the best day-walks in each region


  • Footsteps exists to facilitate the best day-walks in twenty regional segments of NZ.

In future, this will probably extend to overseas walking trips, usually during the northern hemisphere summer.

  • Footsteps is not a commercial enterprise. It is a club, and operates much the same as any other outdoor club. The difference is that it has a national constituency. Participants on trips become members for the duration of their trip. It is simply a mechanism that enables groups of friends to gather informally in order to enjoy walking activities.
  • Footsteps do not have a constitution but operates according to pre-determined guidelines (see below).
  • Footsteps operates on a no-frills, share-the-cost, not-for-profit basis. Any monies in excess of requirements are donated to charity.
  • Footsteps is led and operated by Phillip Donnell, who has had more than 50 years walking and hiking experience. He has led hundreds of walking excursions in NZ and overseas under the auspices of his tramping club and FMC NZ, or with friends.
  • Footsteps invites everyone who participates in a trip to become a “Friend of Footsteps” and thereby receive ongoing information if they so wish.


  • Each trip in New Zealand is one week in duration, but trips are often chronologically consecutive and geographically contiguous, so it is possible to undertake a series of them one after the other (see schedule on next page).
  • Ten regional trips are offered per year, five in the North Island and five in the South Island. Our schedule covers the entire country every two years.
  • Our regional trips are concentrated in the warmer months which afford the best chance of favourable weather. We avoid the frantic end-of-year/Christmas period and the busyness/high prices of the school holidays. Some trips are timed to coincide with autumn colours or minimal snow.
  • The maximum number of participants on any trip is ten. The minimum is six.

Note: some trips may proceed with 4 or 5 people by agreement, but with a higher per-person cost. If 5 persons + $200pp. If 4 persons +$250pp.

  • Registrations for each trip close two months before the starting date.
  • Final payments must be made one month before the trip is due to begin.
  • Participants find their own way from their home to the designated starting point of a trip, and from the designated finishing point back to their home. These points are all accessible by plane or train. Sometimes transport is made available at low cost.
  • Our trips involve walking, not hiking. They do not require serious backcountry equipment. Each person brings a day-pack with limited gear and a small amount of food and drinks to last just a few hours. No alcohol may be carried on walks. Walks are also smoke-free and drug-free..
  • We walk at a pace that permits us to fully appreciate our surroundings. We may therefore attempt only a section of longer trail.
  • Our walks can be undertaken by anyone of average fitness or better.
  • The length of walks varies from 5 minutes to several hours. Each day will offer the choice of shorter walks and longer walks. There is a lot of choice and flexibility so that we can adjust to the conditions from day today. Except for trips that require pre-booking, the agenda is decided by group consensus ahead of time. Sometimes the group may split to make walks more logistically practical and/or to save time.
  • Walks are offered each day but the programme may be altered to suit the weather conditions or unexpected circumstances. You can do as little or as much as you wish each day. On any given day you can finish early or opt out completely to “do your own thing.”
  • Trip fees cover van transport, cabin/hostel/motel/AirBnB accommodation, breakfasts, farewell dinner subsidy, administration, information, and a possible “gift of appreciation” for the leader. One-week trips usually cost $750-1000pp, which is paid before the trip begins. The trip leader’s expenses are factored into the overall cost.
  • Footsteps reserves the right to cancel trips. If a trip is cancelled for whatever reason, refunds are given less any non-refundable costs already incurred.
  • Footsteps reserves the right to exclude a person from a trip or walk for appropriate reasons (e.g. inadequate fitness, disruptive, drunk).
  • Except for breakfast (continental style), which is provided, trips are self-catering so that you can enjoy the food and drink that you prefer, dining in or eating out. We only utilise accommodation which has kitchen facilities. Opportunities for supermarket shopping are included. Participants are welcome to work together in this aspect. The farewell dinner is subsidised.
  • Participants provide their own clothing and equipment, including day-packs, walking poles, rainwear, and footwear. Footsteps provides PLBs and First Aid kits.
  • Footsteps fully adheres to the Privacy Act and the Health and Safety Act. We collect only the information needed for participation in our activities, and all activities undergo a thorough risk assessment/risk management process. However, everyone participates entirely at their own risk, and must sign a waiver to that effect.


the best day-walks in each region


Full details of each trip are available upon enquiry
Northland 7-13 November Whangarei Whangarei
Auckland 14-20 November Auckland Auckland
Waikato 21-27 November Hamilton Hamilton
Coromandel 28 Nov-4 Dec Tauranga Tauranga
Bay of Plenty 5-11 December Tauranga Tauranga
North Canterbury 6-12 February Christchurch Christchurch
Central/South Canterbury 13-19 February Christchurch Christchurch
Fiordland 27 Feb-5 March Invercargill Invercargill
Southland and Stewart Island 6-12 March Invercargill Invercargill
TASMANIA 17 March-10 April Hobart Hobart
Otago 17-23 April Dunedin Dunedin
Eastland 6-12 November Tauranga Napier
Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa 13-19 November Napier Wellington
Southwest North Island (Wellington-Horo-whenua-Manawatu) 20-26 November Wellington Palmerston North
Taranaki 27 Nov-3 Dec New Plymouth New Plymouth
Central North 4-10 December Taupo Taupo


For further information

please contact us:

[email protected]

021 172 3244 / 07 544 9509


Related Articles

Back to top button