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Tramping (the kiwi term for hiking) is one of the most popular pursuits for New Zealand travelers due to the exotic wildlife, stunning beaches, lush rainforests, magnificent national parks (14 protected areas covering over 30,000 kilometers), and grand mountaintop views. Whether you’re a thrill seeker looking to trek active volcanic regions or a beginner seeking a calm, guided tour, we want to help you navigate this majestic country.
The nine Great Walks are New Zealand’s premiere hiking tracks through her scenic backcountry. These multi-day hikes offer the option for both escorted and self-guided touring. The most famous of these is the Milford Track located in Fiordland National Park in the southwest of the South Island. It has been revered as “the finest walk in the world” and there is no question why. Another infamous journey is the Whanganui Journey which is not a walk at all but rather a kayak voyage along New Zealand’s longest navigable river, the Whanganui River.
There is a network of over 950 backcountry huts throughout New Zealand carefully maintained by the Department of Conservation. Among the most experienced trampers there is a tradition of taking great care of the huts. “Hut etiquette” encompasses looking after any hut that is used while showing consideration for other users. These little lodges offer travelers a most unique break from their daily treks. Most huts on the conservation estate are open to the public so feel free to make use of one along your journey!
Westland Tai Poutini National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed area, is home to hundreds of the world’s most active glaciers, including Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. Travelers can choose to heli-hike Franz Josef Glacier – which combines a scenic helicopter flight with a guided walk past ice caves, crevasses, and pinnacles. More adventurous trekkers can also choose to hike or climb up the glacier and then relax their muscles in hot pools.
For those travelers who aren’t up for a multi-day hike, there are many amazing walks in New Zealand that can be done in under an hour. These walks are located all over New Zealand and provide beginners the chance to see the best of the backcountry. The West Coast River Walk offers a view of the glaciers as well as the opportunity to cross a historic swing bridge. Visitors on The Moeraki Boulders Walk will experience the massive geological marvels as well as a chance to spot Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, and seals.
Walking tours allow ample time to take in the sights and be truly surrounded by the majesty of New Zealand’s backcountry scenery. Accommodation for walking tours of New Zealand can mean anything from wilderness camping to luxury lodges, so there is something for everyone on a New Zealand hike!
We do hope that you find this information helpful. Should you need some help planning your perfect New Zealand walking tour, don’t hesitate to call us directly Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am - 5:30pm Central US) or visit www.AboutNewZealand.com. We’d love to help you customize your once-in-a-lifetime walking tour of New Zealand.