New Zealand is blessed with a variety of stunning landscapes accessible to all level of walkers and hikers and with the freedom of a self-drive holiday you can explore to your heart's content. You're spoilt for choice so we've put together a list of some of New Zealand's best walks to help you decide what to do.
From adventurous multi day hikes crossing alpine passes, to gently rolling bush walks a few minutes from the road; there is something to suit all levels of activity and experience. Many trails can be explored independently, as a guided trip or self-guided with luggage transport - just choose your style of walking. There are even amazing walks through native forest just a short drive from Auckland - our largest city.
Mountains, glaciers, cascading waterfalls and alpine lakes, Mt Aspiring National Park is awe inspiring. Offering spectacular vistas for all walkers, just a short drive from the popular destination of Wanaka. You don't need to be a mountain goat to enjoy this scenery either, with Rob Roy Glacier only a 2hr walk from your car, it's a great opportunity to see New Zealand's wilderness. The Rob Roy Glacier Guided Walk is a fantastic way to learn more about the unique flora and fauna; as well you'll take advantage of your guide's knowledge of the best photo stops. When you're finished your day's adventure Whare Kea Lodge offers guests peace, relaxation and fine dining cuisine.
The Coromandel peninsula is a contrast of staggering forest covered mountains, descending to coves and beaches with aqua seas and white sandy beaches. This variety in scenery is what makes the Coromandel such a special walking destination. Many of the walks also have historical significance relating to the logging and gold mining pioneers. Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure provides an excellent introduction to the area, visiting ancient Kauri forests and historic gold caves. From there explore further the 45 marked trails ranging from 20 minute to full day hikes. A great place to rest your weary feet after a day on the peninsula is Puka Park Resort. Relax in your private chalet, hidden amongst native bush as you listen to the tui's musical call and enjoy a glass of wine on your private deck - bliss.
The Milford Track is deservedly acclaimed as one of the greatest walks in the world, but there is so much more to Fiordland that also deserves mention. The national park is internationally recognised as a World Heritage Area and is New Zealand's largest tract of untouched wilderness. Picture snow-capped peaks, glistening fiords, deep forest clad valleys with pure waters running through - that's Fiordland. The Routeburn Track is another 'Great Walk' in Fiordland and both this and the Milford Track can be walked in comfort with Ultimate Hikes. These all-inclusive hikes let you enjoy the majestic wilderness without having to ‘rough it'. The Milford Road offers many shorter walking trails, including the Mirror Lakes and the thunderous Chasm Walk. For the discerning traveller looking for a stylish, private eco-retreat, you can't go past Fiordland Lodge. Not only luxurious, their 'Treading Lightly Environmental Mission' aims to protect this unique environment they call home.
Queen Charlotte track gains its name from one of the sounds you follow during the 71km journey through lush coastal forest. With water transport options you can choose to walk all or part of the trail and have your luggage transported for you. There is also a great range of accommodation along the trail, including Furneaux Lodge a premium Bed and Breakfast only accessible by water taxi, guaranteeing a restful night's sleep. Marlborough's temperate climate means the Queen Charlotte track can be walked all year round, but with a supported walk some of your party can travel by water taxi while others walk - perfect for mixed activity levels. To continue the adventure be sure to check out nearby Abel Tasman National Park - not to be missed.
Categories: Walking, Hiking & Biking