Walks in New Zealand

Walks in New Zealand

Walking in New Zealand is the most popular activity or thing to do in New Zealand. There are a large number of absolutely beautiful New Zealand walks offering a huge variety of landscapes, ease of gradient and length of time required.

Below is only a selection of the total walks available on New Zealand. These are the trails we think are worth checking out. We have also included details around the grade of the walks and included a mix of landscapes as well as long and short walks.

South Island short walks

Starting with the South Island there are some amazing walks. Check out the DOC PDF brochure on Easy access walks to get you started. There are 42 walks alone listed in the brochure for South Island walks. The walks are all coded to give you an idea of what to expect and plan for. Remember the weather can turn quickly in the New Zealand mountains so we advise you to be prepared.

South Island tracks and overnight walks

Mavora Greeenstone walk

Located in Southland. This is a 50 km track and is most suited to spreading out over four days. The walk links the Mavora Lakes camping area with the Greenstone Track. For more information on this walk, track description, camping and hut accommodation check out the DOC website.

Fiordland is a walkers dream. There are seven walks listed from day walks to serious journeys through some of the most stunning parts of the world. You need to know what you are in for in this part of New Zealand. These walks are not for the in experienced. Real planning and quality gear is required to ensure comfort and safety in this remote, often wet and beautiful part of New Zealand.

Dusky Track

This is a challenging walk. The track is 84 km long and requires a good level of experience. 8-10 days is advised for this track. The track crosses two mountain ranges and traverses through three major valley systems. This area receives a large amount of rain. The track can become blocked by fallen tress, become very muddy. You need to plan to be potentially stuck due to weather. It is a good idea to take some fishing line and a hook or two. The fishing is fantastic around Super Cove Hut where you can fish easily from the rocks in front of the hut.

Hollyford Track

The Hollyford Track is a 56km track that connects the National Park to the coastline. It is the only major low altitude track in Fiordland National Park. It is rated as a four day (one way walk)

There is some interesting human history along the way, the opportunity to catch a trout and of course the same weather that all of Fiordland receives. You need to ensure you plan properly once again. Huts need to be booked unless camping out but you still need a backcountry hut ticket per person per night. Please contact DOC for more information.

Kepler Track

Rated as a moderate track. The Kepler Track is a 60 km circuit walked over 3 or 4 days. It includes the shores of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri as well as the tops in between. The Luxmore Hut is a highlight and is sometimes above the clouds as they sit like a fluffy blanket in the lower to middle section of the valley below.

Once again you need to check out the DOC website for further information.

Milford Track

Some say this is the finest walk in the world. The Milford Track is certainly one of the best on offer. It is 55.5km. The journey is recommended as 3 nights and 4 days. There is history, amazing scenery, waterfalls and crystal clear rivers.

This would be one of the most popular walks in New Zealand. Bookings are essential and once again planning and the correct gear is required.

Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track links Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Park. It is one of the great walks. The track is 32 km and listed as a 2-4 day walk. The track crosses the main divide with contrasting scenery and vegetation along the way.

There is a checklist provided on the DOC site with what to take when walking in Fiordland.

Abel Tasman Coast Track

The Abel Tasman is another one of the great walks. The coastal track is 55km and takes an average of 3-5 days to complete. It can be walked from either end and is a pretty easy going track. There are a couple of tidal crossings, which can be crossed close to low tide. There are water taxi options to get in and out and just walk sections of the track if that is preferable. A night at The Barn campsite is a good option at the end. The track goes past the front of the campsite.

This is just scratching the surface of the walks available in the South Island. Please refer to the DOC website for full details on the above walks and other walks located through the South Island.

North Island Short Walks

Once again DOC have good information provided in handy PDF documents. They have listed 30 short North Island walks in this PDF.

There are too many walks to list here so we will just touch on a couple and advise going to the DOC website to research the rest of them.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

This is rated as one of the top one day walks anywhere in the world. It takes around 6-7 hours plus stops. A reasonable level of fitness is required along with some preparation. A few people get caught out each year thinking they can walk this in their jandles, shorts and a t-shirt. Once again you are in the New Zealand mountains and the weather can change quickly. It is advised to walk in proper boots, have some wet weather gear, food, water, first aid, a hat and sun block with you.

The walk takes you across some rugged country and features steaming vents, hot springs, old lava flows, craters lakes and great views on a nice day.

North Island tracks and overnight walks

Lake Waikaremoana

Another one of the great walks of New Zealand. Lake Waikaremoana walk is a 46km 3-4 day tramping track located in the Te Urewera National Park.  The location is quiet remote but can be accessed in your Spaceship. For more information on the Lake Waikaremoana walk refer to the DOC website.

Te Urewera National Park

The Te Urewera National Park is the largest forested wilderness area remaining in the North Island at 212,673 hectares. There are more than 650 species of native plant. Much of the part is remote but there are some huts and various access points. It is best to check with DOC carefully before entering the park to ensure safety. Like other remote places in New Zealand you are best travelling with a companion and make sure DOC know your travel plans. You also need to be prepared with all the essentials and suitable equipment for the New Zealand bush.

This is just scratching the surface of the walks available in the North Island. Please refer to the DOC website for full details on the above walks and other walks located through the North Island.