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New Zealand Walks

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. There is no charge required for walking access to the Great Walks, however, charges apply for overnight accommodation at the huts or campsites.

The retreating glacier sits above a rock face of cascading waterfalls. This isn’t an overly difficult hike, but you have to be careful with your footing. The most difficult hike we did in NZ was the one to French Ridge Hut. The first 3-4 but once you cross the river, it’s all fun. You will need to lift yourself up using tree roots or trunks as the ascent can be nearly vertical at times. Once you reach the bushline, you will follow an uphill polled path 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.

Expert tracks, on the other hand, are often steep and rugged and traverse 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. What better way to experience this phenomenal nature than on foot? Multi-day hikes long-arrow-right New Zealand’s multi-day hikes allow you to experience some of the country’s best scenery, native birds, wildlife, national parks and diverse landscapes. New Zealand is one of the best countries for hiking so start planning your holiday now.

The entire trail is 60 kilometres from start to finish , which typically takes 4 nights/5 days to complete. But if you’re short on time and still want to experience the park, there are many incredible day hikes to choose from. This mostly flat trail follows an old farm vehicle road through grazing farmland and meadows. Water crossings can be tricky or easy depending on the rainfall. With consistent river and mountain views, there’s something really relaxing about hiking here.

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. We’ve assembled our favorite hiking trails below for both the North and South Islands. There are many short and long day hikes, as well as 2-day hikes.

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 having booked the track accommodation, as both ends of the track require boat transport to get there. The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is popular for day walks, even if you don’t have overnight accommodation. Even the middle sections of the track are accessible 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. The walk takes you through volcanic terrain, near high peaks, and sulfur lakes, before ending in dense forest.

As they crash through South Island, the majestic mountains of well over 3,000m rise to the top. Up north, there are bays of glinting sand and deep-blue seas, home to dolphins and whales and rugged islands. There are many between the two.

Which is the best way to visit New Zealand?

The entire trail can be hiked in four months. However, because it is connected to existing trails, shorter sections are possible. New Zealand is an island country measuring 300km in its largest point and surrounded by several mountain ranges. This can make the weather unpredictable. When you go on a day hike, make sure you check the weather forecast. Also, even if you are only going for a short time, bring enough clothing to keep you covered for any eventualities. You can find some suggestions on what to take on our recommended gearlist.

  • I did a huge NZ road trip with my mum once and on that trip, we could only do easy hikes as she is definitely not a hiker.
  • There are many amazing day hikes that you can do if you have a limited time but still want to see the park.
  • The hike takes approximately 7-8 hours so be prepared to hike for at least a full day.
  • Although it encompasses 23 peaks over 3,000 meters high, this park is very accessible.
  • This walk is a one-day hike that’s been voted the best in New Zealand. It takes you to the location where Lord of the Rings filmed Mordor.
  • Typically hikers allow 3-4 days to complete theTe Paki Coastal Track.

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 for a mesmerizing Fiordland panorama as the cloud blanket disperses in the rising sun. Nelson Lakes National Park is one of our favorite hiking destinations in New Zealand. The trails are very quiet and the views are breathtaking. The St. Arnaud Range Track begins at Kerr Bay, and climbs to the top of the St. Arnaud Mountain Range.

  • This 17.2 kilometre (10.7 mile) trail normally takes 8 hours to complete in its entirety.
  • The stargazing here is far from the city lights — Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is the largest International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand.
  • So, if you’re asking “where should I hike in New Zealand,” or “what are the best backcountry hut hikes,” keep reading because we’ve got you covered.
  • Depending on the hut you choose and the season, the cost of a night in a hut may vary from $5 to $70.
  • This track is where many people die each year, and it is not to be underestimated.
  • The trailhead begins 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from Queenstown, along the Queenstown – Glenorchy road.