New Zealand is a tourist destination that has it all. It's certainly not hard to make up a list of things to do for your New Zealand vacation, and if you like the outdoors, you'll love this country. Hiking in New Zealand is about as good as it gets, and it's without question among the more popular tourist pursuits. The varying New Zealand landscape offers a dazzling array of backdrops for a vast number of New Zealand hiking trails, many of which can be quite demanding. If New Zealand hiking is part of your plan, don't forget to bring a good pair of hiking boots. Other than that, enjoy the scenery and let your spirit soar.
You can find great New Zealand hiking trails pretty much wherever you go in the country. For help finding the best ones, you can arrange one of the many hiking tours offered by a myriad of New Zealand travel companies. Guided hikes can last just a few hours or a few weeks if you want, and your guide can help provide you with insight into all the sights, sounds, and even smells that you'll encounter. Imagine the ideal hiking terrain in your mind, and you can have it on a New Zealand hiking tour. Volcanoes, glaciers, rain forests, mountains, beaches and peaceful lakes are just some of the things you can see and experience when hiking in New Zealand. You can book a New Zealand trekking trip before you go, or you can easily arrange them once you get here. Many New Zealand vacation packages will include a hiking trip of some kind among their activities, but you can always head out on your own for a bit if you want. Pairing New Zealand hiking with other fun outdoor tours and activities can be a great way to enjoy some of the best that this stunningly beautiful country has to offer.
If you only have time to hit one of the major New Zealand hiking trails, you will want to put the Milford Track at the top of your list. This famous trail is considered by many to be one of the best in the world, and it runs for 33 miles through the best stretches of the South Island's Fiordland. On clear days, the blue sky and rising granite cliffs are breathtaking. When it rains, spectacular waterfalls gush from the mountains, and it's a remarkably different scene. Whatever the conditions, a hike on the Milford Track will not be something you'll ever forget. It's almost pointless to try to put the experience into words. It's the kind of thing you have to experience to truly understand. Cruises at the Milford Sound are another great way to enjoy the views in the Fiordland region, and you can easily arrange Milford tours in nearby Queenstown, or at Milford Sound. Should you enjoy a guided walking tour of the Milford Track, you can stay in luxury lodges and have all the necessities accounted for, like meals, rain jackets and transportation. Another extended hike that you can enjoy in southern New Zealand is the Routeburn Track, which passes through both Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. You can enjoy a bit of fishing along the way, with the right license of course, or can just choose to take it all in. Part of the Routeburn Track passes through a magical virgin rainforest, and you can either camp or stay at a simple hut as you go.
On the northern side of New Zealand's South Island, you'll find another one of the best New Zealand hiking trails. The Abel Tasman Coastal Track can take three to five days, depending on how fast you go or which tour you pick. This is a pretty easy walk which you can do yourself, and you'll think you're in paradise. Soft, gold sand beaches, rugged cliffs, and hidden coves are just some of this track's highlights, and if you just want to hike a part of it for a few hours or so, there are many various access points found along its 32-mile stretch. The town of Nelson is a good place to base yourself if the Abel Tasman Coastal Track is on your hiking in New Zealand itinerary. On the North Island, you will not find a shortage of great New Zealand hiking trails either. Among the more popular ones is Tongariro Crossing, which can be done in just one day. It's found in the Tongariro World Heritage Park, practically in the center of the North Island, and you'll be crossing through stunning mountain and volcanic terrain. There are all kinds of accommodations in nearby towns like Turangi, Tokaanu and Whakapapa, and you can hop on a shuttle to get here and back. Stunning Lake Taupo isn't far off, and it's quite the tourist destination in and of itself.
Serious hikers looking for some of the best hiking in
New Zealand might want to pick the 10-day North West Circuit
as their New Zealand hiking grounds. Observe native birds,
encounter large and empty beaches,
and get a hiking challenge that you won't soon forget.
Slippery gullies are common, and you might find yourself
knee-deep in mud at times on this one, but the experience
is certainly worth it if you want the real deal. The North
West Circuit is found on Stewart Island, which lies off
the southern coast of the South Island. This hike might
not be for everyone, and by no means do you have to spend
days on New Zealand hiking trails. As mentioned, you can
find great trails all over the place here. Whether you're
far up north in Auckland, or
hanging out in the South Island city of Christchurch,
you can find a myriad of area trails to hop on. Most good
New Zealand hotels feature tour desks and helpful staffs
that can help you find the ideal hiking path to fit your
preferences. Wherever you go in New Zealand, and whichever
trail you pick, you're bound to enjoy the experience.
Though the images will live long in your memory, don't
forget to bring your camera!