How Fit Do I need to be?
I would recommend hill walking as much as you can if you don't already have good cardio fitness. It doesn't have to be long – I had a 5km loop which i did 3-4 times per week and then I added longer walks in towards the last 6 weeks before I did the hike. The last 4 training walks (none was longer than 11km – roughly 3 hours of walking for me) I walked with a backpack of about 5kg. I was actually surprised how easy I found the hike overall – but our weather was wonderful (only a half day of rain – on the steepest longest day). Not everyone finds it so easy – on our trip a woman in her 70’s struggled and took 12 hours ( to my 8) to reach the Clinton Lodge after crossing the Mackinnon Pass – and that was with others in our group carrying her gear! The guides ultimately have the final decision on whether you can continue the walk safely (taking in to consideration the other hikers and guide safety) or whether you have to turn around and go back the way you came and walk back out to the Te Anau end.