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Hiking in New Zealand

Explore the stunning biodiversity of New Zealand on unforgettable hiking trips.
A woman hiker exploring a rainforest in New Zealand.
Beginner-friendly trips
Easy-going hikes through great landscapes.
North Island hikes
Soaring mountains & geothermal wonders.
A woman hiking the Hooker Valley Trail on the South Island.
South Island hikes
Bays, volcanoes & lavish rainforests.
Hikers near a helicopter in New Zealand
Luxury getaways
Cruises, heli rides, 5-star hotels & lodges.
A woman hiker exploring a rainforest in New Zealand.
Beginner-friendly trips
Easy-going hikes through great landscapes.
1-15 days /  From $550 /  3 Trips
North Island hikes
Soaring mountains & geothermal wonders.
5-24 days /  From $1,930 /  4 Trips
A woman hiking the Hooker Valley Trail on the South Island.
South Island hikes
Bays, volcanoes & lavish rainforests.
1-15 days /  From $550 /  4 Trips
Hikers near a helicopter in New Zealand
Luxury getaways
Cruises, heli rides, 5-star hotels & lodges.
5-10 days /  From $2,450 /  2 Trips

Hiking tours in New Zealand

What do people think of our Hiking in New Zealand?
Sharon Choy

He was the perfect combination of professional and relaxed with an obvious passion for the country he was showing us.

Kerri Navarro

Our guide (Justin) was awesome. Helped me do some climbs I never thought myself capable of. Very informative tour guide!

daneapalmer

This tour was absolutely amazing. Our guide (Justin) was extremely knowledgable, friendly, and fun! He planned the adventure around the weather and everyone’s needs. This was an unforgettable experience and I highly recommend it.

Daniel B

We had a fabulous trip with guides Andre and Katie. So many great hikes and activities covering so many iconic spots throughout the South Island. Small friendly group, well-paced for a range of fitness levels, comfy accommodations. Can’t say enough great things about this trip. Far exceeded our expectations.

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Discover some of the most unique hikes on Earth

A land of volcanoes, rainforests & legends

Millennia of volcanic eruptions and glacial carving sculpted a landscape of fairy tales & fantasies. Towering mountains pierce the sky, lush rainforests cloak hidden valleys and dramatic coastlines hug turquoise waters. In New Zealand, myths whisper in the wind, and every step unveils a postcard-worthy panorama.

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Discover a world of hiking variety

All hikers are welcome

  • Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a curious beginner, New Zealand has a trail waiting for you.

Experience the Great Walks

  • Leave your mark on some of the most famous hikes on Earth, including the Milford Track, Kepler Track & more.

Immerse yourself in nature & culture

  • Learn about the rich cultural heritage of the Maori people and connect with nature.
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The 3 Best Hikes in New Zealand

Milford Track

Often referred to as the “finest walk in the world,” this 4-day, 53-kilometer trek through Fiordland National Park boasts stunning scenery with towering mountains, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and a cruise through the majestic Milford Sound.

Kepler Track

This 4-day, 60-kilometer loop track offers a diverse landscape, from beech forests and glacial valleys to alpine meadows and mountain ranges. It’s known for its wildlife spotting opportunities, including kakapo parrots and long-tailed bats.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

This challenging 19.4-kilometer day hike through a volcanic wonderland is a must-do for adventure seekers. Hike through otherworldly landscapes with steaming vents, emerald-colored lakes, and dramatic craters. Be aware that this challenging trip requires a good level of fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hiking in New Zealand

  • New Zealand is widely known and celebrated for its incredible hiking opportunities. Here are some reasons why:

    Diverse and stunning landscapes: From towering mountains and lush rainforests to glaciers, fiords, golden beaches, and volcanic landscapes, New Zealand offers a remarkable variety of scenery for hikers of all preferences.

    A well-maintained trail network: The country boasts numerous well-maintained trails, ranging from multi-day “Great Walks” to shorter day hikes and coastal paths. This allows hikers of different skill & experience levels to find suitable adventures.

    Great Walks: The iconic “Great Walks” are a collection of ten multi-day tracks considered to be the upper echelon of hiking trips in New Zealand. They attract hikers worldwide and contribute significantly to New Zealand’s reputation as a hiking mecca.

    Strong hiking culture: Hiking is deeply ingrained in New Zealand’s culture, with locals and visitors alike enjoying the many benefits it offers. This translates to a well-developed infrastructure for hikers, including comfortable huts, campsites, information resources, and guided tours.

