Great Walks of New Zealand

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If you want to truly absorb the splendour of the New Zealand outdoors, there is only one thing to do and that is to walk.

The drama of the landscapes evolve step-by-step. You hear the sounds of nature. Wildlife, normally hidden, presents itself. There is nothing but you and that place that you're in. That is the pleasure of walking and hiking.New Zealand has thousands of kilometres of walks but sitting above all of them are the nine Great Walks that take you to the most magnificent places and pass through iconic locations.

The nine Great Walks

North Island

Lake Waikaremoana: Delve into the mystical green world of rainforests and wetlands as you wind through 46 kilometres of track entirely within the Te Urewera wilderness area.

Tongariro Northern Circuit: This amazing 41 kilometre walk encircles active volcanoes and passes lava flows and craters through the Tongariro National Park. The first day includes the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Whanganui Journey: Technically a canoe or kayak trip rather than a walk, the 145 kilometre Whanganui River Journey flows through a remote and rugged national park with stunning native forests and an abundance of birdlife.

South Island

Abel Tasman Coast Track: Relish the commanding views of the coast as you explore the 51 kilometres of this track’s beautiful beaches and remarkable rock formations.

Heaphy Track: The 82 kilometre Heaphy Track gives you the contrasts of luxuriant rainforest, sub-alpine tussock, high, rugged mountains and end with lowland forest and palm-fringed surf beaches.

Kepler Track: This 60 kilometre tracks showcases the best features of Fiordland – mountains, native forest, glacier-carved valleys and waterfalls.

Milford Track: Fiordland’s Milford Track is arguably the most famous. The 53 kilometre journey takes you to pristine lakes, sky-scraping mountain peaks, enormous valley views and the cascade of the tallest waterfall in New Zealand.

Rakiura Track: Simply in a world of its own, the 36 kilometres that navigate Stewart Island in a habitat that has changed little for thousands of years.

Routeburn Track: Linking the Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park, the 32 kilometres of this track features spectacular mountain peaks, valleys, waterfalls and lakes.

Go with a guide or do it yourself

You can walk these tracks independently or with a walking and hiking tour provider. There’s no better way to experience the nature of New Zealand than by walking. Find information on what to pack here, or download the Department of Conservations printable packing list


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