New Zealand’s Great Walks are the epitome of the country’s beautiful and diverse outdoors.
As the world’s adventure capital, New Zealand is home to a vast array of majestic tracks and walkways, including the world renowned Great Walks. As the name implies, Great Walks is a term referred to New Zealand’s exquisite collection of hiking tracks that pass through the best and most scenic parts of the country.
There are walks that suit just about every ability throughout New Zealand. So no matter if you’re a trail runner who’s covered the islands from top to bottom or a weekend warrior looking for a short getaway, there is an ideal walk for you. Let’s lace up those hiking boots, shall we?
Length: 53.5km one way
Time needed to complete the walk: 4 days
Originally used as a trail for transporting and gathering greenstone, Milford Track has now become one of the most–if not the most–popular tramping trail in New Zealand. The four-day trail takes you through scenes of rugged valleys and old-growth forests.
Starting at the Lake Te Anau’s head, this exciting trek passes through the scenic temperate rainforests of Mackinnon and ends at Milford Sound. During the country’s high season, this track can be only accessed in one direction, which is from Lake Te Anau’s Glade Wharf to Milford Sound’s Sandfly Point. For the most part, the trek takes four days/three nights.
Because of its popularity, hikers must book huts in advance during the high season (November to May). Outside of high season, huts are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Length: 60km one way
Time needed to complete the walk: 3-5 days
This easy-to-follow track weaves along the coastline through Abel Tasman National Park. Well marked and well signposted, it is very easy to follow for all levels of trekkers. Expect to see stunning coastlines that wrap around majestic bays, golden rocks and forests rife with bird life. If you’re lucky, you might spot penguins and seals along the way.
Length: 78.4km one way
Time needed to complete the walk: 4-6 days
The Heaphy Track is a lengthy track through Kahurangi National Park. Your journey starts at the dense forests and ends on the west coast, making it one of the most varied tracks in the country. Chances of seeing kiwis and takahē are high around Gouland Downs for those who tread lightly. Mountain bikers will also enjoy exploring the trail, as they share the trek with hikers from May to the end of November.