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16 Incredible New Zealand Hikes + Local Tips

Hikers typically take 3-4 days to complete the Te Paki Coastal Track. You can camp at DOC campsites along the way – all you need is your equipment. The Milford Track is the most famous of the 10 Great Walks in NZ. It is so popular that bookings are often made for it. the huts along the trail could be compared to getting concert tickets – it’s crazy!

The track is 10 km in length and takes roughly 3 hours to complete. This is one of the easiest day hikes in the country because the terrain is flat. This Great Walk is 46 km in distance and takes you on a journey from the south to the north side of the lake.

hiking in new zealand

Along the way you can expect to see wild seas, panoramic mountain views, New Zealand fur seal and the old lighthouse. If you opt to go self-guided, you’ll have to book through the Department of Conservation website well ahead. For the next season, bookings open in June. You’ll need to book your Great Walk accommodation well in advance as they can sell out quickly, sometimes in just a few hours/days.

At the hut, claim your bunk, then savor meditative sunset views to the iconic Mount Cook summitand the distant valley below. Katabatic winds churn clouds down steep cliff faces above, and the occasional sound of thunder marks distant avalanches. Calling the Tongariro crossing day hike ‘short and easy’ downplays how dangerous it is. People die on this track each year and this mountain is not to be underestimated. There are countless amazing hikes and tracks, ranging from week-long trails to 20-minute circuits, leading along beaches, through a forest, or to beautiful waterfalls.

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These hikes are easy to enjoy thanks to the well-maintained trails and huts that are New Zealand’s best. For those who are very experienced hikers, a few of these tracks are still worth doing, especially the Fiordland hikes. This stunning 48km coastal track (28.9 mi) passes the Cape Reinga Lighthouse, the North Island’s most Northern point.

They zip left and right, occasionally opening onto rocky outcrops that make for perfect photo stops. Near the summit, hikers cross the ridges connecting Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. The scene is dashed with tussocks and topped by the spires of the Mount Aspiring National Park to the west. My mum and I once did a huge NZ roadtrip. We could only do easy hikes because she is not a hiker. One trail I found that we both loved was the Truman Track near Punakaiki.

How much money will I need to spend 2 weeks in New Zealand for this?

Far from city lights, the stargazing here is magnificent — Aoraki Mount Cook National Park forms the majority of New Zealand’s only International Dark Sky Reserve. The area is considered the best for mountaineers in Australasia. However, less experienced adventurers will enjoy the many beautiful hikes and stunning views. The Hooker Valley Track is an easy going day hike located in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

  • Some signs are visible, but others are not. It pays to do your research.
  • The Hooker Valley Track is an easy going day hike located in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
  • There are three main types of hiking tracks in New Zealand; short walks, day hikes and multi-day hikes.
  • There are two stunning alpine lakes, a mountain pass, and views into the heart of the Fiordland.

The Southern Alps is a mountain range that stretches most of the length of the South Island. It is here that you will find the country’s stunning glaciers and best alpine landscapes. These are the best hiking trails to enjoy this incredible nature: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Parks, Fiordland National Parks and Mount Aspiring National Parks. The drive to Isthmus Peak trailhead is difficult, as the milky-blue waters at Lake Hawea flash by car windows. Park up at one of the two lots on Makarora-Lake Hawea Road and then hit the track. The path becomes grassy as it runs between farm fields that are framed by the Otago high-eastern ranges.

The most demanding hiking trails are multi-day hikes, these are usually long-distance tracks that require you to carry more equipment, food and water than day hikes. Day hikes can be more difficult than short walks because the hike is often longer and more strenuous. Day hikes can take anywhere from 3-8 hours to complete but some day hikes can still be very attainable for most people. It’s no secret that New Zealand is a country that takes your breath away – sometimes even literally.