But with this initial foray into Copland sorted, it’s onto the main trail. Already you’ll gain impressive views through the pass and a sneak peek at the waterfall awaiting you. Yes, it was a bit hard to not have a hot meal but we got over it and were thankful for not having to lug around the extra weight. We had a great time as a family a few years back. There are no truly easy hikes longer than 4 days in New Zealand. This makes it nice and flat for a large portion of it. Taranaki, and the Kaimanawa ranges. You should stay in Weheka for the night, there are plenty of places to stay and there are some really cool lodges. It took us pretty much all day with plenty of time to chill. Hunt out the trailhead to Koropuku Falls for a short and easy hike to another picturesque waterfall. Most of the hikes and trailheads are not easily accessible via a mode of public transportation and having your own car will be invaluable. In this post you will find the 10 most beautiful South Island walks: 1. The isolation is part of the insane beauty of this hike and even in the peak of summer, you won’t have to share the track with hoards of other people. You will need to provide all your own tent gear and sometimes you are not allowed to use the facilities in the hut. Allow a good 3 hours return to walk this trail. There are giant rainwater collection tanks at the hut, but they can run out, and you don’t want to be stuck for the night without water for drinking or cooking. New Zealand's hiking and outdoor adventure specialist with tours to suit all fitness levels on great walks and trails. The Best Day Hikes in New Zealand 1. Eventually, the forest ends as you climb past the tree line. Situated 26km south of Fox Glacier, it’s certainly one of the best multi-day walks on the wonderful West Coast. Kepler Track… They are our premier walking tracks and included in their number is … After a series of steep steps, the red tarns will lie before you, sitting below the towering structure of Mount Cook. There are some great waterfalls in the area, including the Karekare Falls (.8km) which tumbles 30 meters from a cliff and Kitekite Falls (3.5km), a multitiered waterfall, both of which are easy to reach and worth the short hike to reach them. New Zealand's hiking and outdoor adventure specialist with tours to suit all fitness levels on great walks and trails. The last one was the most fun and the most adventurous to get to as you have to play limbo under some fallen trees to get there. The wide gravel track takes you up the side of the mountain through a series of switchbacks. *. Fox Glacier and the surrounding mountains are unbelievably stunning. DOC is the Department of Conservation in New Zealand and they are pure GOLD! The waters rise and rush through at incredible speeds. The steps made it easier for their packhorses to climb the steep paths to the bushmen’s camp. And with nearly 1,000 huts scattered throughout the country, there are plenty to choose from. There are some beautiful walks in Dunedin, all of which are relatively easy to navigate. Also, it’s important to pack in enough water. In the … In fact, you follow the river valley for much of the walk. From here it is onto the Blue Lake. Mount Arthur is always one of the most underrated hikes in the northern part of South Island. It is a pretty steep trail but one you arrive it is clear why it is one of the most visited attractions on North Island. There’s a short hike around the peninsula giving you the best views of Akaroa Harbour. Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion. Day two is the longest with a few uphill climbs through dense bush and an overnight stay prime kiwi spotting territory before the final short day back to the picturesque little town of Oban and ferries back to the mainland. You’ll need a sleeping bag (and a really good and warm one at that), your own food, pots, and pans, sometimes you’ll need to bring your own fire too as many huts have kitchens but no equipment. The 1 to 4 day Kepler Track hike is one of the best hikes in New Zealand, taking you through the incredible landscapes of Fiordland National Park on South Island. Crashing waterfalls and mountain views right alongside a luscious forest and the chance to even see a great spotted kiwi at twilight makes it a short but sweet adventure to enjoy without the hours of walking. Great job . You can also extend it, as the hut provides beds, but it is also the perfect candidate for a one day adventure. This section of the hike is steep and slippery and some may need hiking poles. This is what I think about when I think back on my nearly five months in New Zealand. A helicopter ride will last between 20-40 minutes! There are plenty of things to do and plenty of good day hikes. She’s been abroad and epically failing at the American Dream since 2011. To keep things light and easy, we made the choice to NOT cook any meals on the trail. *This is only if you do the ENTIRE thing, you can do what I explained above and just hike small sections of it. The hike starts at Flora Car Park, an hour drive from Nelson city. Located in Tongariro National Park, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing... 2. # 1 Abel Tasman Coast Track. Most people will be able to hike the Copland with ease. The trek can be family-friendly if you go the day-trip route or can last three to four days for the true adventurer. We take you to the highlights If you are on a … After registering, I can manage my newsletter subscriptions by visiting my Profile Settings page. 9 of the Best Dark Sky Parks in North America to See the Night Skies, Meet the Treasure Hunters Magnet Fishing in City Waterways, The Best Cold-Weather Activities in 10 Iconic “Summer” Towns, 20 Ultimate Things to Do in New York City, 10 Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks. The Onahau Lookout and the little