Looking for something a little different this summer? Why not try one of our favourite New Zealand walks! Every corner of NZ offers a unique opportunity to explore and discover. From city to surf, to Mountains and lakes we cover it all below! Wether you’re local or visiting, there is something for everyone.
The luggage.co.nz Top 10 New Zealand Walks & Hikes:
#10: Mount Sunday, Canterbury – South Island
If you think you recognise this place, it is probably because you do! Mount Sunday is also known as Edoras, the capital of Rohan in Lord of the Rings. The crew built the set atop this mighty dale of snowcapped peaks in the Southern Alps. This walk is the epitome of Middle Earth, with the drive to the start of the walk being an hour down Canterbury’s Hakatere Potts Road, a bumpy pot-hole filled gravel road that screams remote NZ. The walk itself is only around 30 mins and classed as ‘easy’ by DOC, but the view that awaits you at the top is breathtaking. The Rangitata River weaves through the plains making the perfect spot for a LOTR themed shot or peaceful picnic.
#9: Abbey Caves, Whangarei – North Island
There is nothing quite like a cave walk, especially one that is filled with mystical glowworms. Abbey Caves in Whangarei is no exception. Before we start it is important to state that underground in the Abbey Caves is recommended for experienced cavers. This is due to the possibility of rapidly rising waters and roof falls. If this is you, you’ll be greeted with a mystical experience in the three caves that make up Abbey Caves. Each one slightly different but equally as magnificent. The loop walk to and past the caves takes less than an hour and would be classed as more intermediate. If caves are your thing, definitely check out Abbey Caves.
#8: Mount Victoria Trails, Wellington – North Island
As much as a I love the rugged, rural New Zealand walks. The cities of New Zealand also have a lot to offer. Our capital, Wellington has the Mount Victoria trails right there on the cities belt just waiting, ready for exploring when you need a little city detox. Clim atop Mount Vic for beautiful views over the city and watch as the ships and boats come and go with the sounds of the city far away. Walk further down to the ocean, discover canopies where Lord of the Rings scenes were filmed and get lost, only a stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
#7: Buck Taylor Track, Karekare – North Island
You might not find this track in your guide books, but it is definitely worth taking a look at. This 45 minute tramping track combines rugged rock edges with black sand, harsh surf, sub-tropical forest and towering native trees, to bring you this hike of beautiful contrasts. Take a detour on your walk back to your car to stop, relax and take in the breath-taking Karekare Falls. Spot perching seals and wildlife if you’re lucky enough.
#6: Mueller Hut Route, Mount Cook National Park – South Island
It always amazes me where we manage to put these huts in New Zealand! The Muller Hut is easily one of my favourites, its contrast to the natural surrounds is just begging to be photographed. At 1800 meters above Sealy Range, this hut offers fantastic panoramic 360-degree views of vertical rock faces, New Zealand’s highest peaks, glaciers and ice cliffs. The walk itself only takes four hours each way with a 30 minute side walk to Mount Oliver if you wish. From Aoraki to Sealy Tarns to Muller Hut. Every inch of this walk and your overnight stay (if you wish) is spectacular.
This one is on everyones bucket list, and once you do it you’ll understand why! The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the bare, barren landscape known to Lord of the Rings fans as Mordor! This is a seven hour hike that ascends and descends jagged cliffs to the turquoise pools of the Emerald Lakes. Spotting Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom) on a good day is always a treat and if the weather is permitting you can even scramble up the Mountain to the top. A must-do for the real fans. The added Mount scramble will add 1-2 hours to your hike so ensure you’re prepared before setting off. We started our hike at 4am and got to see sun-rise and have our brekfast from the crest. Magnificent.
#4: Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty – North Island
Ok, so we might be a bit biased here at luggage.co.nz as we call Mount Maunganui home. None the less though, this slice of paradise deserves a spot on our New Zealand walks list! There are a variety of walks you can do both up and around Mauao, all offering stunning ocean views and views of the city. From 20 minutes to one hour, take the steps or the steep 4WD track to the summit. You’ll find locals and tourists alike, running, jogging, photographing and hanging out all year round.
#3: Abel Tasman Coast Track, Abel Tasman National Park – South Island
This 60k, 3-5 Great Walk is a stunning hike along golden beaches with lush coastal bush. There are 4 huts and 19 campsites along the walk to choose from. Visit Cleopatra’s Pool, a natural rock pool with a moss-lined waterslide. Admire the beautiful Falls river inlet as you walk across a 47m suspension bridge. Spot fur seals and Kekeno along the way. Fall in love with the coast of the South Island.
Hailed ‘the finest walk in the world’, there are no words to describe the Milford Track. This four day intermediate walk is one of NZ’s Great Walks. Through vast green fjords, misty mountains, unforgettable valleys and beautiful lake-scapes. Every corner of this walk unearths something as beautiful as the next. With day four being my personal favourite. A one-way track that starts with a boat ride to the head of Lake Te Anau that finishes at the aptly named famous Sandfly Bay. A must-do in New Zealand. You need to tick this one of your New Zealand walks list!
#1: Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park – South Island
Another Great Walks favourite, the Kepler Track is a 60km loop that takes 3-4 days to complete. The Fiordland National Park offers unbelievable views everywhere you look. Here you feel both small and bold at the same time, this is the best that New Zealand has to offer. This is what the world imagines when they think of New Zealand. This is New Zealand. I know I have said it before, but I can’t even begin to describe the awe and beauty of the Kepler Track. Don’t hesitate, book now for the season.
Looking for the best outdoor backpack for your New Zealand walks for the summer? Check out our top 5 here!