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North Island Wilderness - tips for Explorers
Down in the South Island finding your own bit of wilderness is a simple matter of packing your back pack and heading inland, It won't take long before you bump into New Zealand's spectacular southern alps, back drop for many of the mountain scenes in Lord of the Rings. Alpine isolation is virtually unlimited.
It can be a little trickier to find wide, wild places in the north but rest assured they are there! and the diversity of the North Island's landscape will blow your mind!
For the last ten years our guided walks company "Walking Legends" has been getting keen walkers out to the special places of the North Island, we have learned a lot over the years so here are a few tips...
The best of the scenery
Coastal - Where sub tropical forest meets the ocean. Black sanded and wild on the west coast, tree fringed and perfect sheltered bays on the north and east of the island.
Volcanic - Live volcanoes (Mt Doom from LOTR) hissing and steaming right there in the middle of the North Island, nothing else like it on earth.
Rainforest - The best New Zealand has to offer and they are scattered all over the North Island, the warmer climate means a huge diversity of ancient trees and giant ferns straight from the Jurassic age!
Where to start
We have found Rotorua to be an excellent central start point with great transport options including direct flights to Sydney and all the best aspects of North Island scenery are represented within a few hours drive.
Where to go
North Island has three National Parks and thousands of short day walks and scenic reserves. Most of these places are managed by the Department of Conservation.
The North island also holds 3 of New Zealand's great walks:
- Lake Waikaremoana
- Tongariro Northern Circuit
- Whanganui River (actually a Kayak trip!)
These well-formed multi-day trails are set up for those whom love walking and exploring but don't need a lot of experience with the NZ wilderness.
How to travel
A few of these places have established transport operators, but for most of the others you will need your own car. If you have a limited time frame or you want to avoid the hassle of organizing an expedition get in touch with a guided walking company like ours: www.walkinglegends.co.nz Our meticulous planning gives you more time walking, less time waiting, plus great food, light packs, and fun local guides with all the stories and local insights.
Have fun and keep safe!