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GO NZ: The best guided mountain hikes

Hump Ridge Track, Tuatapere. Photo / Supplied

Luckily, oxygen masks need not be carried but our great outdoors can take your breath away, writes Ewan McDonald

Call it 100% pure Aotearoa: with 87 per cent of the Team of 5 Million living in cities, one of the world's most urban populations, thousands of Kiwis live for the weekend and fleeing to the bush and rivers and valleys and mountains.

You don't need to have grown up wearing a Swanndri and boots to enjoy the greatest outdoors. Even in the heart of Auckland, beginners can escape into nature on easy walks of less than an hour – as many have discovered in recent months.

And even if you've been into the bush a few times, there are always bigger and better adventures out there.

Before you take off, please do your homework, get the right gear and study the Mountain Safety Council's advice, easily accessible with their new Plan My Walk app, designed to make planning simple.