I love to walk and get out amongst nature. Funny enough my nickname when I was younger was Forest. We are spoilt here in beautiful New Zealand for the amazing walking tracks that are spread out between the two Islands. From 30 min walks in the bush to breathtaking 4-day treks that will leave long-lasting memories etched in your senses.
Choosing which one to do can come down to time, budget and location but I think there are some which you need to add to your Bucket List and tick them off at some point in your life.
We've put together our Top 10 NZ walking Tracks that we want to tick off our Bucket Lists here in Godzone.
1. Routeburn Track
This is the Ultimate Alpine adventure. You will be rewarded by spectacular views of the mountain ranges and valleys. It is an intermediate level trek/walk lasting 2 - 4 days. It is approximately 33km in one direction. For New Zealand citizens you do need to book as this is one of our most popular treks and costs $65 per adult per night. Children are free but you still need to book them in. A great family adventure.
Walking Poles are great for this type of walk. Check them outhere.
2. Milford Track
Get ready to experience 'the finest walk in the world' as you retrace the steps of early explorers on the world-renowned Milford Track. Take a journey through Mackinnon Pass along valleys carved by glaciers, wander through ancient rainforests and admire cascading waterfalls. It's simply out of this world. Approximately 53.5km oneway and around 4 days of walking and tramping. Its an Intermediate level walk so good for families. Adults are $70 per night and children are free but you do need to book ahead.
3. Te Henga Walkway
This is a favourite walk of ours. Hugging the coast, you get spectacular views of the Wild West Coast beaches as you walk along the cliff tops from Bethells Rd to O'Neills Beach. This is an easy walk and is around 40 minutes oneway. If you continue onto Constable Road its approximately 3hr 20 mins one way. Pack a picnic and make a day of it. Don't forget your camera. Best of all its completely free.
4. Queen Charlotte Track
Experience the spectacular Marlborough Sounds whilst walking or biking the Queen Charlotte Track. The track stretches 70 km from historic Meretoto/Ship Cove through to Anakiwa in the Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound. Roughly 3 - 5 days for an intermediate walk/trek. This is a shared track with mountain bikers so be mindful of each other. Some of the Queen Charlotte Track crosses over onto private land so you are required to purchase passes. These range from $10 a day to an annual pass of $35.
Another great NZ Track is the Kepler which is situated in the Fiordland National Park. Vast tussock-covered ridgelines and spectacular alpine vistas contrast with peaceful lakeside and valley beach forest in this wilderness adventure. Explore the fascinating Luxmore Caves or walk to the Iris Burn Falls. It's a 60km loop journey and is an intermediate walk lasting 3-4 days. Bookings are required for NZ citizens and the cost per adult per night is $65, children are free.
6. Abel Tasman Coast Track
This should be on the top of the list for every New Zealander who wants to experience the true beauty of this beautiful country we call home. Blessed with a mild climate, golden beaches and lush coastal native bush, the Abel Tasman Coast Track has it all. Natural rock pools with moss lined water slides and fur seals, need I say more. Roughly 60km and 3 - 5 days of tramping/walking its an intermediate walk so good for all levels of fitness. Its a very popular track so booking is essential. Adults are $38 per night and children are free.
7. Rakiura Track
If you have an interest in historical events and Maori culture than the Rakiura Track is for you. Escape on an island adventure - relax and unwind in the peaceful surroundings with the bush, birds and beach at your side. Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island and home to Rakiura National Park. The Track is 32km loop which spans 3 days of intermediate tramping. There is no charge to complete a days walk but a night in the hut costs $24 per adult and children are free.
8. Heaphy Track
Located in Kahurangi National Park in the Tasman region this Track has it all. From expansive tussock downs, native forests, roaring west coast seas, nocturnal carnivorous land snails and if you are very lucky you may hear or see the great spotted kiwi/roroa and takahē around Gouland Downs. Its an intermediate walk lasting 4-6 days and covering 78.4km. To stay in the hut it is $34 per adult per night. Children are free making this a great family holiday, especially for teenagers.
9. Lake Waikaremoana Track
Located in the Lake Waikaremoana area this Track is truly breathtaking. The views across the Lake are magical and have to be seen to be believed. The spectacular Korokoro Falls drop off a sheer cliff amidst rainforest. Trace the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana, the 'sea of rippling waters.' Pass giant podocarp trees and remote beaches, and enjoy breathtaking views from Panekire Bluff. This walk is 46km one way and 3-4 days of intermediate tramping. Bookings are essential and cost $32 per adult to stay in the huts, children are free.
10. Tongariro Northern Circuit
Located in the Tongariro National Park in the Central North Island Region. Explore the volcanic heart of Tongariro National Park, a landscape of stark glacial contrasts and alpine views. Journey through dramatic (and active!) volcanic landscapes, glacial valleys, native beech forest, alpine meadows and emerald-coloured lakes. You will feel like you are in a magical land. Cascading waterfalls and volcanos make this walk a once in a lifetime event. The loop is 43km and approximately 3-4 days of intermediate level tramping/walking. There are seasonal restrictions you need to be aware of. Adults are $36 per night and children are free.