New Zealand’s stunning landscapes and unique landforms are a hiker’s paradise. Networks of trails wind past rugged coastlines, farmlands, river valleys and even around glaciers. The diversity of tracks across New Zealand’s national parks and reserves means there’s something for everyone, from Sunday strolls to overnighters to catch the first glimpse of the morning sun, welcome to New Zealand’s untouched wilderness.
South Island Hikes
North Island Hikes
South Island Hikes
Hooker Valley Track
Mount Cook National Park, South Island
The Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular walking tracks within Aoraki National Park and leads through sacred areas within the Hooker Valley itself, consisting of swing bridges, stunning views and distant rumblings of avalanches from Mount Sefton. You can catch views of Glaciers, Lakes and Mountains as you weave your way along the valley floor. You may even be lucky enough to spot an avalanche before it crashes into the Mueller Glacier below, from a safe distance away. We recommend walking this track either dawn or dusk where you can be rewarded with absolute serenity of the first or final sun rays as they creep over the Southern Alps while sharing the track with only a handful of other walkers. One of the best parts of this walk is how easy it is to complete for people of all ages and reasonable fitness levels. The path is well maintained and easy to follow, so you can concentrate on the epic views which are all along the way!
DISTANCE: 10km return
BEST TIME: November to March
Fiordland National Park, South Island
Once described as ‘the finest walk in the world’, the Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s most popular walks. This track begins at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes in Milford Sound. You will see pristine lakes, sky-scraping mountain peaks and enormous valley views. You will be able to taste the mist of the tallest waterfall in New Zealand, Sutherland Falls. On a sunny day, this track is picture-perfect yet if you do get rain while you’re there, some walkers describe it as truly experiencing mother nature at her finest with torrents of water cascading down the steep mountainsides, a magical sight to behold. As this walk is going to consist of overnight stays, we recommend heading over to the Department of Conservation to check out the public lodges and to book in. Keep in mind you won’t be able to camp along this track, after walking all day what better way to rest inside a lodge with a bed!
DISTANCE: 53 km
DIFFICULTY: Easy – Intermediate
BEST TIME: Late October to Late April
Lake Ohau Track
Waitaki, South Island
The Lake Ohau track runs along the Lake Ohau shoreline offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, both in summer and winter. If you are into mountain biking this track is known for having a well-maintained track, ideal for mountain bikers of any age and is part of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It is also a dog-friendly track, which adds to the uniqueness of this trail. Whether you’re into gentle walking or higher intensity hikes, Lake Ohau can accommodate for all levels. To get you started, we recommend heading down to the lake to wander the shore, skim stones into the Lake itself or even having a dip in its refreshing waters. Weather can change quite rapidly when you’re within the valley of the mountains so we encourage you to always check the forecast, plan ahead and pack for extreme temperatures, including plenty of water and sunblock!
DISTANCE: 8 km one way
BEST TIME: Late October to late April
Roy’s Peak Track
Wanaka, South Island
Roys Peak is one of the most popular tracks and one you may have heard of before. Starting from lake level, you will climb your way up into the tussock tops, right to the 1578m summit. The sounds of grasshoppers will guide you as you weave your way upward through the well-formed track. You will see Lake Wanaka, its islands, bays and the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps which will make for spectacular views. If you love a good sunrise, you can get up early and start making your way up, in time to catch one of the most memorable sunrises at the top of Roy Peak Track. It will still be dark and quite cold if you decide to go on an early morning trek, you will need to be very prepared including warm gear (hats, gloves, layered clothing), plenty of water, sturdy footwear and torches. There are toilets at the beginning and the end of the track.
DISTANCE: 16 km return
BEST TIME: 11th November – 30th September (In winter you will need alpine equipment)
Rob Roy Track
Mount Aspiring National Park, South Island
The Rob Roy Glacier Track leads you into a spectacular world of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. Also known as Mount Aspiring National Park, follow Rob Roy Stream through beech forest, enjoying waterfalls and the luxuriant understorey of ferns and mosses. At the tree line, the forest gives way to alpine vegetation and unique views of the hanging glaciers beneath Mount Rob Roy. You will cross a few swing bridges along the way as well as countless flora and fauna. From a safe distance, you are able to listen for signs of avalanche movement while taking a picnic lunch at the viewing point. Watch out for the Kea (mountain parrots) as they are known to be very persistent when it comes to food! As much as you may want to share your lunch with them it is prohibited to feed the wildlife. As this is an alpine environment, weather conditions can change rapidly, so ensure you take appropriate clothing and check conditions prior to starting your trek.
DISTANCE: 10km return
BEST TIME: December – April