The best-known hiking trails are New Zealand’s Great Walks. Administered by the Department of Conservation, these popular trails are maintained to a high standard.
Bookings are required during the summertime peak season for the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks, and year-round for the Lake Waikaremoana, Heaphy and Abel Tasman Coastal Tracks. Bookings open on 1 July each year [you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiry] and all walkers must purchase a Great Walk Pass or Great Walk tickets in order to use hut and campsite facilities along the trail.
Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Discover the remote and wild beauty of Te Urewera National Park on a three- to four-day walk through dense rainforest along the shores of Lake Waikaremoana.
Tongariro Northern Circuit This remarkable trail passes through an unforgettable range of stunning otherwordly volcanic landscapes as it winds around Mount Ngauruhoe in the Ruapehu region.
Whanganui Journey Travelled by canoe rather than by foot, the Whanganui Journey is included with the Great Walks due to its significance as a national treasure. Visitors are able to rent a canoe and set out on an independent, multi-day river adventure.
Abel Tasman Coast Track Perhaps the gentlest of the Great Walks, and one of the most popular, this 51-kilometre coastal track combines an intriguing blend of native coastal forest and sandy beaches.
Heaphy Track This hugely popular track passes through a diverse range of landscapes in Kahurangi National Park, from alpine tussock meadows to West Coast rainforest.
Routeburn Track This popular track links Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, passing waterfalls, pristine native forest and lakes along the 32-kilometre journey.
Milford Track New Zealand’s most widely-known walk is located in Fiordland National Park, where forested valleys abound. Walk independently or join a guided walking group.
Kepler Track Located in Fiordland National Park, this 60-kilometre track offers a varied landscape of forest, alpine areas and a glacial valley, and can be walked in three or four days.
Rakiura Track Located on Stewart Island, in New Zealand’s newest national park, this 32-kilometre coastal track can be walked all year round in just three days.