Campervan Travels: New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks

If you are after a true New Zealand experience, then one of the best ways to explore is to immerse yourself in its beauty.

Campervan travel not only offers you the freedom to stop where and when you like, you'll also have the opportunity to experience any one of the Department of Conservation (DOC) 9 Great Walks and still have somewhere comfortable to rest after a long day of adventures. You can also find a number of local operators providing one day tours on most DOC tracks.

Lake Waikaremoana  (46kms)

A four day track, offering the balance of rugged terrain and amazing views to experience and explore. The ideal track for those who are new to hiking.

Lake Waikaremoana is the perfect location to drench yourself in New Zealand's native wildlife, and is one only a few places that is home to both native New Zealand bat species (the long and short-tailed bats).

Tongariro Northern Circuit (43.1kms)

The diversity of the Tongariro Northern Circuit walk will no doubt leave you humbled by its awe with everything from ominous volcanic terrain and landscapes, to majestic forests and tranquil lakes.

An assortment of guided day trips are also available for the Tongariro Crossing. 

Whanganui River Journey (145kms)

Are you up for a 145km river journey by kayak? This epic adventure takes five days from beginning to end, and although on a river, the Whanganui River Journey is still one of New Zealand's 9 Great Walks.

The Whanganui River is of great cultural importance, providing the opportunity to experience New Zealand’s rich history and culture. You may even be fortunate enough to participate in a Powhiri (a Māori welcoming ceremony involving speeches, dancing, singing and finally the hongi) if the Whanau (Māori word for family) are present at the Marae (a communal or sacred place) when you arrive.

Abel Tasman Coast Track (54.4kms)

The full Abel Tasman Coast Track can be completed in three to five days, or alternatively split into day trips. Get up and close to unspoilt estuaries and rivers and pristine waterways, breath-taking landscapes, including fourteen native fish species to try and spot!

Heaphy Track (78.4kms)

The Heaphy Track is the longest of all 9 Great Walks. Keep an eye out for the giant Kaui snail as you make your way through vast tussock grasslands, plush forests, Nikau palms and roaring oceans.

If you prefer to cycle, go between the months of May and September.

Routeburn Track (32kms)

The Routeburn Track is one of the most popular of all 9 Great Walks complete with both multi-day and family trips.

You’ll encounter frozen valleys clad with beech forest, pristine blue alpine lakes and rugged mountains dusted with snow. If you're lucky you may even capture a glimpse of the endangered Mohua (a small insectivorous, passerine yellow head bird endemic to the South Island of New Zealand).

Kepler Track (60kms)

The Kepler Track offers great day walking options from either Rainbow Beach or Kepler Park. Don’t be concerned with time, as you'll still be able to make the most of this impressive track.

This epic five to six hour track boasts panoramic views of the Kepler and Murchison Mountains and beyond. Steep climbs may be a challenge for most however DOC guarantees incredible views from the top!

Milford Track (53.5kms)

The world-renowned Milford Track is known as 'the finest walk in the world'. This will become obvious as you make your way through Fiordland National Park's incredible landscapes, waterfalls and early-settlement history.

If you're lucky you may even get rain…hang on...Huh? Well, when it rains you can witness for yourself entire valley walls transform themselves into amazing waterfalls. If you’re especially lucky, you may even spot a cheeky Kea (The kea is a large species of parrot of the family Strigopidae found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand.) or an endangered Whio (A blue duck belonging to the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae endemic to New Zealand).

Treat yourself to a one-day guided tour of Milford Track.

Rakiura Track (32kms)

The Rakiura Track is New Zealand's southernmost walk, ideal for those wanting to experience and explore Stewart Island on foot. With Stewart Island’s prolific birdlife, the Rakiura Track should be on every bird-watchers must-see list.

While exploring you will also encounter lush forest, relics of bygone days, unspoilt beaches and rugged coast lines. Find an assortment of available day options using this link http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/guides-and-commercial-tourism-providers/southland/stewart-island-rakiura/.

Find out more about New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks by visiting this link http://www.greatwalks.co.nz/.

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