New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its nature is simply stunning, ranging from lush forests, over snowcapped mountains, to the bluest lakes. And what better way to discover that green, white, and blue than hiking? Here are some of the best hikes in New Zealand.
New Zealand is dotted with awesome hikes, ranging from easy 5 minute walks to exhausting multi-day hikes, or tramps as they say in New Zealand. In this post we’ve kept it to day hikes. There are already plenty of those worth doing, making it hard to boil it down to 5 of the best hikes in New Zealand, but here goes.
The Lake Tekapo Peninsula Walkway
Kicking it off with a hike on the shores of one of the bluest lakes you’ll ever see: the Lake Tekapo Peninsula Walkway. One thing that’s really awesome about this hike, apart from the beautifully turquoise coloured water, is that there’s no clear path to follow. Orange markers vaguely suggest a direction, but in between those markers you are free to wander around and soak in the jaw-dropping surroundings. Allow for 1.5 to 2 hours to complete this hike.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Chances are you’ve already heard or read about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, said to be the best day hike in New Zealand. It’s no surprise this hike is becoming increasingly popular, as the landscape you’ll cross is pretty impressive. Keep in mind that it’s a demanding hike though, taking you over volcanic terrain, with steep slopes and strong winds. Read up on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing beforehand and go prepared. Allow for 6 to 8 hours to complete this hike.
The Mahinepua Peninsula Track
Prefer a off the beaten track hike where you’ll have the path more or less to yourself? Then the Mahinepua Peninsula Track is the place to be. The coastal views are outstanding and you can even swim in one of the sheltered bays. Definitely worth driving to the edge of the Northland region for. Allow for 1.5 to 2 hours to complete this hike.
The Key Summit Track
The Key Summit Track is located in Fiordland National Park, one of the most visited national parks in New Zealand thanks to Milford Sound. Unfortunately most people forget it has more to offer than just this gorgeous fiord. Like the Key Summit Track for example. You’ll find that the 360° panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys at the summit are definitely worth the effort of climbing that gradual ascent. Allow for 2.5 to 3 hours to complete this hike.
The Hooker Valley Track
The Hooker Valley Track is a pretty popular hike as well, but still worth doing. If you start early, you can beat the crowds. The path takes you through the Hooker Valley, along (and over) the Hooker River, to the Hooker Glacier and Lake, all against a stunning backdrop of snowcapped mountains. Allow for 2.5 to 3.5 hours to complete this hike.
Even though this is just a small fraction of all the awesome hikes in New Zealand, it probably already has you convinced the country is a paradise for hikers (and photographers). Hopefully you’ll make it there someday to see all that unspoilt nature for yourself!