bays in between provide some great views and are towards the beginning of the trail if you just want to pop in for a day as we did. If you’re looking to spend the night in a hut that isn’t too crowded, yet is accessible in just a few hours of hiking, Brewster Hut fits the bill perfectly. An outdoor enthusiast’s haven with views straight out of a postcard, this destination will fulfill anyone’s hiking … For your hard work, you are rewarded with an almost 360° view over the Coromandel Peninsula that will make you feel like you are on top of the world! Listening to the not-so-distant sound of keas chirping away, you’ll start by crossing two footbridges over the Bealey River and Devils Punchbowl Creek. Auckland Sea Kayaks. During our three months traveling in NZ, we sought out the best trails and hiked as much as possible. On top of that, the majority of the hikes on this list have helpful links for you to get even more information on the hike and the area too, so feel free to click around on your favorite hikes! , Related: An Adventurer’s Guide to Exploring Lake Tekapo. Hiking Roy's Peak & How to NOT to Wait in Line For A Pic (New Zealand) Lion Rock (.5km) rises majestically out of the water, with views that make the steep climb to the top worth it or take a look at Lion Rock from a distance from the Tasman Lookout Trail (1.1km) at the south end of Piha Beach. Less active visitors can simply drive through and absorb the landscape’s beauty and be perfectly satisfied. There are more than the best hikes in New Zealand. The huts along the way are open for booking, but it can get pretty packed in the summer months so make sure you reserve ahead. Required fields are marked *, By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. There’s no info on this one! The fog covered just one side of the mountain creating an epic illusion of sorts. The track is more regulated in the summer months, requiring trampers to complete the track in four days (regardless of weather) specifically following the northern circuit. All your efforts are rewarded with 360-degree views of Mount Aspiring National Park. Private Milford Day Trip. Though not many people talk about it, Rob Roy’s Glacier Track is one of the most stunning walks around the Wanaka region. Mangorei Track to the … Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park. Tongariro Alpine Crossing is repeatedly named the best day-hike in New Zealand, famous for its ominous feature in The Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom in the land of Mordor.. Roy’s Peak is one of the most well-known hikes in New Zealand due to its overnight social media fame. It literally looks like Narnia… because it is. I only wore Merino Wool socks as they are quick-drying and warm. When in the Coromandel, you can’t leave without a visit to Cathedral Cove, a unique cave opening which leads to a beautiful beach. You actually need to pack everything with you and back out as well. This is, without a doubt, one of the best day hikes I’ve done in New Zealand and believe me I’ve done A LOT! Lake Wanaka is one of the most stunning New Zealand lakes at any time of the day, and it’s not all about that tree! The locals are into it (they call it "tramping"), and many overseas visitors come to the country especially for hiking. 90 minutes to spare in Ōpunake, Taranaki. The best way to see the country is with your feet. Option 2 – If you have the budget, then you should definitely consider doing the helicopter ride around the glacier. The track takes you around the craggy headland and offers spectacular views over the ocean. Every single step is worth it and will bring you to the glistening Hooker Lake which frames Mount Cook in the distance. PRO TIP: The tree trunk at the base is slippery (*shocking news*) as outlined in my epic gallery of photos of me falling in… Enjoy the laugh. Save this pin to your New Zealand board NOW! In fact, the steps have been carved into the rocks by Kauri tree loggers in 1920s. The final stage before reaching the summit requires you to climb up a huge ice boulder. When I went hiking to Mueller Hut, the next available was two weeks out. If you don’t mind the crowds, the view is pretty spectacular from the top. It’s a straight-up hike that gets quite steep in some spots and the loose ground leaves you scrambling without getting anywhere at some points. Just down the way from Hinewai, is the sacred Maori site, Onawe. You can also extend it, as the hut provides beds, but it is also the perfect candidate for a one day adventure. Before making this hike, look up the current weather conditions, as this region can sometimes be snowy even during the summer months. Just get lost in it. Located on the outskirts of Auckland, you’ll find the unique Goldie Bush Walkway and Mokoroa Stream Track with a dozen or so river crossings, we’ve never encountered a day hike that’s so close to a major center while offering such excitement–it’s a definite Auckland must-do. The track provides two huts, but you must bring your own cookware and toilet paper. It’s appealing for the traveler who will enjoy not interacting with civilization for an extended period of time. Whakapapa. In bad weather, you won’t be able to cross here at all. The track zig-zags up the hill to the Temple Basin Ski Club, which is very popular in winter. These get the legs and lungs busting! Park your car here and take the easy waterfall loop to Fushia, Boundary, Hinewai, and Ghost Falls. This day hike will, however, provide some of the most spectacular volcanic scenery you’re ever likely to see! The views along the way are incredible, finishing with a gorgeous natural rock archway, reached only by entering a narrow tunnel down to the beach. Immerse yourself in the great outdoors while hiking in New Zealand with a visit to the Waitakere Ranges and Piha Beach. This hike really makes