Top day walks in the South Island

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In addition to the Great Walks, New Zealand has a wealth of shorter day trails and hikes. Here's some of the South Island's top day walks.

Nelson
Mount Robert Circuit, Nelson

Von JSA_NZ

Approx 4 hour day walk

Flüge finden & buchen

Mount Robert Circuit, Nelson

Length: 10km, 5 hours return
Difficulty: Medium
Location: Kahurangi National Park

The Mount Robert Circuit is a loop track around the northern face of Mount Robert with spectacular views over Lake Rotoiti. Enjoy native forest that gives way to alpine herbs as you hike through Kahurangi National Park, an ancient wilderness area home to some of the oldest rocks, strangest plants and rarest birds in the country.

Queenstown
Queenstown Hill Time Walk, Queenstown

Von Erick )

You'll be rewarded with spectacular views of Queenstown at the top of the Queenstown Hill Time Walk

Queenstown Hill Time Walk, Queenstown

Length: 500m, 3 hours return
Difficulty: Medium difficulty, challenging incline
Location: Starts from Belfast Street.

This climb through pine forest behind Queenstown is well-rewarded by spectacular, 360-degree views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables Range and beyond. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the top before you head back down. The start of the track is easily accessed from Queenstown.

West Coast
Fox Glacier, West Coast

Von superholly0926

Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps, the cosy township of Fox Glacier is geared up for glacier walks, hikes and flights.

Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk, Westland

Length 2.6km, 1 hour return
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Fox Glacier, after Fox River bridge

Experience ancient glaciers close-up on this unusual, fascinating walk. As you adventure further up the valley, views become more spectacular, revealing Fox Glacier’s horizontal ice scars and the surrounding steep valley rock faces. This track closes sometimes due to ice collapse, flooding or rock fall, so be vigilant.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

Von Moray Nairn

A sleeping fur seal on the Kaikoura Shoreline Walk

Kaikoura Shoreline Walk

Distance: 4.4 km one-way, 50 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Begins Point Kean car park

Enjoy spectacular wildlife-spotting and unique views of the Southern Alps and coastline on the unique Kaikoura Shoreline Walk. Discover fur seals and nesting bird colonies as you follow the base of the cliffs along to a small bay. Further along the track you’ll pass limestone outcrops and sea caves before you continue along to South Bay and into town.

Marlborough
Mount Stokes track, Marlborough

Von David Ashford

The Mount Stokes track will reveal the best of Marlborough Sounds

Mount Stokes Track, Marlborough Sounds

Length: 6km, half-day return
Difficulty: Medium, some steep sections
Location: Starts off Kenepuru Road, off Queen Charlotte Drive

This ridge track takes hikers to Mount Stokes, the highest peak in the Marlborough Sounds (1203m). Enjoy walking through coastal podocarp forests before reaching the sub-alpine summit, where you are rewarded with breath taking views of the North Island, Picton, the Sounds and Nelson.