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).
DOC now charge foreign visitors to NZ an increased hut fee on the Milford, Kepler, Routeburn and Stewart Island tramps. When you make your booking on any of these trips you will be taken to the correct price for the details you enter.
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 (International Children have half price hut fees). Please email the administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 packer 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 $60 per adult, $35 school child, or $120 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 $65, $95 or $125 per person including youth and $155 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 Commission 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 trip fees are refundable if cancellations are made prior to eight weeks before the trip. Cancellations made closer than eight weeks before the trip may be penalised by the amount of costs we cannot recover if we cannot fill the places (e.g. hut fees prepaid, transport arranged, bulk food purchases, etc). membership and donations are non refundable. (see terms and conditions)
Fitness and Health
It is extremely important that you are "pack fit" for our trips. The tramps are graded "intermediate" and require a reasonably high level of fitness, especially carrying your pack (usually about 11kg of extra weight). Our leaders are all volunteers and offer "low key" support. They are not guides, and you are required to be self sufficient in regards to walking, and carrying your gear. It is important that you are in good health and fit enough to complete 10-20km of all terrain walking per day.
COVID UPDATE FROM THE COMMITTEE June 2022
To all OYAT/Milton Rotary Tramping Club Walkers, Bikers and Leaders
We highly recommend that you are vaccinated against COVID 19, but it is no longer mandated that you need to be vaxxed to participate on our trips. Please stay home if you are unwell or have been a close contact of a positive case, and contact us to cancel your booking.
We must also alert you to the possibility that trips could be cancelled at short notice, if there is a sudden change in Covid Traffic Light Settings.
In the meantime, please keep fit and well, and provided we are able to travel around the country, we will look forward to seeing you next year.
The Committee of the OYAT/Milton Rotary Tramping Club
The team from OYAT/Milton Rotary Tramping Club Inc.