The Tongariro Crossing is regarded as the country’s best single-day walk and many rate it among the world’s top 10 one-day tramps. The dramatic 19.4km journey takes you amongst the towering volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu.
The weather on the Central Plateau can get very wild very quickly so be prepared for everything. The track can be tough going but once those panoramic views kick in and you start feeling like an extra in The Hobbit, it will all be well worth the effort. Tongariro Crossing website
If you’ve ever arrived in Picton on a Bluebridge ferry you will have sailed past one of the South Island’s best walking tracks. The Queen Charlotte Track stretches 71km through the heart of the Marlborough Sounds from the historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa.
It’s easier terrain than you’ll find on the Tongariro Crossing and suitable for both walkers and mountain bike riders. Expect to take three to five days walking, or two to three days on a mountain bike.
You can stay in private accommodation or in Department of Conservation campsites and the coolest way to be dropped at the start of the track is to ferry to Picton then hitch a water taxi. Heed the call of the wild and do it freestyle or, for added security and a friendly guide, take a four-day guided walk. Find out more on the official Queen Charlotte Track website
Whichever way you go, let’s be careful out there. Before you set off check out the Mountain Safety Council’s Seven Rules of Tramping.