New Zealand Great Walks
Taking in many must-see sights and a wide variety of landscapes – remote beaches, river valleys and gorges, volcanoes, forested hills, alpine meadows, mountains and much more – multi-day hikes are an inspiring way to explore New Zealand’s natural places. Hike them independently or with a guide, staying overnight in memorable campsites, huts and lodges.
We can book the following NZ Great Walks for you:
- Routeburn Track Walk
- Tongariro Northern Circuit
- Kepler Track
- Whanganui Journey
- Rakiura Track
- Abel Tasman Coast Track
- Milford Track
- Hollyford Track
- The Hump Ridge Track
- The Queen Charlotte Track
Book your New Zealand Great Walk today!
Cross the Southern Alps on this Great Walk linking two national parks.
New Zealand’s second most popular Great Walk is arguably its most impressive. Straddling two national parks, it crosses the Southern Alps with the highlight a breathtaking day on the tops.
Traditionally started on the Mount Aspiring National Park side, close to Queenstown, the track climbs through grasslands, beech forest, wetlands and tussock-covered flats. Above the bushline, it sidles along bluffs, crosses an alpine saddle and passes impressive lakes, rewarding walkers with expansive views into Fiordland. Beguiling birdlife, unique plants, the amazing 174m Earland Falls and the side trip to Key Summit ramp up the wow-factor.
This is a popular track for guided hikes. Outside the Great Walks season (May to October) facilities are greatly reduced and there’s a serious risk of avalanches and flooding.
TONGARIRO NORTHERN CIRCUIT
Enjoy a close encounter with a crazy volcanic landscape.
This Great Walk is packed with wow-factor as it winds through Tongariro National Park, a dual-World Heritage Area of outstanding natural and cultural significance. Steaming craters, colourful lakes, thundering waterfalls, glacial valleys and beautiful beech forest – this multi-day journey boasts all this and more.
The circuit takes in the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing that passes the near-perfect cone of Mount Ngauruhoe before climbing to Tongariro’s striking red crater for incredible panoramas. Beyond surreal emerald lakes and the lunar landscape of the Oturere Valley are stands of dense beech forest and Taranaki Falls cascading dramatically into a boulder-lined pool.
Challenging terrain and a volatile climate makes this a fair weather hike, with any off-season attempts left to those with the appropriate skills, equipment and a favourable forecast.
Soak up breathtaking Te Anau and Fiordland views on this unforgettable alpine circuit.
This Great Walk on Te Anau’s doorstep takes hikers up into Fiordland’s mountains with alpine scenery to rival that of the Milford and Routeburn tracks.
With much of the trail above the bushline, you’ll feel on top of the world as it traces ridges and crosses saddles offering ever-changing vistas of Lake Te Anau and the surrounding mountains. The journey is further enriched by a rocky valley scarred by a massive slip, wetlands and moss-laden forest, plus side trips to caves and waterfalls.
The Kepler Track can be completed in either direction, but walking anti-clockwise to Luxmore Hut means the majority of climbing is knocked off on the first day. Visitors with limited time can take a guided heli-hike trip, combining a scenic flight up to Luxmore Hut with the downhill walk to Lake Te Anau. In winter, avalanche risk makes the track suitable only for experienced alpinists.
Take to the water for a trip down the mystical Whanganui River.
The Great Walk that isn’t actually a walk, this memorable journey is in fact a remote canoe or kayak adventure between Taumaranui and Pipiriki in Whanganui National Park.
The Whanganui River guides paddlers from the highlands to the lowlands, through sheer rock gorges and densely forested riverbanks, mostly slowly but occasionally bouncing over bubbly rapids. Fascinating sites include the historic Bridge to Nowhere and Tieke Kainga (a Māori meeting house) where visitors can stay overnight. Other sleeping options include DOC huts, campsites and a private lodge.
Some paddling skills and a good level of fitness are recommended, with fully guided trips available for those not wanting to tackle it on their own. A shorter three-day (87 km) option takes in the most scenic stretch of the river.
Explore Stewart Island/Rakiura’s remote coastline and wild interior.
Step back in time into Stewart Island’s unspoiled wilderness, a haven for bird-life where a chorus of birdsong accompanies New Zealand’s southernmost Great Walk. Visitors may even see the Rakiura Tokoeka, the only species of kiwi known to forage during daylight hours.
