I have no doubt that the normal drinking / tap water is absolutely safe in New Zealand...however
we are embarking on a 4 day hiking trip where the water accessible to us will be from streams and lakes.
Although there is only a small risk of Giardia we have been told to treat any water we use.
Does anyone have recommendations on which options are best please? (Boiling the water will not always be possible).
We have looked at Iodine and Chlorine already, but Iodine is not suitable as one of us suffers from a Thyroid problem.
Has anyone used the Aquapure Traveller Bottle?
Thanks for any advice and opinions...Dini
Hello Nadine 😊
I moved this to the Oceania forum.
There are water filters that are designed especially for treating Giardia, and they can filter very large amounts of water. I think that you can buy them in most hiking stores in New Zealand.
FWIW - I didn't filter (despite having one with me) and I drank it by the gallons there on multiple hikes (Routeburn, Kepler, Abel Tasman) and never had any problems. The DOC people always gave their official statement that water should be treated...but would then say that they have been drinking the water for years without any problems.
So...feel free to treat the water, but it's probably not a huge risk if you don't.
I agree with Marc, but I actually met people who got giardia from drinking water from rivers and lakes.
Thanks for the replies everyone! Dini
We took some tablets called Aquatabs with us just in case - they were pretty cheap, available in most high street chemists and nice and lightweight to carry. We only used them a couple of times and they didn't make the water taste bad although it did smell a bit chlorine-ish. Not sure if they are suitable for people with thyroid problems though... Enjoy your hikes : )
Cheaper solution is a few drops of iodine then wait half an hour before drinking. Does give a slight aftertaste.
Generally you are fine to drink from the fast flowing alpine streams without treatment or boiling, even from lakes like Wakatipu in Queenstown. However there are plenty of farm animals around some areas and this is when you need to take care. 😊
It depends on where you're tramping.
There are no recorded cases of Giardia in the Fiordlands, but other places it is certainly present. Buying a filter is your best bet, but you can always rent one as well. You say boiling the water won't always be an option, but if you have a small cookstove, it should be possible most of the time.