Hiking in New Zealand is often made possible by the cooperative effort between landowners and the hikers. This is a similar relationship to the one we found in Europe.
Without this cooperation we would be excluded from enjoying the magnificent views from the mountain ridgelines and the lovely activity of birds in the rainforests and along rivers. Hikers respect that the land is owned and used for grazing and farming, “treading lightly” on the trails. Landowners trust that the gates to enter and leave will be properly closed, or install stepping platforms over their fences to facilitate crossing properties when no gate is available. In this way everyone is encouraged to share the beauty of a land where the familiar “No Trespassing” signs of the United States are non-existent.
We just experienced the benefits of this mutual respect high atop Mount Kaukau (pronounced like cow-cow), so we could climb to see not only the whole Wellington harbor area below us but also the South Island 50 miles away.
And we enjoyed similar pleasures where we traversed public and private properties at several spots along the west coast of the South Island and along East Coast on the North Island.
Cheers to this on-going relationship!
(For more pictures from New Zealand, CLICK HERE to view the slideshow at the end of the New Zealand itinerary page.)