Let’s go tramping Wellington

Back to nature – island adventure

You won’t get a much better overnight nature experience than at Matiu/Somes Island, just a 20 minute ferry ride from Wellington.

This wildlife haven has heaps to offer, both as a nature reserve and as an historic reserve. There is a range of accommodation available on the island from camping to fully self-contained houses. With views across the harbour, little blue penguins to serenade you at dusk and sunsets to die for, you can be sure to enjoy a real island-getaway experience with the sound of native birds around you. Prices range from $10 per person for camping to $200 per night for houses (sleeps 8-10).

Cool camping

If you’re one for getting out in the great outdoors there’s heaps of camping options on offer. Whether it’s part of a tramping trip in the bush or an overnight excursion to an island getaway – there are camping options for all:

The Tararuas

•    Otaki Forks, Waiohine Gorge and Holdsworth campsites.

•    Rimutaka Forest Park.

•    Catchpool Valley campground (a very popular one in summer) and Graces Stream campsite (a short walk into the park).

Wellington

•    Matiu/Somes Island camping.

Prices are $10 per adult or $5 per child, with under fives camping for free.

Huts in the bush

If you like a nature experience with a solid roof over your head then DOC’s hut options are for you. There are a range of different huts across the Kapiti-Wellington region varying in size and comfort level.

In the Tararua Forest Park, for example, there are several easily accessible back-country huts, which are on a first come, first served basis. They all have mattresses, water and toilets. Prices range from $5 – $15 per night for adults, $2.50 – $5 for youths (11 to 17-year-olds) and free for under 11s.

Luxury lodges – comfort tramping style

If you’re after something a bit more luxurious then look no further than our luxury lodges, some with flushing toilets and hot showers!

In the Rimutaka Forest Park, bookings are for exclusive use of huts, with prices ranging from $35 for a four-bunk hut to $115 for 14-bunk accommodation.

Turere Lodge is the newest attraction in the park. The 32-bunk DOC facility has four bunk rooms, large communal cooking/gathering facilities and a deck that takes in the stunning views of the Orongorongo Valley. This authentic New Zealand forest, packed with palms, ferns and huge rata trees, has fantastic views and good swimming holes in the river. Just a 45 minute drive from Wellington, this one’s sure to satisfy.

Bookings are still available over the Christmas period so get in quick to nab this luxury lodge for your family festivities. Fees are $80 per bunk room (with eight bunks per room) or $320 for your group to enjoy the entire lodge.

For more information visit wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz or phone 04-384-7770.

For a full list of DOC accommodation options visit http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-stay/.