New Zealand has a fantastic hut system with other 950 huts. Most of the huts in the system are available on a first come, first serve basis. The ten Great Walks all require advanced bookings during the Great Walk season 1 October through 30 April. Six of the Great Walks require advanced bookings year round, but the Milford Track, Routeburn Track, Kepler Track, Tongariro Northern Circuit, and Whanganui Journey do not require an advanced booking outside of the Great Walk season.
When to book a Great Walk
- Every June the DoC announces when bookings will open for the upcoming Great Walk season
- Bookings typically open in late June/July
- Many Great Walks fill up, but space periodically opens if people cancel.
- You cannot book for the same day online, but you can book in a DoC Visitor Center
How to book a Great Walk
- Register at the Department of Conservation booking website
- Fill out the registration information. Use your home address.
- Click on the Great Walks tab at the top of the website.
- Select the Great Walk, number of nights, and time that you are interested in
- Choose the huts and campsites that you are interested in for the specific night. Nights in red are fully booked and nights with an exclamation point have low availability. You can hover over the day with your cursor to find the exact number of bunks left.
- Complete the payment and wait for your confirmation email.
All of the Great Walks have two pricing tiers, during the Great Walk season and outside of the Great Walk season. Four of the Great Walks, Kepler Track, Milford Track, Abel Tasman Track, and the Routeburn Track have “differential pricing.” This means that the pricing is higher for people that reside outside of New Zealand than those that live in New Zealand. New Zealand decided to implement the differential pricing due to having a $3.8 million yearly budget shortfall for maintaining the Great Walks and the associated infrastructure. They hope to recoup $2.9 million annually with the increased fees.
What was your experience booking a New Zealand Great Walk hut? Our guides to campervan relocations, car rental relocations, and discount websites can help make traveling around New Zealand less expensive.