Site Overlay

10 Easy Walks That You Can Take With Your Kids On The South Island Of New Zealand

The retreating glacier is situated above a rock face with cascading waterfalls. Although this is not a difficult hike, you need to be careful with your feet. The most difficult hike we did in NZ was the one to French Ridge Hut. The first 3-4 hours are largely flat, but once you cross the river, it’s all fun. The ascent is near vertical in some places, and you need to hoist yourself up using tree roots and trunks. Once you get above the bushline, you’ll follow an uphill polled route to the hut.

One of the best parts about hiking in New Zealand, is that there are tracks and trails to suit everyone. Whether you are just looking for a family-friendly hike or a challenging multi-day trip you will be able to find it here. There are three types of hiking tracks available in New Zealand: day hikes, short walks, and multi-day hikes. Active volcanoes, glaciers and large lakes are all around.

The entire trail is 60 kilometres from start to finish , which typically takes 4 nights/5 days to complete. There are many amazing day hikes that you can do if you have a limited time but still want to see the park. This mostly flat trail follows an old farm vehicle road through grazing farmland and meadows. There are some water crossings that range from easy to tricky depending on the rainfall. With consistent river and mountain views, there’s something really relaxing about hiking here.

  • For those who are very experienced hikers, a few of these tracks are still worth doing, especially the Fiordland hikes.
  • There are many great hiking opportunities in the north of South Island.
  • Along the way, you’ll pass a few waterfalls before eventually arriving at the viewpoint.
  • Pre-booking is required for beds in the backcountry cabins along these tracks to limit hikers.

It is illegal to camp within 500m of a Great Walk track, or within 1 km (0.62 mi) from the Milford Track. This is to preserve the tracks. It is not possible to access the Milford Track without You have booked accommodation at the track. Both ends of the track require boat transport. Sections of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track are particularly popular for day walks without overnight accommodation, as even the middle sections are serviced by water taxis. Labeled the best one-day hike in New Zealand, this walk takes you through where they filmed Mordor in Lord of the Rings. You walk through volcanic terrain, near high peaks and sulfur lakes, before finishing off in a dense forest.

The best way to experience New Zealand is with your own two feet. We explored as many trails as possible during our three-month trip to NZ. Below are our top picks for hiking trails in both the North and South Islands. You’ll find a range of short and long day hikes as well as 2-day hikes.

  • To conserve the tracks, it is illegal to camp within 500 metres of a Great Walk track or 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of the Milford Track except at designated campsites.
  • This complete guide to hiking in New Zealand will give you all the information you need to have a successful trip on the trails.
  • Follow SH6 south from the main township to the glacier. Turn left at the Waiho River bridge.
  • It’s one of the more challenging hikes, but the views of emerald mountain lakes and smoking steam vents make every drop of sweat worth it!
  • The trail begins by leading you through Douglas fir, and into lush native beech forest until you break the tree line at 800 metres of elevation.

Not only are the official Great Walks worth exploring, but there are many other tracks and trails that are just as worthwhile. Some you might read about in guidebooks like our favourite day walks listed above, while others fly a little more under the radar. Walking access to the Great Walks is free. However, overnight accommodation at the huts and campsites can be charged.

10 “Great Walks” of New Zealand: Beaches, Forest, and Mountains By Foot – National Geographic

10 “Great Walks” of New Zealand: Beaches, Forest, and Mountains By Foot.

Posted: Fri, 11 Feb 2022 05:15:10 GMT [source]

The entire trail can be hiked in four months. However, existing trails, shorter sections are possible. As an island country, 300km at its widest point, with several mountain ranges, the weather in New Zealand can be very changeable at times. You should always check the forecast when you’re going out for a day hike, and even though you may be only going out for a few hours, take enough spare clothing with you to cover all eventualities. You can find some suggestions on what to take on our recommended gearlist.

What is New Zealand’s definition of hiking?

This popular route is a great way to meet people, but you won’t notice it as you climb the tussock-lined Ridge amid the snowcapped peaks rising steeply from the South Fiord. Take the 10-minute side hike up 4,829-foot Mt. Luxmore offers a stunning Fiordland panorama, as the cloud blanket fades in the rising sunlight. Nelson Lakes National Park is one of our favorite hiking destinations in New Zealand. There’s very light traffic on the trails and the views are simply phenomenal. The St. Arnaud Range Track begins at Kerr Bay, and climbs to the top of the St. Arnaud Mountain Range.

On the other hand, expert tracks are often steep and rugged, traversing challenging backcountry environments. There are many trails and tracks to choose from, so there is a walk for everyone, regardless of your level of fitness or hiking experience. If both of these seem a bit too strenuous for you, our World Heritage New Zealand walking tour might be more suitable. There is no better way to see this amazing nature than by foot. Multi-day hikes long arrow-right New Zealand’s multiday hikes offer the chance to see some of the best scenery, wildlife, and diverse landscapes in the country. New Zealand is one of the best countries for hiking so start planning your holiday now.

hiking in new zealand

Soaring mountains well over 3,000 metres crown the great ranges as they crash through the South Island. There are many bays of glinting white sand and deep blue seas up north that are home to whales and dolphins as well as rugged islands. There are many between the two.