you work for it and was the most challenging hike I did during my time here. In one year in New Zealand, we’ve done a lot of hiking, and we are now ready to share our favourite ones with you, the ones we think are the best hikes in New Zealand! It is one of the longest hikes in New Zealand, and can take up to 10 days to complete. It’s quite the geological oddity. If you are planning to go hiking in New Zealand or just want to get some authentic New Zealand outdoor experiences we can help with your travel plans. Routeburn Track, Fiordland. One of my fav pictures from my time in New Zealand! “One of the best day hikes in New Zealand is the hike to Mueller Hut. Hiking New Zealand’s South Island is definitely the way to get the best views, and you don’t even need to do a multi-day hike, a day walk in the South Island will do! Once you’ve enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch in front of the Mokoroa Falls, head on up the Mokoroa Falls Track (1.5km) – the home straight back to your car. Reaching the track, you will leave your vehicle at the Raspberry Carpark and take a brief walk through private farmland until crossing a swing bridge into the forest. On that same note, you’ll need tons of water on the hikes. The route returns via the Pinchgut Track, which zigzags down through woods. The locals are into it (they call it "tramping"), and many overseas visitors come to the country especially for hiking. Find out about opportunities for work online or abroad, how to budget, how to get started, tips, and more! The Castle Hill hike in New Zealand is super popular for appearing in films like The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and you can totally see why. Make sure you’re prepared with the proper equipment. There are three huts (Clinton Hut, Mintaro Hut, and Dumpling Hut) as well as three private lodges and four day-shelters if you want to stop along the way. Before the final climb to the Pinnacles summit, you can rest your aching legs at the Pinnacles DOC hut. The end of the loop takes you through a rich green coastal forest before ending back at the street. The track passes over mountains, forests, gorges, rivers, and lake shores, and there are bridges, steps, and boardwalks that provide relatively safe passage over the land. Here’s a list of pretty much every single hike in New Zealand that I did. This is a point to point hike, so transport arrangements must be made for both ends of the hike. Continue Reading The crown jewel of New Zealand hiking areas – the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park has some of the absolute best hikes in South Island New Zealand. Another trek on Stewart Island, the North West Circuit spans 125 km (78 miles) and takes you on a circular track outlining a vast majority of the island. There are a LOT of steps, but once you reach the summit you will know it has all been worth it. 50+ of the Best Hikes in New Zealand & Hiking Tips The 13.5km track can be followed from the southern end of Sumner Beach, however, most walkers park at Taylors Mistake beach, which shortens the walk to around 8km. If you want to travel longer you have to, Last updated Sep 18, 2020 | Published on Aug 4, 2019. Catching sunset and sunrise at the tarn is a must but you won’t be there alone. The hike takes 2 hours or more depending on your stamina and the weather, to get to the summit. If you come between November and January, you’ll be rewarded with a field of colorful blooming lupins. Now that you’ve made it to the hut, it’s time to relax with a game of cards, mingle with other hikers, cook some backcountry food, and explore the area with your camera. The lake is nothing special, however, if you go to the top of Rocky Mountain you get awesome views of Wanaka from above and from a few different angles. New Zealand is really an amazing place! It’s a steady climb from the beginning, and it is definitely not an easy walk to get to the top of Temple Basin, but it is well worth it. Travel. TIP: If the hut you want is fully booked, double-check if the tent sites are available. Her sassy yet informative blog, Where in the World is Nina? It is the same difficulty and distance and offers a fair few of the same views, which means it is a great option if the Roy’s Peak hike is too busy or if you are just looking for another alternative hike in New Zealand. A cool hike in New Zealand is the Wentworth Valley Waterfall Hike which will take you through lush jungle to Wentworth Falls, a two-tier cascade which will have you reaching for your camera. You’ll get amazing views of the beautiful Lake Rotoiti. On the lesser-known side of the Coromandel Peninsula, only about a two-hour drive from Auckland, lies a place that will make you feel lightyears away from civilization. From unbeatable views of New Zealand’s tallest mountain to moraine viewpoints looking over the country’s largest glacier, this is a New Zealand hiking … It spans the entirety of Queen Charlotte Sound, and has a moderate climate year-round making it enjoyable to attempt in any season. Best Hikes in New Zealand. The country is known … I always carried my shell from my favorite jacket just in case it rained or it got cold or windy. There are both huts and campgrounds along the way which need to be booked in advance. This is a quick trail and a great intro to the Mount Egmont National Park, featuring Mount Taranaki. No summation of day hikes in New Zealand would be complete without mention of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – the walk which most people just refer to as “the Crossing”. The descent is long and tiring. Walking and Hiking. Take a loop at the end of the peninsula for some more views and head back to hang at the beach for a bit. You can also stalk the website for cancelation and nab your hut booking that way too. For the best chance of good weather, you