Hiking is one of the most well-liked recreational activities in New Zealand, enjoyed equally by locals and tourists. Because of the region’s sandy beachfront, fragrant woods, expansive national parks, high mountains in the sky, and brilliant blue lakes, New Zealand is perfect for those who prefer being outside and love to hike. Hiking provides the best opportunity to experience New Zealand’s famously stunning natural scenery up close and personal. Here, we’ll give you a list of the 5 best Hikes in New Zealand.
If you choose New Zealand as your next travel location, you should get in at least a couple of magical hikes along the way. Here, hiking is abundant throughout the land, and you should always take into consideration the number of hiking destinations you want to visit. Once you decide how many locations you’d like to visit and how many places you’d like to see, you can book your airline tickets with FaresMatch. Don’t miss these incredible offers. To help you make a decision on just a few amazing hikes, here are the top five I recommend.
Best 8 Hikes in New Zealand
1. Tongariro Crossing
- Distance: 19.4 kilometers
- Duration: 6-8 hours
- Availability: Year-round
The total distance of the track is 19.4 kilometers long. Time required: between six and eight hours. Open 365 days a year; however, winter has unique challenges because of snow accumulation. The Tongariro Crossing trek, considered one of the most stunning day hiking in the world, is becoming increasingly popular, with summer being the time of year when it is most in demand.
It is a World Heritage Site in two categories and is located within New Zealand’s oldest national park. It first ascends the Mangatepopo Valley to reach the saddle between Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, then passes through South Crater and Red Crater before descending through volcanic scree to reach the Emerald Lakes.
2. Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track
- Distance: 61 kilometers
- Duration: 3 days
- Availability: Check lodge reservations
The distance of the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is 61 km. It took three days to complete. Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track opens in most of the time of year. Because reservations at the lodge are required, you should check the website. The Hump Ridge Track, located in New Zealand’s southern Fiordland, has recently been selected as the newest addition to the Department of Conservation’s Great Walks list, which means that it will soon undergo an upgrade that will cost approximately £2.7 million.
Hikers will go along the south coast of New Zealand, up to the sub-alpine zone of the Hump Ridge, via ancient viaducts, and into the heart of the native forest during the three-day loop. Along the route are two backcountry lodges that travelers can overnight in; each lodge can accommodate up to 40 guests, so make sure to book your room in advance. The highest point on the trail is marked by one of the lodges, while the other is at sea level and is the ideal site to view the elusive Hector’s dolphin.
3. Abel Tasman National Park
- Length: Approximately 60 miles
- Duration: 3-5 days (day treks also available)
The length of Abel Tasman National Park is approximately 60 miles. Time required: anything from three to five days; however, day treks are an option. Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand lies at the northern tip of the South Island, between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay, also known as Te Tai-o-Aorere. It has the name of Abel Tasman, who anchored at Golden Bay close by and was the first European explorer to sight New Zealand in 1642.
Abel Tasman National Park is a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered if the idea of an idyllic paradise filled with golden sand, crystal-clear water, and friendly wildlife appeals to someone. There are numerous methods to get through the Abel Tasman National Park, such as on foot, by boat, or in a kayak. Along the journey, there are many beautiful beaches where one may stop for a swim. A recommendation: Spend the day paddling around Adele Island to see the seals, penguins, and birds that live there.
4. Rakiura Track
- Length: 32-kilometer loop
- Duration: 3 days
- Availability: Year-round
Rakiura, the Length of the Track is a 32-kilometer Loop. It took three days to complete. Open: 365 days a year. Amidst a landscape that hasn’t altered much in millennia, Stewart Island/Rakiura is ideal for those seeking seclusion and tranquillity. Rakiura and Stewart Island are home to a vast bird population. Less than 400 people live on the island, but the dense, unspoiled podocarp forest is a haven for local birds. The track is board-walked for the most part.
Gorgeous undeveloped beaches are unique; a Māori town and sawmill previously stood on Māori Beach. It is one of the more isolated tracks, as it is located on Stewart Island, which is located off the coast of the bottom of the South Island. Along this trail, you will find an abundance of Stewart Island’s famous deserted sandy beaches and wild forests. Stewart Island is noted for its sandy beaches and harsh forests. Stewart Island is home to a sizable population of kiwi birds, so visitors may frequently spot these birds darting across the sand.
5. The Hooker Valley Track
- Distance: 5 kilometers
- Duration: 2 hours (round trip)
- Availability: Year-round
The distance is 10 km long. Time required: a total of three hours to return. Open: 365 days a year. The most well-liked short walking trail in New Zealand’s Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is the Hooker Valley Track. With a length of just 5 km and an elevation rise of only approximately 100 m (330 ft), visitors of all fitness levels can stroll the well-maintained trail. The Department of Conservation is responsible for maintaining the track, which offers access to the proglacial Hooker Lake that is usually home to floating icebergs—and views of Aoraki / Mount Cook. Some say the Hooker Valley Track is among the “greatest day walks in New Zealand.”
