Going on a Trip

What to Expect on a Trip

  • You sign up for a trip at our club nights. You don’t need to be a member.
  • The number of people going on a trip ranges from 2 to 12.
  • Most trips depart on Friday evenings in the club vans at 5.15pm from the Wellington railway station (Platform 9) and return on Sunday, late afternoon or evening. Multiple groups may share a van.
  • You will probably eat somewhere on the way and may camp out under a fly on Friday night.  Accommodation on the Saturday night will depend on the trip, but even if you are staying in a hut and it is full, you may need to sleep on the floor or under a fly.
  • Saturday night meals are a team effort; your leader will ask you to bring several ingredients for this meal and everyone helps prepare and wash-up. You need to bring your own food for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Stoves are organised by the trip leader.
  • The club has a recommended list of items you take with you on a trip.

Choosing a Trip and Signup

To decide which trip will be right for you, we suggest you decide:

  • what type of trip you’d like to do, e.g. day, weekend;
  • what grade of trip you should join (If you are new to tramping (or to tramping in New Zealand), we suggest you to go on an Easy (E) or an Easy Medium (EM) trip first before trying a harder grade).


Once you have decided which trip to join,

  1. come along to a club night to meet the trip leader, find out more about the destination, and ask any questions you might have or;
  2. sign up for the trip at the club night on the sign-up sheets.

For the more challenging trips, it is important that the trip leader knows your capabilities, so it is always worth making contact with the trip leader if they don’t know you. For overall group safety, trip leaders have the right to refuse people on trips if they are unsure about their capabilities.

Trips sign-up sheets are generally at the club nights about six weeks before the trip date. To help us plan food and transport, you need to sign up before the close date:

  • three Wednesdays before a North Island trip and
  • four Wednesdays before a South Island trip.

If you miss the close date, you are welcome to email the trip leader asking if you can be included on a trip, but it will be the trip leader’s decision.

Note that signing up represents a committent to go on the trip, not just an expression of interest. Whilst we understand people will occasionally drop-out for unforeseen reasons, numbers need to be firm to assist our volunteer leaders with trip planning. Dropping out after the close date without good reason is viewed as being inconsiderate to the trip leader.

Your leader will contact you by email approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the trip to:

  • confirm you are still going on the trip;
  • ask you to pay transport costs;
  • ask you for an emergency contact person;
  • ask if you have any special dietary requirements;
  • ask if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or other conditions relevant to running a safe trip.

Please respond promptly as it makes planning easier for the trip leaders, all of whom volunteer their time freely. As volunteers, the trip leaders do not provide a “commercial guide” service, so ensure you do the things asked of you on a trip, e.g. picking up gear, packing the required kit.

Nearer to the trip date, your leader will contact you asking you to bring

  • one item of communal gear (like a fly, first aid kit, or billy), which you will collect from the club rooms the Wednesday prior to departure and,
  • your specified ingredients for the shared dinner on Saturday evening.

Fitness and Grades

Each trip is graded to give you an idea of what to expect. Don’t equate tramping fitness with physical fitness. It also depends on other factors, such as carrying weight, steep slopes, ankle strength, and balance. You get tramping fit by tramping, so start easy and work up.

Tramping Trip Grades

Grade Terrain Pace Rests Walking hours per day
Easy Tracks Leisurely Frequent 4 – 5 hours
Easy / Medium Tracks and some routes Steady Regular 5 – 6 hours
Medium Tracks and routes Steady Regular 6 – 8 hours
Medium / Fit Tracks and routes Quicker Regular 8 – 10 hours
Fit Tracks and routes Quick Some 7 – 11 hours
Fitness essential All terrain Extremely quick Some 9 – 12 hours

Alpine Trip Grades

  • ALP1 requires skills equivalent to snowcraft level (ability to use ice axe and crampons);
  • ALP2 requires skills equivalent to an AIC course level (ability to use ice axe, crampons and ropes);
  • ALP3 requires ALP2 skills plus significant alpine experience and confidence.

All alpine trips are require Medium level tramping fitness or above.

Trip Costs and Payment

The trip charge covers the cost of transport. It includes the cost of using club vans or getting hire vehicles and for South Island trips, the ferry. The cost is noted on the sign-up sheet. There may be other costs such as campsite fees or hut bookings, and your trip leader will inform you of those.

The trip leader will get in touch before the trip departs to arrange payment. Please pay promptly as it saves your trip leader time.

You can pay for your trip by either:

  1. Deposit the money directly into our club bank account (preferred):
    • Account name: Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club Inc
    • Bank: Kiwibank
    • Account number for trip fees: 38-9017-0330533-00
    • Use ‘your name – trip name – date’ as a reference, for instance ‘SharronC PauaHut 02Jul’
  2. Give cash to your trip leader.

You need to pay by:

  • the Wednesday 9 days before the trip departs for North Island trips;
  • the Wednesday 16 days before the trip departs for South Island trips (since we need to book the ferry).

In cases of withdrawals or trip cancellations, please read the trip refunds policy.

What to Take on a Trip

See Gear.

Departure times and Place

Your trip leader will tell you if your trip is going to depart at a different time and place than mentioned here, but this is the usual case:

Departure Time: 5.15pm on a Friday night.
Place of departure: Platform 9, Wellington Railway Station. Sometimes we might be able to pick you up en-route; just ask your trip leader.

Hut Etiquette

Most trips will involve staying in some of NZ’s 950+ backcountry huts. At the basic level, these provide shelter, bunk mattress, cold water (usually from the roof) and a toilet. Below the bushline, there will usually be a wood burning stove for heating (not cooking). Most are small, so a tramping group can often fill them to capacity, especially if there are other people staying. If the hut is not bookable, everyone arriving at the hut has the same rights of use. Consideration of others is required if stays are to be comfortable and enjoyable. Observe these rules:

  • Leave your boots outside.
  • Hang dripping waterproofs outside. Keep the hut interior dry.
  • Keep things tidy and make room for others arriving later.
  • Fill in the hut book. Add you backcountry hut pass number or pay your dues with hut tickets.
  • Don’t touch other people’s things.
  • Make room for others cooking and sitting down to eat.
  • Chat and be friendly.
  • Don’t act like you own the place because you have a big group or you got there first.
  • Keep quiet when people are trying to sleep. That includes mornings: it’s not your decision when everybody should get up.
  • Don’t leave food/scraps around as it attracts pests.
  • Stack mattresses vertically before you leave to prevent mice nesting and aid ventilation.
  • Wipe down surfaces and give the hut a sweep when you leave.
  • Restock wood supplies and leave dry kindling for the next group,  but don’t cut living trees.
  • Ventilate the hut, especially around cooking areas, but secure windows before leaving.
  • Don’t put rubbish in the fire or the toilet.
  • Carry all your rubbish out with you, and any rubbish others have left!

After a Trip

We like to share information and photos from trips in our Newsletter Blog. Your leader may ask for a volunteer to write up a short trip report. It is useful to include information that helps future trips, e.g. routes, camps, times, as well as a tale of what the group got up to. Photos are always appreciated.

If you have any feedback about the trip then please let the leader and know.

You will need to return any club gear to the club rooms the Wednesday after your trip.

Finally, if you enjoyed your trip then start thinking about the next one you want to sign up to!