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The Best Hikes and Trails in New Zealand

New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an incredible range of hikes and trails through some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world. From meandering coastal trails to rugged alpine hikes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for an easy day-hike or a multi-day adventure, the best hikes and trails in New Zealand are guaranteed to inspire awe and admiration. Read on to find out more about the best hikes and trails in New Zealand and discover the perfect route for your next adventure.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best hikes in New Zealand and is widely recognised as the most popular one-day alpine hike in the country. This spectacular 19.4km trail passes through some of the most incredible and diverse landscapes in the North Island, taking in the emerald lakes of the Tongariro National Park, the famous Red Crater and the rugged volcanic terrain of Mount Ngauruhoe. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging hike that is best suited for experienced hikers, however the stunning views and the unique experience make it more than worth the effort.

The hike is usually done from North to South, starting at Mangatepopo car park and ending at Ketetahi car park. The entire hike takes around 8-9 hours to complete and requires a good level of fitness and preparation. It’s important to wear the right clothing and bring plenty of food and water to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an unforgettable experience and is the perfect way to explore the North Island’s incredible natural scenery.

The Abel Tasman Coast Track

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of the most popular trails in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery. This 51km hike takes in some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the South Island, with crystal-clear turquoise waters and golden sand beaches. The trail can be done as a multi-day hike, or as a series of day-hikes, and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to spot some of the native wildlife, including seals, dolphins and native birds.

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is usually done from Marahau to Totaranui, however you can also do it in reverse. The entire hike takes around 3-4 days to complete and passes through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the South Island, including the stunning Split Apple Rock and the majestic Tonga Island Marine Reserve. With its stunning coastal scenery and plentiful wildlife, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s natural beauty.

The Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is a classic Great Walk in New Zealand and is renowned for its spectacular alpine scenery. This 32km hike takes in some of the best scenery in the South Island, with stunning alpine lakes, lush rainforest and rugged mountain peaks. The trail is usually done in 3 days from the Divide to the Lake Mackenzie car park, however you can also do it in reverse or as a 2-day hike. The track is suitable for most levels of fitness, however it is important to wear the right clothing and bring plenty of food and water for the duration of the hike.

The Routeburn Track offers some of the most breathtaking views in the South Island, with highlights including the pristine alpine lakes of the Routeburn Flats, the stunning cascading waterfalls of the Earnslaw Burn and the awe-inspiring views from Key Summit. The Routeburn Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscape and admire its incredible beauty.

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The Heaphy Track

The Heaphy Track is one of the longest and most varied Great Walks in New Zealand and is renowned for its incredible diversity. This 78.4km track takes in some of the most stunning landscapes in the South Island, from golden sand beaches to lush rainforest and rugged mountain peaks. The track is usually done in 5 days from Brown Hut to the Karamea car park, however you can also do it in reverse. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

The Heaphy Track is a unique experience, taking in some of the most stunning scenery in New Zealand. Highlights include the spectacular Heaphy River, the mysterious Gouland Downs and the stunning views from the Harman Pass. With its incredible diversity and breathtaking beauty, the Heaphy Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscapes.

The Queen Charlotte Track

The Queen Charlotte Track is a popular multi-day hike in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery. This 71km trail takes in some of the most beautiful bays and beaches in the South Island, with crystal-clear turquoise waters and golden sand beaches. The track is usually done in 3-4 days from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, however you can also do it in reverse or as a series of day-hikes. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to spot some of the native wildlife, including fur seals, dolphins and native birds.

The Queen Charlotte Track offers some of the most stunning views in the South Island, with highlights including the stunning Ship Cove, the majestic Punga Cove and the breathtaking views from Mistletoe Bay. With its incredible coastal scenery and abundant wildlife, the Queen Charlotte Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s natural beauty.

The Milford Track

The Milford Track is one of the most iconic Great Walks in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery. This 53.5km track takes in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the South Island, with lush rainforest, alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. The track is usually done in 4 days from Glade Wharf to Milford Sound, however you can also do it in reverse or as a series of day-hikes. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

The Milford Track offers some of the most breathtaking views in the South Island, with highlights including the stunning Sutherland Falls, the spectacular Milford Sound and the awe-inspiring views from Key Summit. With its stunning alpine scenery and abundant wildlife, the Milford Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscape.

The Hollyford Track

The Hollyford Track is a classic multi-day hike in New Zealand and is renowned for its incredible diversity. This 36km track takes in some of the most stunning landscapes in the South Island, from lush rainforest to golden sand beaches and rugged mountain peaks. The track is usually done in 3 days from the Hollyford Valley to the Martins Bay, however you can also do it in reverse or as a series of day-hikes. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to spot some of the native wildlife, including fur seals, dolphins and native birds.

