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My friends and I are wanting to do an overnight tramp. But we want to do it with compasses and maps. Not following a track.
I'm finding it hard to find any information on good places to do this kind of thing.
Also, we are based in Auckland. So a North Island option is best.
Ruapehu/Tongariro has plenty of scope for nice off track travel. Anything further north would most likely involve a lot of bush bashing.
Also have a look at the Umukarikari-Thunderbolt loop in the Kaimanawas as it has 1 day of off-track travel. Not a good option in low visibility.
Second both of these suggestions.
For Kaimanawas, Waipakihi River is also good.
For Tongarairo a fav trip is Mangetopopo, south crater, traverse anticlockwise around Ngaurahoe to the tarn above Upper Tama, nice camping in a canyon there. Then either drop down to Tama and return via track, or follow the long ridge down to Waihohonu and return via crossing or push a route up the lava flow above Oturere to south crater.
For some other really neat country try the Ruahines. We had a fantastic four days in the southern area in a whiteout using GPS the whole way. Iron Gate, Triangle, ridge to Howletts and back. Bit of river bashing to Triangle!
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