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Best 3 Great Walks and Hiking Trails in New Zealand

Stop scrolling those high-tech devices up and down, start living your life and start going on nature adventures. Hiking in northern America is a great experience that many people do every weekend, free day or vacation. There are some great tracks on the west coast, east coast, Rocky Mountains and other areas in the United States. But hiking in an incredible place like New Zealand to explore the country’s untouched terrain that’s easily accessible by great hiking trails in New Zealand to beautiful landscapes and vast wilderness areas is something that many hikers dream about and belong to the most beautiful hiking destination on the world.

If you’re looking an ideal multi-day hikes, grab you pack now, put on your walking boots and see the best scenery and national parks a country has to offer, witness those native birds and experience wildlife as New Zealand is just the right place for a good hike on diverse landscapes.

Take your hiking adventure to the next level with a local walking guide and visit the three best great walk hiking trails of New Zealand and see its outstanding natural beauty.

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Tongariro Northern Circuit New ZealandFirst on the list is the astonishing volcanic adventure in the Tongariro Northern Circuit. Do you have the guts to hike around an active volcano? Hiking around Mount Ngauruhoe, the most perfectly-shaped volcanic cone within Tongariro National Park, would have to be one of life’s most tremendous experiences. Going on an extreme move, if you want to climb the peak, the feeling of achievement can be more uplifting.

On the very first day of your hike, the circuit follows the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is the best-known day hike. If you don’t have time to do the full circuit, you can opt to do a single day hike with the Alpine Crossing.

Details

The Northern Circuit is a roundtrip that can we walked either way and it’s a clockwise route starting in Whakapapa Village. It’s a three to four day-hike and here’s the sequence of the adventure:

  • Day 1, From Whakapapa Village to Mangatepopo Hut at 8.5 km

Within three to five hours hike, the beginning’s leg is all about quaint stream beds, volcanic views and ancient lava flows. The final hour, track skirts around an old stream vent before reaching the hut soon.

  • Day 2, From Mangatepopo Hut to Emerald Lakes to Oturere Hut at 12.8 km

Within five to six hours, the steep climb rewards with spectacular views of the Central Plateau, the Blue and Emerald Lakes. From the lake, the track descends into the Oturere Valley for night’s hut.

  • Day 3, Oturere Hut to Waihohonu Hut at 7.5 km

Within six to seven hours, the track will run through a number of stream valleys and pretty open fields. As you sidle around the foothills of Mount Ngauruhoe, it’s a walk through the valley of beech trees, arriving at the Waihohonu hut.

  • Day 4, Waihohonu Hut to Whakakapa Village at 14.3 km

Within five and half an hour to six hours, the track will gradually climb to Tama Saddle to see the beauty of Tama Lakes. Going back to Whakakapa Village, it’s a two-hour walk and on the first hour of going back, you’ll get to see the Taranaki Falls, where you can follow the Tongariro Northern Circuit track to the bottom to see the waterfall, before following the stream to reach the village again.

Routeburn Track

Routeburn track waterfall New ZealandIf hiking on an active volcano is not what you prefer, then try the three-day hiking adventure on a track that links the Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Park. Try the shorter multi-day hike of the Routeburn Track and witness some of the biggest scenery where you can soar on mountain peaks, see huge valleys waterfalls and jewel-like lakes.

Details

The Routeburn Track is not a loop and it can be walked in either direction; via Routeburn Shelter, which is near Glenorchy, or via The Divide, which is closer to Te Anau. It’s a three-day hike and since it’s not a circuit, transport needs to be organized at either end.

  • Day 1, Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut at 8.8 km

Crossing four bridges, you’ll enjoy beech forests and huge views of the valley below before reaching the Routeburn Falls Hut.

  • Day 2, Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake McKenzie Hut at 11.3 km

As the morning walk climbs steadily to the outlet of the Lake Harris and see the lake with deep blue or slate gray waters as you climb Harris Saddle. On top, you’re surrounded by mountains, namely Darren Range, Mount Madeline and Mount Tutoko just to mention a few. Upon descending to the Hollyford Valley, the Lake McKenzie becomes visible next to its hut.

  • Day 3, Lake McKenzie Hut to The Divide at 12 km

First view after leaving the hut is the Earland Falls and and next is the Lake Howden Hut for a lunch-stopover. Climbing steadily to the Key Summit Track, it provides panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran Mountains. Finishing the track is the silver beech forest to the divide on Milford Road.

Abel Tasman Track

Abel Tasman Coastal track New ZealandEither hiking of kayaking, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track is just the perfect way to explore its beauty within three to five days. Wander along beaches along headlands with commanding views and water animals such as fur seals, blue penguins and dolphins found along the coast.

Details

The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is not a circuit unlike the Tongariro Northern that’s why you’ll need to organize your transport at either end. However, if you’re looking for an ultimate adventure aside from just kayaking, you can create a circuit and join the coastal walk to the Inland Track where you’ll pass native forests.

  • Day 1, Marahau to Anchorage at 12.4 km

From the Marahau kiosk to the estuary, pass through open country to Tinline Bay. The track then rounds Guilbert Point to Apple Tree Bay before seeing Yellow Point and Torrent Bay. After descending into the bay, hut and campsites awaits.

  • Day 2, Anchorage to Bark Bay at 12.1 km

After crossing a low ridge to Torrent Bay, climb steadily up and over two valleys and feel the 47m-long suspension bridge above a beautiful inlet. Wander the coastal forest before dropping down to the Bark Bay Hut beside the estuary.

  • Day 3, Bark Bay to Awaroa at 11.4 km

Go snorkeling at Tonga Quarry and enjoy fascinating underwater life and explore the Onetahuti Bay before climbing up to the Tonga Saddle. Upon descending to Awaroa Inlet, the hut is only a few minutes along the shore.

  • Day 4, Awaroa to Whariwharangi at 13 km

Explore an old timber mill along the Waiharakeke Bay and continue see more forest, beaches and spectacular views where bellbirds, fantails, kereru (wood pigeons) and tui will keep you company. Walk between sandy beaches and rocky headlands before descending to Whariwharangi Bay and on an old restored farm homestead.

  • Day 5, Whariwharangi to Wainui at 5.5 km

Before walking by the coast and coming to the carpark or be transported back to Marahu, take your time hiking to the end of the track today for you’ll see more beautiful inlets and small saddles.

For many hikers, a New Zealand vacation is an once-in-a-lifetime dream and is a heaven for people who love to take long walks, exciting hikes, and fun adventures. There are so many awesome trails to choose from. It all comes down to your level of fitness and skills. So go out there, take a hike.

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