunity. Your supporting donation of suggested $60, $90 or $120 per person including youth and $150 per family. (Note-Family membership is parent/s and dependant children under 16 years of age) will ensure this project will continue to prosper.
The Tramping Club is registered with the Charities Commision as a non-profit organisation . At the end of each season, our Constitution requires us to distribute any surplus funds equally between The Otago Youth Adventure Trust Inc. and the Milton Rotary Club (both of which have Charitable Trust status). Those funds are, in turn, put towards deserving youth and community projects throughout Otago.
All donations are receipted separately on the computer generated invoice and are eligible for IRD rebate.
We are often asked about accommodation in Dunedin, before and after the trips. Our bus leaves from, and returns to the Leviathan Hotel, in central Dunedin. This is a family hotel, with a variety of accommodation, from “back packer” to budget and standard rooms. They offer a 10% discount on their rates to participants on our trips, and most people who stay there are satisfied. Phone them on free-phone 0800 773 773. (NZ only). Phone from overseas 64 3 4773160.
Where you stay is your choice, but of course you must meet up with our party and our chartered bus or vans. Except for a detour to Dunedin Airport to meet flights (where applicable), the transport will not detour off the main route to our destination. As we average the cost of the transport over everybody, we cannot give discounts to those who only make minimal use of it. A number of people meet us at Te Anau (Milford and Kepler), and some at Queenstown (Routeburn and Routeburn Greenstone), or Wanaka (Aspiring Trip, Wanaka bike), or Oamaru (A2O) but they still need to use our transport.
The team from OYAT/Milton Rotary Tramping Club Inc.