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The Best Short Hikes On The North And South Islands Of New Zealand

From here, you will hike through alpine tunsock until you reach the saddle at 1,326m. You will continue on to the summit via a slightly more technical section. Ben Lomond’s summit is 1,748m high and offers unobstructed views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding snowcapped mountain peaks. The Alex Knob Track begins at the Alex Knob Carpark and leads you up the true left side of the valley. The 17.2 kilometre (10.7 mi) trail takes approximately 8 hours to complete. It is recommended for experienced hikers because of its technical and steep sections.

  • Day hikes can take anywhere from 3-8 hours to complete but some day hikes can still be very attainable for most people.
  • DOC is a government department that looks after all our hiking tracks and trails.
  • You’ll walk through New Zealand’s diverse ecosystems, including glacial river valleys and rolling grasslands. You’ll also cross rugged terrain and get resupplied in several towns.
  • The huts that line the trail could be compared with concert tickets. It’s crazy!

It takes approximately 3-4 days to complete the hike, which is one of the best lakeside hikes in the country. Panekire Bluff’s and Panekire Hut’s views are the highlights of the hike. From these viewpoints, you can see the entire lake. Multi-day hikes can be done overnight or over a longer period of time. Some of the most difficult tracks can take up to 9 days to complete. The country’s ten Great Walks are the most popular multi-day hikes. This brings us to the next point.

To get to Stewart Island, you will need to take a ferry flight or a flight. Ferries take 1 hour and cost 79 NZD, while Invercargill flights take 15 minutes and are 225 NZD each way. The “Great Walks”, which are New Zealand’s most popular multi-day hikes, are generally regarded as the best.

The South Island has its own unique routes, as well, including the Milford Track, which winds its way through the fjords of Milford Sound. Great Walks are popular and must be booked in advance. The Ben Lomond hike is one the most rewarding hikes in South Island. The hike is approximately 6-8 hours long, unless you take the Skyline gondola up to the tree line. Your journey begins near the centre of town, at the One Mile car park. The trail starts by taking you through Douglas Fir, then into lush native beech forest until the tree line at 800m elevation.

Some scrambling might be required, so it’s not a good option after heavy rainfall. However, the final piece de resistance is that panorama of the colossal Franz Joseph Glacier. The entire trail is a 60 kilometre loop which starts and finishes at the Control Gates on Lake Te Anau, and typically takes 3 to 4 days to complete.

hiking in new zealand

The Department of Conservation website is the best place to begin if you are interested in planning an independent hike trip. DOC is a government department that looks after all our hiking tracks and trails. Their website is full of useful information. You’ll find track details such as distance and terrain covered as well as highlights. It is best to check the website and speak with staff at the local DOC office before you go on your hike. Conditions can change quickly.