should do it early in the day. You can also walk a few extra kilometers up to the top of the hill. For those up for a further challenge can continue to Mueller Hut. Weather on Stewart Island is known for being unpredictable and can be very wet so make sure you pack waterproof gear. More New Zealand Hikes You don’t need to be a pro hiker to do it, but the length and the steepness makes it pretty hard. Yet the track remains relatively unheard of compared to other hikes in the south but that’s not a bad thing! I’ve never traveled to a country who took such good care of their hikers. Don’t lose this! I want emails from Fodor's Travel with travel information and promotions. The track then follows the northern slopes of Tongariro, before zig-zagging all the way down the mountainside. But today, we’re going to shine some spotlight onto this amazing trail. These petite penguins are endemic to the Canterbury region and nest in the nooks and crannies along the coast. Do note that when visiting in the warmer seasons you’ll likely come across a range of pesky bugs ready to bite. You may agree with me and my assessment of the hike and doing it the way I explained can save you tons of money and a whole extra day! What makes the walk so special is the essence of great New Zealand nature in one neat track. This awe-inspiring track was created to show visitors the very best features of Fiordlands, including glacier-carved valleys, mountains, native forests and plenty of waterfalls. Due to its remote location in Kahurangi National Park, the trail takes a detour of more than an hour for those who’re doing road trips in New Zealand South Island. *The mileage on this one is only for the Red Tarns hike, I didn’t track how much extra the summit to Mount Sebastopol was and there’s not much info on it at all! One of the most popular and beautiful tracks in the country, the Milford Track is located within Fiordland National Park and runs 53.4 km (33.2 miles). For lovers of reaching high places, take the Harbour Cone Track up a steep hill to one of the best views of the Otago Peninsula in the area from Taiaroa Head to Hoopers Inlet and beyond. The hike begins with a 2.7km track, weaving its way downhill, through beautiful native New Zealand bush From there, it connects to the highlight of the walk, the Mokoroa Stream Track (3km). At this high point on the trek, you have tremendous views in every direction of the Tongariro National Park. The huge cathedral-like cave can be reached in around 20 minutes, and it is quite spectacular to see something so huge created by the power of the waves. It’s one of the shorter tracks, but still provides a variety of stunning landscapes for nature lovers. You won’t regret the effort of the steps once you reach the end! It’s a real thing, bring some, use it often, put lotion on after showers and take care of that skin! Most hikes in winter require you to be an alpinist or mountaineer. The hikes are separated by North Island and South Island. December and January are great times to hike as the weather is perfect but this means everyone else and their mom is also there to hike during the great weather. The track quickly gains elevation, albeit not high, but the steps make the 150m incline that bit more challenging. DOC states that the route should take 5 hours in total, but most will complete it in around half this time. Also, if you’re feeling extra adventurous you can pay extra for your helicopter to land on Fox Glacier. Ice forms easily on the ridge, and it’s easy to slip down the steep slope. Revolutionary information, right? But a quick jaunt through some forest and you’ll be at the base of the falls. This 4.3 kilometers track is often described as a nature photographer’s dream, so don’t forget to bring your camera. The walk itself is fairly easy; it’s mostly walking along a path rather than tramping up and down tricky hills and dells. Having done both though, I can say, yes, Roy’s Peak has slightly better views! The views are great even if you don’t reach the summit, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire national park. You will also need to take your own bedding and cooking utensils with you. You’ll definitely want to stay in the hut for the night after this hike, coming back down in the same day would be quite difficult in my opinion. My booty got a workout and I got to experience New Zealand in the best way possible, by getting up high and wandering through forests. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. Situated a short 40-minute drive from the town of Greymouth, the rocks are beautifully situated along the Tasman Sea coastline, The walk is a 1.1km loop starting a short distance from the parking lot. Learn how you can live, travel, and work abroad! Depending on which huts you want to hike to, it’s best to book them in advance. Plus after a rough hike, I got back to my van, baby wiped myself down, changed, ate… If I had to figure out the bus system after a big hike I would have *cue exaggeration* died. On the trip, don’t miss out on the slight detour that will take you up to the mighty Bell Falls to see the water cascade over the ancient lava flow. We did all the detours on the hike, enjoyed the beaches, and had a picnic. While the views from the top are beautiful, the trail is very long and kind of uneventful the majority of the way. First, it will take you over an old landslide and later up many, many steps. The top offers up some decent views of the surroundings, and if you’re lucky, a crazy foggy spectacle like we encountered. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be subject to unpredictable weather and can be closed to hikers. Continue Reading Although it’s only a short track, the route is packed with gorgeous surroundings and a variety of views the whole way. 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