Wild Walks is dedicated to:
Wild Walks is committed to micro-tourism. New Zealand is a precious resource which can not stand the weight of mass tourism. Large tour groups and accommodation complexes offer a cheapened experience. It is less expensive for the tourist but the cost is incompatible with New Zealand's long term environmental well being.
Avoidance of machine prepared tracks
Wilderness travel in New Zealand is challenging. In an effort to accommodate more visitors some tracks are blasted, bulldozed, drained and bridged. While some track work is necessary, Wild Walks guides mainly on those tracks that have not been significantly modified.
Care in travel - "Leave no trace"
Footprints: While the old adage about "leave only footprints" may be applicable in some places, on the hiking trails we guide in NZ sometmes not even a single footprint is appropriate. For us, off the beaten path comes with a heavy responsibility. Any foot traffic potentially has a destructive effect to delicate mosses & alpine plants and we not only do what we can to avoid and minimize any damage but we try to give others an appreciation of how fragile this unique environment is.
Campfires: We don't create new campfire sites. Not only does a campfire destroy the plant life where it is created and cause the potential for an uncontrolled bushfire, it often encourages damaging practices to collect firewood. In fact, whenever, we see new "fire rings" we destroy them and try and return the land to its natural state as much as possible. All the non-alpine Department of Conservation Huts that we use on our hiking treks have wood burning stoves for heating with fuel provided. There are also some places on NZ hiking tracks where campfires are appropriate because they have been established for many many years - your knowledgeable hiking guide will instruct you about this while on your trek.
Zero waste residue
While digging a hole and burying human waste is sometimes the best possible practice, often it is not appropriate. When travelling in the high alpine or glaciated areas, waste is transported to the nearest toilet facility. Waste is walked or flown out from all established camp sites.
Wild Walks is dedicated to providing a self powered wilderness experience. While we accept that motorised travel is a fact of life for transport and access, Wild Walks does not offer or promote motorized recreation in wilderness areas.
We believe that through sharing an understanding of New Zealand's extraordinary natural resources we can help reduce the adverse effects that humans have on the wilderness areas. We believe that it is possible for tourism and wilderness to coexist, but only within very narrow boundaries. Only by constantly examining and improving our wilderness practice, can we hope to retain the unparalleled beauty of New Zealand.
Wild Walks is owned and operated locally. From our guides to the excellent local accommodation and transport operators, we are a part of Wanaka. We all are working to see that this community remains the beautiful paradise it has always been.
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