Throughout the country there are many mountain clubs which have played an important role in the encouragement of tramping and mountaineering, the senior being the New Zealand Alpine Club. This was formed in 1891 largely on the model of the Alpine Club, London, and has branches in each of the principal cities, as well as one in Sydney to represent Australia. The other major climbing club is the Canterbury Mountaineering Club in Christchurch, and both have built a considerable number of huts in the Southern Alps. In the North Island there are over 26 tramping clubs and in the South Island over nine. Total membership today amounts to about 4,500. The Tararua Tramping Club, which was founded in 1919, is the largest. With the Tararua Ranges so readily accessible from Wellington, it was in fact the first home of tramping. Although clubs are mainly concerned with tramping and have built huts and tracks throughout most of the tramping areas, many of them encourage some mountaineering among their members. Because of the nature of New Zealand bush and hill country, tramping is a craft of some standing in itself and makes a smooth transition into mountaineering proper. To coordinate and represent the joint interests of all the mountain clubs, the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand was founded as a national body in 1931. This has representatives on most of the National Park Boards and on a number of other national and regional bodies. Ski-ing clubs and deer-stalking associations are affiliated to it. It plays a major part in the national Search and Rescue Organisation, in the fostering of safety in the mountains, and, more recently, in the organisation of mountain-craft instruction.
by John Henry Leonard, M.SC., Secretary, Auckland Section, New Zealand Alpine Club, Auckland.
- The High Alps of New Zealand, Green, W. S. (1883)
- Climbs in the New Zealand Alps, Fitzgerald, E. A. (1896)
- Pioneer Work in the Alps of New Zealand, Harper, A. P. (1896)
- Great Days in New Zealand Mountaineering, Pascoe, J. D. (1958)
- New Zealand Alpine Journal (1892–1964).