Hiking in New Zealand is one of the most loved activities not only by tourists but by the locals too. With the blonde coastline, the fragrant woods, the vast national parks, the alps in the clouds and the vibrant blue lakes, there are a myriad of hiking options for the nature lovers. The scenes of New Zealand are surreal at times, just like a picture out of a fairy-tale, at other times, the atmosphere is so overwhelming, that it may take a couple of minutes for you to soak it all up! But either way, the incredible flora and fauna of New Zealand can be enjoyed only by delving deep into nature’s arms here.
People often like a one-day hike along the lakes, but if you are looking for something more, then a few days of hiking in the mountains, or a couple of days in a national park may suit your needs better. So, put on your hiking shoes, carry your bag, splash a little sunscreen, and set out to enjoy the glorious views! Take a look at some of the best ways to enjoy hiking in New Zealand.
Hiking In New Zealand: Adventure Trails
Looking for some adventure on your New Zealand trip? These hiking trails deep in the woods take you through gorgeous views of the mountains and valleys.
1. Abel Tasman Coast Track→ Abel Tasman National Park→ South Island
One of the best New Zealand hiking trails, Abel Tasman Coast Track gives you views of a long horseshoe coastline with some green patches, beautiful blonde beaches, exciting cliffs, and the most beautiful waters.
Bonus activities: Bird watching, cliff jumping, swimming
2. Tongariro Alpine Crossing→ Tongariro National Park→ North Island
For those in search of New Zealand hiking tours, Tongariro Alpine Crossing route is as good as it will ever get! Barren lands with volcanic sites offer a nice long hike. While the entire route can take up to 7 hours, the views of the mountains, the volcano, and even some patches of meadows make it all worth it. Be sure to check the weather as this route can best be enjoyed on a nice dry day.
Bonus activities: Enjoy the Emerald Lakes
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3. Buck Taylor Track Loop→ Karekare→ North Island
For those looking for options for the best day hikes in New Zealand, Buck Taylor Track Loop is the one for you! It is one of the lesser explored routes, but the views and the experience is unparalleled. Black sand dunes, emerald cliffs, the gorgeous Karekare Falls…this is all worth the trouble for sure!
Bonus activities: Swimming, photography
4. Abbey Caves→ Whangarei→ North Island
All of these three places make this route one of the most special hiking experiences. Popular as the best place for hiking New Zealand, North Island, these caverns are great for explorers. Literally the glowing gem of New Zealand, the Abbey Caves are a haven for glow-worms. With a mystic feel to the entire route, this one includes limestone caves, a beautiful stream, and muddy fields too!
Bonus activities: Caving
5. Kepler Track→ Fiordland National Park→ South Island
Going hiking in New Zealand, South Island, and not mentioning mountains is like a sin! With the peaks up in the clouds, a hike to at least one of those peaks is a must, especially if you are here for a few days. A wonderful combination of mountains and lakes, this green, blue, and the brown picture is too hard to resist. Lake Te Anau and Mt. Luxmore are the highlights of this route.
Bonus activities: Nature and wildlife photography
6. Milford Track→ Fiordland National Park→ South Island
For those looking for the best multi-day hikes New Zealand, the Milford Track is a clear winner. With winding roads, mountains and valleys, and views of the lakes and wetlands, and the picturesque glaciers and waterfalls, these 4 days in the nature of the country will be the best of your trip!
Bonus activities: Swimming, photography
7. Mount Sunday→ Canterbury→ South Island
A secluded spot, Mount Sunday is famous for its beauty and its representation the famous movie franchise. To put it simply, it is the famous hiking trail in New Zealand. The view of the fantasy in real life is mesmerizing. If you’re a real adventure-seeker, this is the trail you should tread.
Bonus activities: Swimming, picnicking
8. Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track
One of the best New Zealand hiking trails, Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is perfect for experienced hikers. While the entire hike could take up to 3 days, it is the perfect blend of mountains, beaches, and woods, which is what makes it so special. Be sure to carry your best lens, as this route has much to offer.
9. Hooker Valley Track, Aoraki National Park
Hooker Valley Track is a one-day circular hike in Aoraki National Park which lures hikers because of its ease and surreal views. It is an apt trail for beginners since the elevation remains the same throughout the trail. The views of the Mount Cook covered in snow and the meandering rivers in the forests will keep you hooked. It only takes 4 hours to complete. So, you should definitely put it on your list.
Bonus activities: Picnic by the enchanting Hooker Lake
10. Tiki Trail, Queenstown
Though you can reach the top of the Bob Peak through a Gondola, it is suggested you take a hike instead if you want to spend some time amidst nature and boost your adrenaline. The short hike only takes one hour but the steep ascent makes it a tad bit challenging. When you reach the top, sweep in the bird’s eye views of Queenstown in all its glory.
So, here are the best hiking routes in New Zealand. While it may be very confusing to choose just one, make sure you select the ones that suit you the best! If you are experienced, opt for a multi-day hike, but if it’s just your first time, it’s best to be back to the hotel by evening.
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