It’s no secret that New Zealand has scenery on a continental scale. Much like the different adventures found at every turn. The fresh air and relative peace make outdoor conditions ideal to rejuvenate and invigorate body and mind.
The national parks all 14 of them are laced with hiking trails. You can wander for a day or several, staying in purposebuilt huts. From the waterfalls and ancient forests of Fiordland to the active volcanic terrain of Tongariro, every park is distinctly different.
Majority of these walks can be done guided or self guided. In the below map, the Great Walks are blue and the other great suggestions in black.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing starts at the Mangatepopo Valley (1100 m), and the first 2 hours of the trek is an upward gentle gradient to Soda Springs. The track leads up to the Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe saddle and it is steep. This section is taken slowly to ensure we all enjoy the spectacle and scenery. We have now arrived at the South Crater (1650 m). Here we take a break and photos. We then traverse to the start of the last climb for the day, up the side of Tongariro to the famous Red Crater summit (1882 m). This takes approximately 1 hour. After taking in the view of the active Red Crater with the Otarere and Rangipo deserts in the background, we descend to the Emerald Lakes where we enjoy lunch, refreshments and a wellearned break. From here it is a 2hour trek past the Blue Lake down to the Ketetahi Hut and a natural thermal area. At the hut we take another break before the last 2hours of downhill through beautiful native forest and beside a stream rich in minerals.
Queen Charlotte Track
Stretching from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, this 71km walk will wrap you in the mystical beauty that is the Marlborough Sounds, and totally absorb you for few magical days. 35 day guided or self guided walk on the Queen Charlotte Track is a true walking holiday.
You will have a chance to see dolphins and witness the endangered South Island Saddleback and South Island Robin in their natural habitat. Live it up at Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove Resort and The Portage Hotel in their superior hotel style rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
Take in the unsurpassed views as you climb the ridges and travel down to the shorelines of the many coves and inlets. and the best part of all – you don’t have to carry your pack. We can provide you with a light daypack and your luggage will be transported by water transport each day.
The self guided package includes water transfers including daily luggage transfers, a packed lunch daily (Dinners and breakfasts can be purchased at the resorts), twin share ensuite accommodation and an information kit, map and base support.
Oneday Whirinaki Ecocultural Walk or Threeday Rainforest Walks available.
The full day tour provides a windowlook into the uses of the ancient rainforest by the early Maori inhabitants of Te Urewera, the vast wooded mountain country between the Central Plateau and the East Coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Included in this tour is a leisurely walk of about 4.5 hours’ duration, graded easy and suitable for all ages.
The longer tour is designed with the nature lover and walking enthusiast in mind and involves three days in the secluded Okahu valley of the Whirinaki rainforest. Two overnight stays are provided in exclusive safaristyle tented accommodation at the Robert Collins Nature Camp, deep in the heart of the rainforest. Facilities include flush toilets and hot showers. The walks are between eight kilometres and 14.9 kilometres per day in duration, graded easy to moderate, but a good level of fitness is required.
Kaikoura Wilderness Walks
2 & 3 day options available. The track traverses a number of different native forests types with various types of terrain through the Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve. Lunch is provided on the walk and all your luggage is transported to Shearwater Lodge, your overnight accommodation. The walks are shorter trips to different directions from the base.
Akaroa Guided Walk
A threeday 39 kms fully guided walking tour departing from central Christchurch and ending in the French village of Akaroa on banks Peninsula, with shuttle bus back to the city. Unsurpassed views of the Southern Alps, the Canterbury Plains, Lyttelton and Diamond Harbours, Lakes Forsyth and Ellesmere, Akaroa Harbour are gained, and time to enjoy Akaroa Village. Included are the Christchurch Gondola (cableway) ride, the Lyttelton Timeball Station and visit to a 2,000 year old totara tree!
Guided day walks ex Queenstown
Some of the day walks available include
*Lake Shore Forest & Bird
*Mine’s Forest retreat
*Matukituki Valley – Rob Roy Glacier
Geologically spectacular and ever changing, your Hollyford Track experience is one of snowcapped mountains, glaciers, rainforests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, reefs, sanddunes and surf. The sheer diversity of vegetation and wildlife in this one valley is truly unparalleled.
The guided walk begins deep in the primeval beech forests below the near vertical walls of the snowcapped Darran Mountains and undulates gently alongside the swift clear waters of the Hollyford River. Here you will see Fiordland’s two highest peaks, Mt Tutoko(2746m) and Mt Madeline (2537m) and the roaring cascade of Hidden Falls which emerges from a hanging valley through a narrow chasm of granite.
As you progress towards Lake McKerrow and onwards to the thundering surf of the Tasman Sea, you will be profoundly moved by the dramatically changing scenery, the abundance of wildlife and the vast variety of forest flowers and foliage. Significant historical sites of early settlement provide intriguing glimpses into the aspirations of the explorers and settlers of the region, all of whom succumbed to the area’s ’splendid isolation’.
The Hollyford Track experience offers what no other walk does. A scenic flight to Milford Sound. Your flight offers you incredible views up the Hollyford Valley, over Lake McKerrow to the Darran Mountains, including Fiordland’s highest peak Mt Tutoko and along the river valley. Then you’ll fly into famous Milford Sound, amidst the stunning vistas of Mitre Peak and the Sound below.
The 3 day 55km Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track has all the qualities of a great walk. The track winds across some of New Zealand’s wildest land, leading trampers through parts of Fiordland National Park, along an alpine ridge, through forest, across Maori land and along deserted beaches of the south coast of the South Island.
Walking on Day 2 on the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is the most glorious single day of any New Zealand Great Walk. A day where you will wake up high above the snow line amongst Mountain kea and finish watching hectors Dolphins play in the great Southern Ocean.... A maximum of 5,000 people a year are allowed to walk the track. Less than a third of the Great Walks. More wilderness, less people.
The Great Walks are the department’s premier walking tracks, through areas of some of the best scenery in the country. The huts and tracks on the Great Walks are of a higher standard than other tramping tracks, and many of the Great Walks have booking systems to manage visitor pressure. Majority of these can be done either as guided walks or as freedom walks. Guided one day alternatives are also available on many of the traks.
Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk
A moderate tramp, the Waikaremoana Great Walk is located in Te Urewera National Park. The tramp climbs up the Panekire Ridge before winding round parts of Lake Waikaremoana. 34 Days, 46km.
Tongariro Northern Circuit
Winding its way over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngauruhoe is the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. 34 days.
Paddle the Whanganui on a 145km journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki. A shorter canoe trip from Whakahoro to Pipiriki is also possible. Although a river journey, the Whanganui is part of the Great Walks network. 5 Days.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, is an easy 3 – 5 day tramp that features stunning coastal views and tremendous beaches. 51km.
Heaphy Track 46 Days
he 78.4 km Heaphy Track is the longest of the DoC Great Walks. Located in Kahurangi National Park, the track crosses expansive tussock downs, lush forests, and stunning coastline.
Traversing 32 km through Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park, the Routeburn Track can be walked in conjunction with the Greenstone or Caples tracks. 3 days.
Beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau and ending at Milford Sound, the 53.5 km Milford Track is in the heart of spectacular Fiordland National Park. 4 Days.
Traversing through spectacular scenery in Fiordland National Park, the 60 km Kepler Track is a moderate walking track that takes three to four days to complete.
The Rakiura Track Great Walk is found on Stewart Island/Rakiura, just a 20 minute flight from Invercargill or an hour by ferry from Bluff. 36km, 3 days.