    International recognition: New Zealand consistently ranks highly in international travel lists and awards for hiking destinations. This recognition further solidifies its reputation as a place for unforgettable hiking experiences.

  • The Great Walks of New Zealand are a collection of ten multi-day tramping tracks (hiking trails) renowned for their scenic beauty, diverse landscapes, and historical significance. These well-maintained tracks traverse national parks and other protected areas, offering an unforgettable wilderness experience for hikers of all levels. Here is a map of all of the walks.

    Hiking the Great Walks requires planning and preparation, as some tracks involve remote locations and limited facilities. Booking hut stays or campsites in advance, especially during peak season, is crucial.

  • The best time to go hiking in New Zealand depends on what you like and which specific region you want to visit. Here’s a breakdown by season:

    Summer (December – February):

    • Pros: Warmest weather, long daylight hours (ideal for longer hikes), minimal rainfall in most areas.
    • Cons: Most crowded and expensive time to visit, popular trails can be packed.

    Autumn (March – May):

    • Pros: Pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, beautiful autumn foliage in many areas.
    • Cons: More unpredictable weather, some high-altitude trails might be closed due to snow.

    Spring (September – November):

    • Pros: Fewer crowds than summer, wildflowers in bloom in many areas, pleasant temperatures.
    • Cons: More rainfall than summer, some high-altitude trails might still be snowy.

    Winter (June – August):

    • Pros: Least crowded time to visit, chance of experiencing snow-covered scenery in some areas.
    • Cons: Shortest daylight hours, coldest temperatures, many high-altitude trails are closed due to snow and ice.
  • Determining the prettiest hike in New Zealand is a tough task – there are too many to choose from! However, here are our 3 favorites:

    Milford Track: An iconic “Great Walk” in Fiordland National Park, the Milford Track is a 53.5-kilometer (33.3-mile) journey through towering mountains, lush rainforests, and alongside stunning fjords. It’s widely recognized as one of the best hikes in New Zealand, and maybe even the world.

    Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Located in Tongariro National Park, this one-day volcanic landscape hike is known for its dramatic scenery, including active volcanic craters, emerald-colored lakes, and lunar terrain.  

    Kepler Track: Also situated in Fiordland National Park, this 60-kilometer (37-mile) “Great Walk” offers diverse landscapes, from lush beech forests and waterfalls to mountain ridges and glacier valleys. 

    Abel Tasman Coast Track: This 54-kilometer (33.6-mile) “Great Walk” in Abel Tasman National Park is known for its golden sand beaches, granite headlands, and crystal-clear waters. It’s a popular choice for hikers and kayakers alike.

  • The most famous walk in New Zealand is undoubtedly the Milford Track.

    The Milford Track has been consistently recognized for its breathtaking scenery and unforgettable experience. Here are some reasons why thousands of adventurers have it on their bucket lists:

    • Breathtaking scenery: The track traverses diverse landscapes, offering awe-inspiring views of snow-capped mountains, ancient rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and the majestic Milford Sound.
    • Rich history and cultural significance: The area has been inhabited by Maori people for centuries, and the track incorporates elements of their rich cultural heritage.
    • Accessibility and facilities: While the Milford Track is a multi-day hike, it’s well-maintained and offers excellent facilities like well-maintained huts and campsites, making it accessible to a wider range of hikers compared to other challenging tracks.
    • Iconic status: The Milford Track has been featured in numerous films and documentaries, further solidifying its status as a must-do experience in New Zealand.
  • It’s difficult to say which part of New Zealand has the “best” hikes. However, three regions stand out for their exceptional hiking opportunities:

    Fiordland National Park: Located in the southwestern corner of the South Island, Fiordland National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to several “Great Walks,” including the Milford Track, Kepler Track, and Doubtful Sound Wilderness Track. It’s known for its dramatic fiords, towering mountains, and lush rainforests. 

    Tongariro National Park: Situated in the central North Island, Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site and home to active volcanoes, including Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a popular day hike offering volcanic landscapes, emerald-colored lakes, and lunar terrain. 

    Abel Tasman National Park: Located at the top of the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden sand beaches, granite headlands, crystal-clear waters, and native wildlife. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a popular multi-day hike or kayaking route offering stunning coastal scenery.

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We’re happy to answer any of your questions. Send us an inquiry or talk to one of our adventure planners free of charge.

Articles

By Daniel Murphy, Grace Hookway
Hiking New Zealand’s North Island: the Highlights and the Hidden Gems
Get in touch
We're happy to answer any of your questions. Send us an inquiry or talk to one of our adventure planners free of charge.
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