Going on a Trip

This page sets out how to join a club trip and what to expect.
You don’t need to be a member to join club trips. Feel free to try out a few tramps before becoming a member.

If you have any questions about club trips, come meet us on a club night or contact the Chief Guide.

Choosing and Signing up for a trip

  1. To select a trip, we suggest you first consult the Grades and Types of Trips page to help you decide:
    – what type of trip you would like to do.
    – 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.
  2. Check the Trip Schedule to find a trip that matches what you are looking for, and complete the online signup form for that trip.

Other useful things to know:

  • If you have questions about a specific trip, contact the trip leader or email the Chief Guide for more information.
  • Signup closes three weeks or four weeks before the trip, for the North Island and South Island respectively. This allow sufficient time to organise food, transport etc. 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
  • Signing up represents a commitment 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.

Before the Trip

  1. The trip leader will be in touch with you after sign up closes. They will:
    – provide an outline of the trip and what to expect
    – allocate club gear and communal food to everyone in the group
    – if relevant, ask further questions about your experience or fitness.
  2. Pay the trip fee – The trip leader will confirm the fee, how to pay it and by when.
  3. Pack up! Check out the gear list to make sure you have everything you need. In particular:
    – bring warm and waterproof layers, as well as good boots
    – make sure you bring a groundsheet, sleeping mat and emergency blanket – to keep safe if there is a problem on the track
  4. Pick up an item of communal gear from the club (allocated by the trip leader) – club gear can be picked up from the club between 7-7.30pm on the Wednesday before your trip
  5. Bring food and water. You will need:
    – your own breakfasts, lunches and snacks
    – ingredients for the communal dinner on Saturday (allocated by the trip leader)
    – about 2L of water for overnight tramps

WTMC bank account details – To pay club fees:
Account name: Wellington Tramping & Mountaineering Club
Account number: 38-9017-0330533-00
Reference: First Name – Trip Name – Date (e.g. BobS – Kime Hut – 12Dec)

What is included in the trip fee?

The fee for a trip is specified on the online sign-up sheet for both members and non-members.
Unless otherwise specified, the trip fee only includes transport (which covers petrol costs and ferry costs if applicable, but also van maintenance, storage and insurance costs) and communal gear (e.g. club plb, club first aid kit, club billies, emergency shelters etc).
There may be expenses additional to the trip fee, such as dinner on Friday night, and hut/camping fees. For overnight trips, the leader will often ask participants to buy ingredients for a communal meal. If you are unsure about overall costs, please contact the trip leader.

Please note, refunds are usually not provided if you change your mind after the cut-off date, or for short term illness.
For more information and other situations, please read the Club’s refunds policy.

Other useful things to know:

  • For overall group safety, trip leaders can sometimes refuse people on trips if they are unsure about their ability to complete the trip
  • When it comes to packing – less is more! Follow the gear list and bring what you need, but don’t bring too much extra either. A few extra items can easily add up to another kilo or three to carry.
  • If you are new to tramping, check out these videos from the Mountain Safety Council: Clothing for the outdoors and How to pack for a tramp.

What to expect on a trip

  1. Meet the group at the train station, usually at 5.15pm on Fridays. The trip leader will confirm the exact day and time of departure with you.
  2. You may stop on the way for dinner. Make keep your wallet and head torch handy. You may be camping, staying in a backpacker or a hut on Friday night. This will be confirmed ahead of time by the trip leader.
  3. Enjoy the tramp! On the track, people will walk as a group. The number of people going on a trip ranges from 2 to 12. While it is relatively relaxed, we ask that you follow any requests from the trip leader. We encourage you to speak up if you are tired or hurt, and/or to help others if they need support.
  4. Where you sleep on the Saturday night will depend on the trip, we often stay in DOC huts. However, sometimes huts may be full and you may need to sleep on the floor or under a fly – don’t forget to bring a groundsheet and sleeping mat.
  5. 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.

Other useful things to know:

  • The Saturday night dinner can accommodate a range of dietary requirements. You will be asked for any diet or medical constraints when you sign up for the trip. However in some instances the trip leader may ask you to organise your own dinner.
  • If you stay in DOC huts, you will need a DOC hut ticket or a backcountry hut pass. These can be purchased from outdoor gear shops or a DOC office.
  • If you are new to tramping, check out this video from the Mountain Safety Council: How to travel as a group in the outdoors

Safety on club trips

The Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club is safety-conscious. We have processes to keep everyone safe on the track:

  • The trip leader will assess the risks associated with the route and check the weather forecast.
  • A club plb (or emergency beacon) is brought on every trip, which can be used to call Search & Rescue if a issue arises.
  • A emergency contact system is in place, with someone on call every weekend to support any Search and Rescue operation
  • All groups also carry emergency shelters and a club first aid kit.

Other useful things to know:

  • While there are robust processes in place to keep you safe on the track, it is important to remember that you remain responsible for your own safety. Think of the trip leader as a facilitator or coordinator – this is not a guided trip!
  • We are all volunteers – If you are coming on club trips, please also think about how you could also give back and contribute to running the club. Maybe you can help with driving the vans, support club events, take on a Committee role… Check our volunteering page for more information.

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!