From misted mountains and emerald fjords, ancient fern-ridden forests and cascading waterfalls to miles of empty black and white sand beaches, New Zealand has a lot to offer to everyone who loves natural beauty. One of the most loved activities in New Zealand is hiking, not only by tourists but by the locals too.
Offering majestic views of the blonde coastline, the fragrant woods, the vast national parks, the alps in the clouds and the vibrant blue lakes, there is a myriad of ultimate hiking options for nature lovers. New Zealand also offers great walks. The scenes here are surreal at times, just like a picture out of a fairy-tale, at other times, the atmosphere is so overwhelming, that it may take a couple of minutes for you to soak it all up.
There are some short as well as long treks and walks, fitting everybody’s needs and comfort. You can trek according to your fitness and time. Long treks or one-night stay treks in this country is also named as Tramping.
Some of the tramping places in New Zealand are:
1. Mount Cook walks
Hooker Valley, also known as Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is the shortest and is fairly easy among all the hikes with the condition that you need proper hiking shoes for this. This mountain is a sky-scraping 3,754 meters tall, but one can see this mountain by gaining only 100m of height.
It is a rugged land of ice and rocks and leads you along the Hooker river ending at glacier lake. Weather changes are drastic but you can see the amazing views of mount cook on a clear day. This hike is the most underrated and is just a three-hours walk. This valley has been named as ‘one of the best walks in New Zealand’.
2.Auckland coast-to-coast walk
The 16m walk, the coast-to-coast is a hike from Waitematā to Manukau coast. It takes about four hours if you walk non-stop but you can also take the side trips and explore more of this trek. It passes through the 183m high summit, a lot of city landscapes, a lot of culture, nature, and history.
On the way, one will cross One Tree Hill, Mt. Eden, and the large green space of the Auckland Domain, as well as Maori pa (fortified village) sites. It is full of variety from kauri trees, to the Parnell shops and cafes, churches and cathedrals, views of the harbours, volcanoes and Waitakere Ranges and an art collection. It is a relatively easy walk.
3.Tongariro National Park hike
Home to three active volcanic mountains, and majestic landscapes, Tongariro National Park is one of the best walks in the country. It is the oldest national park and a dual world heritage area. It offers great views of all three mountains, Mt. Tongariro, Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Ruapehu.
The crossing is 19.4km long and is a full-day walk. The start of the crossing is 1100m above sea level. This walk isn’t too challenging and can be done by anyone with moderate fitness. The hiking season is from November to April. Climate changes here are drastic even in the middle of summer.
All you need is a good amount of fluid,wind-proof jackets, strong boots, a sun-screen, first-aid kit for emergencies and you are all set to go.
4. Pinnacles Walk\Coromandel Forest Park
Also known as Kauaeranga Kauri Trail can be completed as a day or overnight walk. It is 6km long and is 2-3hours one way. The Pinnacles Hut is 80 bunk modern and serviced DOC hut.
To get to the Pinnacles hut, you have to cross the swing bridge and follow the track to Webb Creek. Once at the height of 2,490 feet, you can see the beautiful landscape of the Coromandel Peninsula.
This walk is one of the many popular historic walks in the foothills of the valley. It rates as one of New Zealand’s most popular overnighters.
5.Lake Waikaremoana Great walk
Passing through several types of forest, and grassland and providing great views over the Waikaremoana lake, The Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk is a 44-kilometre tramping track which follows the southern and the western coast of Lake Waikaremoana in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located in Te Urewera National Park and is a three-to-four-day trek.
6.Abel Tasman Coast Track within Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman Coast Track is a 60km long walking track and is among the most popular treks in New Zealand. It takes about 3-5days to cover the trek that extends from Marahau in the south to Wainui in the north. This track is within the Abel Tasman National Park that offers gorgeous golden-sand beaches that flank the park and water taxis along the coastline which offers the pickups and drop-offs at various points along the way.
7.Mt.Stokes Track to Pelorus Sound
Mt.Stokes has been named after Captain John Stokes, who charted the entire New Zealand coastline between 1848 and 1851 in the survey ship Acheron, visiting the Sounds in 1849. This track is 3,946-feet-tall and challenging.
Its start is 41 km from the turn-off at Linkwater to the highest point in Sounds with unique subalpine habitat and spectacular views. The weather in the Sounds is generally mild, but changes can be drastic and quick in this area.
8.Mount Robert Circuit to Lake Rotoiti
Combining the Pinchgut and Paddy’s Track, this circuit is well marked and well-formed. It is the 9km loop and is located in Nelson Lakes National Park in the Nelson/Tasman region.
It offers a spectacular view of Lake Rotoiti and can be enjoyed as a day or overnight walk. As it is an alpine area, the freezing conditions can occur at any time and thus, you need to carry your waterproof clothes along. There are no facilities for your waste and thus you have to carry out all of it.
9.Rakiura Track to Rakiura/Stewart Island
This 32km circular tramping trek can be completed in one or two days, through-hikers prefer to complete it in three days. This trek is located in Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island in New Zealand and is one of the great walks. During the trek, you can expect to see blue penguins, albatross, and even the elusive kiwi. This is a bird-watching paradise. There are two hits and three campsites on the Rakiura Track.
10.Te Araroa-The long Pathway
Also known as The Long Pathway, Te Araroa is 3000km with the partition of The north island route over 1600km and south island route under 1400km. With the 25km walking of each day, this trek is complete in 120days i.e. 4months. Te Araroa is made up of a mixture of older tracks and walkways, new tracks, and link sections alongside roads. It spans beaches, farmland, forests, cities, mountains, rivers for more than 1,800 miles.