6. Milford Track
Distance: 53.5 km (one way)
Duration: 4 days
Availability: Late October to late April
The Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, a designation given to some of the country’s finest trails. Being a Great Walk implies well-maintained tracks, beautiful scenery, and high-quality huts.
Due to its popularity and to manage the environmental impact, reservations are required if you plan to hike the Milford Track during the Great Walks season. This season typically runs from late October to late April.
There are three Department of Conservation (DOC) huts along the track: Clinton Hut, Mintaro Hut, and Dumpling Hut. Hikers are required to stay in these huts, and advanced booking is necessary, especially during peak season. The huts provide basic facilities and sleeping arrangements.
The Milford Track is a one-way track starting at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishing at Milford Sound. The recommended duration for the Milford Track is four days, which allows for a more leisurely pace and the opportunity to appreciate the stunning landscapes along the way.
The Milford Track is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, including pristine lakes, dense rainforests, waterfalls, and alpine meadows. Key landmarks include Mackinnon Pass, Clinton Valley, and Sutherland Falls (one of the tallest waterfalls in New Zealand).
The Milford Track experience typically concludes with a boat cruise on Milford Sound. This cruise provides a unique perspective of the landscape and is a memorable way to end the journey.
7. Routeburn Track
Distance: 32 km (one way)
Duration: 3 days
Availability: Late October to late April
Like the Milford Track, the Routeburn Track is designated as one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. This designation signifies its exceptional natural beauty and well-maintained trail. The Routeburn Track is open for hikers from late October to late April. During this period, the trail is well-maintained, and facilities are available along the route.
The recommended duration for completing the Routeburn Track is three days. This allows hikers to cover the distance at a comfortable pace, enjoy the scenery, and stay overnight in designated huts. The track is typically done one way, starting from either the Routeburn Shelter (near Glenorchy) and finishing at The Divide (near Te Anau) or vice versa.
Similar to other Great Walks, the Routeburn Track has Department of Conservation (DOC) huts along the route. These huts provide basic amenities, including sleeping quarters and cooking facilities. Advanced booking is recommended, especially during the Great Walks season, to secure a spot in the huts.
The Routeburn Track is celebrated for its diverse landscapes, including alpine meadows, pristine lakes, and lush beech forests. Key landmarks include the Routeburn Flats, Routeburn Falls, and the spectacular Harris Saddle.
The Routeburn Track offers opportunities for side trips, including a detour to Conical Hill for panoramic views. These side trips can add to the overall adventure but may require additional time.
The track is a one-way journey, so hikers often arrange transportation at both ends of the track. Shuttle services are available for transport between the starting and finishing points.
8. Abel Tasman Coast Track
Distance: 60 km (one way)
Duration: 3-5 days
Availability: Year-round, but some huts are only open during the Great Walks season. Summer is the most popular time.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is located in Abel Tasman National Park, at the northwestern tip of the South Island. Access points include Marahau and Wainui Inlet. Unlike some other Great Walks, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is open year-round. This makes it unique, providing hikers with the opportunity to explore its beauty in different seasons. However, it’s important to note that some huts along the track may only be open during the Great Walks season, which typically runs from late October to late April.
The recommended duration for completing the Abel Tasman Coast Track is 3-5 days. This allows hikers to experience the coastal beauty at a leisurely pace. The track can be done one way, and water taxi services are available for those who want to shorten the journey or skip certain sections.
The track features Department of Conservation (DOC) huts and campsites. Hikers have the option to stay in these huts or camp along the way.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery, including golden beaches, turquoise waters, and native bush. Popular spots along the track include Anchorage, Bark Bay, and Awaroa Inlet.
The track offers opportunities for water-based activities, such as kayaking. Many visitors choose to combine hiking with sea kayaking to explore the beautiful coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is rich in birdlife, and hikers may have the chance to see native species, including weka and tui.
Summer is the most popular time to hike the Abel Tasman Coast Track. The combination of pleasant weather and longer daylight hours makes it an ideal season for outdoor activities.
If you are thinking of planning a vacation full of adventures, you should definitely try out New Zealand. The above list includes five of the most amazing hikes you can find in New Zealand. Even though it will be challenging for you to pick only one, you should prioritize the options most tailored to your needs, or, heck, do them all. If you are concerned about reserving your flight, look into the possibilities offered by Delta Airlines reservation and Qantas Airlines on the FaresMatch website. But remember, whichever hike or airline you choose, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!
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