Top 5 Hikes and Walks in New Zealand

14th Sep 2020

New Zealand is well-known for its stunning countryside, snow-capped mountain ranges and secluded beaches, so it is no surprise that one of the best ways to experience all the rugged terrain is to walk it!

Getting out and exploring by foot is a great way to switch off, reconnect and truly explore the region you are in – plus, knowing you can come back from a long day and relax in your Jayco caravan is a cherry on top of the cake.

Without further ado, here are our top five hikes and walks in New Zealand.

North Island

Cathedral Cove Walk
This is a great way to experience the unique Cathedral Cove, a stunning naturally formed archway only accessible by foot or water. The walk begins at Hahei goes through the scrubland and pine forests, before eventually going down towards the Cathedral Cove. The walk is about 2.5km long return and will take you just under 2 hours.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a full day walk and will take around 8 hours to complete. It is definitely a challenging hike, but the beautiful landscape, emerald coloured lakes and views will make it all worthwhile. The most popular trail for this walk is to start at Mangetapopo Valley and finishing at Ketetahi Car Park. If you want to experience the crossing and more, check out the Tongariro Northern Circuit Hike, a 41km circuit that also explores the Alpine Crossing.

South Island

Franz Josef Walk
Located just outside the Franz Josef Waiau township, this the Franz Josef Walk is a little challenging but the reward is some exquisite glacier views. The track starts off through the forest before heading towards the rocky riverbed so make sure you are properly prepared. In total, this walk is about 4.5km and will take 1.5 hours.

Hooker Valley Track
The Hooker Valley Track is located in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and is a great way to see the beautiful yet rugged landscape. There are some great views on offer of Mount Cook, but you’ll also be able to take in icebergs, glaciers and enormous mountains. It is a 10km hike that will talk around 3 hours return.

Milford Track
Last but not least is the famous Milford Track. This is New Zealand’s most famous walk, and at 53km kilometres long, it is well worth it. The walk starts at Lake Re Anau and covers some pretty amazing landscapes including Sutherland Falls, New Zealand’s tallest waterfall.