What fitness level do you need to join us on the Bucket List Walk? Firstly, most of the walking trails on the Bucket List Walk are of easy to moderate difficulty. They range from well-formed paths to tracks broken with tree roots, rocks and mud. Some of the trails are harder, such as The Pinnacles and Tongariro Alpine Crossing walks, however these days are optional and we can find other things to keep you busy if you’d rather sit those days out. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the longest and most challenging track on the Bucket List Walk itinerary – it’s 19.4km and includes a heart-pumping climb up the Mangatepopo Saddle, but boy is it worth it! There’s nothing else quite like it in the North Island.
Secondly, on average you should be able to walk for 6 – 7 hours a day and carry a daypack with your lunch, water, raincoat and warm layers. In preparation for completing the Bucket List Walk, it’s a great idea to start a training program beforehand that includes tracks with stairs. Perhaps complete a few shorter multi-day walks in the months beforehand to satisfy yourself that your fitness is adequate. Of the full 12 day itinerary, we will be doing 2 days of moderate-hard grading, 5 days of moderate grading and 5 days of easy graded walks. On the challenging days, we make sure we take our time and have plenty of short, strategic breaks to rest and hydrate.
Most importantly, every evening, over dinner, your guide will give you a detailed briefing on what to expect for the following day. We like to keep things relaxed so the faster walkers can go on ahead and the ‘plodders’ can take their time at the back without worrying about holding anyone up! If you have any issues with heights, please let us know beforehand and we can alert you to the specific areas of each track that you may find challenging. For more in depth information take a nosy through our helpful blog post on fitness for your guided walk.