Here are a couple of Handy Tips for your Throughtramp that don't fit anywhere else:
- The Hut Pass: The DOC offices sell the 6 month Backcountry Hut Pass for 92$. The 6 months should be more than enough for a Through-tramp, but if you're staying longer in New Zealand and if you are a YHA member, you can get a 1 year Backcountry Hut Pass for 100$ instead of 122$ as sold by the I-sites. More information on the DOC Page.
- Staying in Hostels: There are 2 big chains of Hostels in New Zealand, the BBH and the YHA. If you are a member, you get a slight discount on your nightly rates and free wifi. However the YHAs offer a "Low Carbon Traveller" rebate of an additional 25%. You can only get it when you are travelling on foot or by bike. This makes it by far the cheapest option of staying in hostels. You have to have a letter form YHA Headquarter to qualify as a carbon neutral traveller. More Info on the YHA Low Carbon Traveller Site. Not all YHA hostels along the Te Araroa participate in the programm. These are the ones en route:
- North Island
- South Island
- Arthur's Pass
- Lake Tekapo <- Camp with your tent in the garden to save extra extra $$$
- Te Anau
- North Island
- Sim Cards: All major New Zealand mobile providers(Telecom/Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees, etc.) have a $20 a month plan with unlimited Texts, more than enough minutes, and not enough data (500MB per month). Telecom/Spark has the same offer, but they have a lot of wifi hotspots that you are able to use throughout the country. These are pink phone booths and give you 1GB of data per day. They are even in remote locations like Saint Arnaud. More Info at Telecom. Make sure to unlock your smartphone before you leave your home country.
- Most of the i sites (Information Centers) and libraries in New Zealand have a free wifi.