Walking and hiking throughout New Zealand is the best way to see beautiful landscapes and explore vast wilderness areas.
With thousands of kilometres of tracks, there are walking and hiking options to suit all levels of fitness and experience.
Welcome to a walker’s paradise, where a network of trails winds past rugged coastlines, through farmland, river valleys and towering forest, to dramatic mountain ranges.
The diversity of tracks across New Zealand’s national parks and reserves means there’s something for everyone, from leisurely nature trails that bring unique ecosystems into focus, to challenging multi-day adventures in remote, untouched wilderness.
New Zealand’s well-established and maintained trail network offers a remarkably diverse array of hikes for every ability and interest.
If there’s a special place to visit or something remarkable to see, you can be sure that there’s a short walk or day hike that’ll take you there. A great way to get to know New Zealand when you’re short on time, fitness, or don’t want to carry a heavy pack, these trails are well formed and signposted, and usually easy to reach from major highways.
The ten Great Walks are two to six-day adventures on well-formed and signposted tracks. There is plenty of easy walking, but some steep, challenging terrain means a moderate to high level of fitness is required for most of the walks.
Their length and topography combined with New Zealand’s unpredictable weather make it essential to understand outdoor safety.
Each Great Walk has been selected for unique combinations of cultural significance, exceptional scenery, and accessibility. Over the Great Walks season between October and April, huts along the tracks are equipped with flushing toilets, cooking gas, and other comforts that aren't typically seen in DOC huts. As these walks are popular, will need to book these huts in advance.
Aside from the Great Walks, there are plenty more overnight hikes to be enjoyed – independently or with a guide – offering deep exploration on trails dotted with huts, campsites and lodges.
Although a wealth of maps, trail information and track signage makes independent walking possible on major tracks, guided walks offer a more immersive experience. There are a huge number of trips, from half-day to multi-day, with transport, food, and accommodation ranging from basic to luxurious. What’s more, passionate local guides enrich the journeys, bringing landscapes to life with stories of natural and human history.
Tackle the Tongariro Crossing, walk through the Hooker Valley to get a glimpse of the tallest mountain in New Zealand, or make your way up to Roy's Peak for epic views of Lake Wanaka.
There are countless hikes all over Aotearoa. Check out the best hikes and most popular trails in New Zealand.