A spectacular nature and carefully protected, that is the best way to describe NZ. No wonder that many films have been shot here. So if want to go hiking in a film set you try… here’s our 5 favorite New Zealand walks!
Abel Tasman Coast Track
A circuit of three to five days (51 km) on the coastal trail of the Abel Tasman National Park, you walk, as a Robinson, along beaches fringed by lush vegetation, bypass turquoise lagoons; it is this coastal hiking trek that is most popular. If you are tempted by a taste of paradise, do not hesitate; the coastal path at Abel Tasman is passable year-round.
The accommodation along the trail works on reservation: you must book shelters and campsites in advance, and throughout the year. Markets in a day are free of charge. For a taste, the 2-3 hours from Tonga Bay to Bark Bay is very beautiful; otherwise, you can also stop on a beach and enjoy.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
18 km through volcanic are, alpine vegetation and forest of the Tongariro National Park. Considered the “best day hike in New Zealand”, the Alpine Crossing through a volcanic landscape is breathtaking – an active crater, smoking chimneys and beautiful colored Lakes.
Although theoretically feasible in one day, this grueling course should not be approached lightly. The weather can change from one moment to the other, equip yourself accordingly. If you are not in the best of physical condition, grant 2 days and spend the night at the Ketatahi hut. The trail is accessible from Mangatepopo Rd, near the SH47 and Ketetahi Rd, near the SH46.
Shuttles serve the 2 ends of the route. You must however first book and complete the hike in time because the bus does not wait for latecomers.
Five days (54 km) in the rainforest and high reliefs of Milford Sound. This award-winning 53.5 km trail passes by one of the most beautiful scenes in the world. The backpacking season (late October – end April), the number of walkers is contingent (it is imperative to book) and follow a route in 4 days one way. Accommodation is in huts (no camping). You can hike alone or with a guide. For reservations in solo, contact the DOC of Te Anau or book online on www.doc.govt.nz.
Queen Charlotte Track
Three to five days (71 km) to explore the magnificent Marlborough Sounds. This immensely popular trail, which meanders on 71 km of the historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa, passing through private land and reserves in the DOC, reveals a beautiful coastal landscape.
It is well-defined and accessible to people of average physical condition. Can split hiking by taking a taxi, walk along (3 to 5 days) or combine walking and kayaking or cycling. The trail is served by many tour operators and boat companies, allowing you to start and finish where you want, walk, bike or kayak.
Accommodations are never more than a few hours of walking, and boats can carry the luggage along the trail.
The places where you will sleep depend on the distance that you want to travel every day – do your research and book well in advance.
Three average walking days are necessary to hike the Rakiura Track (30 km, 37 km, including the sections on road), easy loop, passable year-round and well signposted departing from Oban. The opportunity to see many birds, beaches, and lush vegetation. You must be in good shape but no more.
The scenery is spectacular and it is one of the famous Great Walks, hence the need to reserve well in advance for huts and camping, in any season (online on www.doc.govt.nz or at the information center of the DOC of the Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island).