The Hollyford Track offers some of the most incredible views in the South Island, with highlights including the stunning Lake McKerrow, the majestic Mt Tutoko and the awe-inspiring views from The Divide. With its incredible diversity and breathtaking beauty, the Hollyford Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscape.

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The Caples Track

The Caples Track is a popular multi-day hike in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery. This 38km track takes in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the South Island, with lush rainforest, alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. The track is usually done in 3 days from the Caples Valley to the Rainbow Reach, however you can also do it in reverse or as a series of day-hikes. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

The Caples Track offers some of the most breathtaking views in the South Island, with highlights including the majestic Lake McKerrow, the stunning Lake Wilmot and the awe-inspiring views from the McKerrow Range. With its stunning alpine scenery and abundant wildlife, the Caples Track is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscape.

The Lake Waikaremoana Track

The Lake Waikaremoana Track is one of the best hikes in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning lake scenery. This 46.6km track takes in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the North Island, with lush rainforest, alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. The track is usually done in 4 days from Onepoto to Aniwaniwa, however you can also do it in reverse or as a series of day-hikes. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

The Lake Waikaremoana Track offers some of the most incredible views in the North Island, with highlights including the stunning Lake Waikaremoana, the majestic Te Urewera National Park and the awe-inspiring views from Panekire Bluff. With its stunning lake scenery and abundant wildlife, the Lake Waikaremoana Track is the perfect way to explore the North Island’s unique landscape.

The Cathedral Cove Walk

The Cathedral Cove Walk is one of the best day-hikes in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery. This 8.4km walk takes in some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the North Island, with crystal-clear turquoise waters and golden sand beaches. The walk is usually done from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove, however you can also do it in reverse. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to spot some of the native wildlife, including seals, dolphins and native birds.

The Cathedral Cove Walk offers some of the most breathtaking views in the North Island, with highlights including the stunning Cathedral Cove, the majestic Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve and the awe-inspiring views from Gemstone Bay. With its incredible coastal scenery and abundant wildlife, the Cathedral Cove Walk is the perfect way to explore the North Island’s natural beauty.

The Tongariro Northern Circuit

The Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of the best multi-day hikes in New Zealand and is renowned for its spectacular alpine scenery. This 56km trail takes in some of the most incredible and diverse landscapes in the North Island, with stunning alpine lakes, lush rainforest and rugged volcanic terrain. The track is usually done in 4-5 days from Mangatepopo to Ketetahi, however you can also do it in reverse. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

The Tongariro Northern Circuit offers some of the most breathtaking views in the North Island, with highlights including the stunning Emerald Lakes, the majestic Mount Ngauruhoe and the awe-inspiring views from the Red Crater. With its stunning alpine scenery and abundant wildlife, the Tongariro Northern Circuit is the perfect way to explore the North Island’s unique landscape.

The Old Ghost Road

The Old Ghost Road is one of the best multi-day hikes in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery. This 85km trail takes in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the South Island, with lush rainforest, alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. The track is usually done in 4-5 days from Seddonville to Lyell, however you can also do it in reverse or as a series of day-hikes. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

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The Old Ghost Road offers some of the most stunning views in the South Island, with highlights including the spectacular Mt Rintoul, the majestic Mt Speculation and the awe-inspiring views from the Ghost Lake Lookout. With its stunning alpine scenery and abundant wildlife, the Old Ghost Road is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscape.

The Fox Glacier Walk

The Fox Glacier Walk is one of the best day-hikes in New Zealand and is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery. This 5km walk takes in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the South Island, with lush rainforest, alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. The walk is usually done from the Fox Glacier car park to the Fox Glacier terminal face, however you can also do it in reverse. As the track is relatively long and challenging, it is important to be well prepared before attempting it.

The Fox Glacier Walk offers some of the most incredible views in the South Island, with highlights including the stunning Lake Matheson, the majestic Fox Glacier and the awe-inspiring views from the Terminal Face. With its stunning alpine scenery and abundant wildlife, the Fox Glacier Walk is the perfect way to explore the South Island’s unique landscape.

Summary

New Zealand is one of the best destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an incredible range of hikes and trails through some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world. From meandering coastal trails to rugged alpine hikes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for an easy day-hike or a multi-day adventure, the best hikes and trails in New Zealand are guaranteed to inspire awe and admiration. From the Tongariro Alpine Crossing to the Fox Glacier Walk, the best hikes and trails in New Zealand have something for every level of fitness and experience. So, make sure to check out the best hikes and trails in New Zealand and start planning your next adventure.