Explore New Zealands national parks

New Zealand is known for its unspoiled nature and national parks. This article presents the three best hiking options in the most beautiful national parks.

With a total of 14 National Parks New Zealand offers a wide selection of unique walking trails and beautiful landscapes. Below you will find the three most popular routes in what in my opinion are the most beautiful national parks of New Zealand.

The three most popular hiking options:

3rd Place:
Abel Tasman Coast Track. This 51 km long hiking trail leads from the southern end of the Abel Tasman National Park to Wainui Bay, which is the northernmost point of the park. With the golden sandy beaches and the coastal forest, this trail offers a lot of variety of hiking experiences. The route runs mostly along the coast, and is therefore relatively flat. To walk the complete route you should schedule three to five days. However, there are also great options for beautiful day hikes or partly going by kayak. In Marahau there is the possibility to book a water taxi that takes you to a selected place of the park, then renting a tent or booking huts.

2nd Place:
Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This day hike is one of the ten most beautiful day hikes of the world and is considered the most beautiful in New Zealand. The Tongariro National Park is the oldest National Park in New Zealand and with its three active volcanic mountains offers an incredible landscape, including the highest volcano in New Zealand, Ruapehu. The 19.4 km long crossing of the Alps is sometimes very steep and the weather is often unpredictable but every meter of the track is scenic and rewarding.

1st Place:
Routeburn Track. Within Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park there is a 32 km hiking trail, the Routeburn Track, which counts as one of the nine Great Walks according to the Department of Conservation. This hike can be done in two to three days, with numerous offers of good huts along the way. Not only can the pristine, powerful rain forest  be admired on this track, but also the clear green rivers, sparkling mountain lakes, stunning waterfalls, cliffs and much more.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is trying to protect the natural heritage of New Zealand and offers hikers information on hiking trails, cabins for multi-day hikes, the national parks itself and places to see.

A tour bus company that supports all these hikes is Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours, which in addition to these impressive hikes also offers access to many of the unique activities and landscapes of New Zealand.

written by Nicole Joos