Starting and finishing near Oban, this remote but relatively easy hike follows open coastline along beaches and through forest before heading inland through a variety of landscapes including regenerating and virgin podocarp forest. The sheltered shores, secluded bays and forest beside Paterson Inlet make for a lovely last leg, with a beer at the South Sea Hotel a great way to finish.
Although Stewart Island’s mud is notorious, the Rakiura Track’s Great Walk status means the track is mostly firm underfoot. The weather, however, is famously changeable.
ABEL TASMAN COAST TRACK
Explore dreamy beaches and lush coastal forest in a national park paradise.
With golden arcs of sand, granite cliffs and lush coastal forest, it’s easy to see why the Abel Tasman Coast Track is the country’s most popular Great Walk.
It traces the coastline of New Zealand’s smallest national park, offering opportunities to swim in crystal clear waters, spot seals and birds, stay overnight in DOC huts, private lodges and waterfront campsites, and take side-trips to freshwater pools and an old Māori pā site (settlement). The track has something for everyone, including families, and a friendly climate encouraging year-round adventure.
With an armada of water taxis and tour boats plying the waters, it’s easy to split the track into easy day walks or add in a kayak trip offering the chance to explore secluded bays and offshore islands, and encounter the dolphins that frolic along this coast.
Enter an awesome world of towering peaks, deep glaciated valleys and waterfalls.
The Milford Track offers a richly rewarding and highly memorable encounter with Fiordland National Park, one of the world’s great, unspoiled wildernesses.
After a scenic boat trip across Lake Te Anau, the track follows the emerald-hued Clinton River before climbing to Mackinnon Pass for awe-inspiring views of the deeply glaciated Clinton and Arthur Valleys and surrounding peaks. The downhill meander follows the Arthur River to majestic Milford Sound. The Sutherland Falls, dropping 580m in three stages, make an excellent side-trip on the penultimate day.
Although most commonly completed during the peak of Great Walks season, shoulder periods (November & March/April) see thinner crowds and some great conditions in favourable weather. Severe avalanche risks in winter make the track a no-go for all but the most experienced alpinists.
Hike from mountains to sea along the history rich Hollyford Valley.
This remote trail ambles down a remarkable, glacier-carved valley, dominated by the sheer rock faces of the Darran Mountains, reaching its dramatic finale at the wild West Coast.
It passes through dense beech forest and skirts Lake McKerrow, once a fiord now cut off from the sea. Mount Tutoko, Fiordland’s highest peak, is glimpsed here and there. Relics and old fruit trees pinpoint the abandoned settlement of Jamestown, while Martins Bay boasts more stories of struggling pioneers. Today the boulder-lined bay is home to hardy fur seals and Fiordland-crested penguins.
There are six huts for independent walkers, but fully catered lodges make the Hollyford an exceptional option for those looking for a challenging hike with home comforts at day’s end.
TUATAPERE HUMP RIDGE TRACK
This track follows the wild southern coast and loops back via a sub-alpine ridge.
With a wealth of natural and cultural history, spectacular scenery and excellent facilities, this track has all the qualities of a Great Walk.
It begins along the southern Fiordland coastline, a wild place frequented by Hector’s dolphins and whirling seabirds. From there it heads up onto the aptly named Hump Ridge, topped with craggy limestone tors and faraway views of southern Fiordland, Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island. Okaka Lodge, atop the ridge, is a memorable place to spend the night.
The track is a unique partnership between DOC and the Tuatapere community. The trail’s comfortable lodges must be booked in advance, and fully guided walks and heli-hikes are also available. The track may be completed in winter by experienced hikers in favourable conditions.
QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK
Meander around the bays, hills and ridges of the Marlborough Sounds.
Delve deep into one of New Zealand’s most beautiful waterways on this classic hiking adventure skirting bush-lined bays, linked by saddles and ridges topped with stupendous viewpoints. Along the way are tranquil beaches, historic sites, and resort restaurants serving local specialties such as seafood and Marlborough wines.
The whole track can be completed over three to five days, or broken into leisurely sections and combined with kayaking, mountain biking or a long lunch. It can be walked in either direction, but is most commonly started at historic Meretoto/Ship Cove in the outer reaches of the Sounds, reached via a scenic boat cruise.
Water taxis ferry luggage between memorable overnight stops including nature campsites and waterside lodges, so walkers can travel light and focus on the scenery.
Terms & Conditions
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. All bookings are subject to availability. Minimum nights stay may apply. Other travel periods may be available. Some block out dates may apply. Rates may alter depending upon the dates requested and surcharges if applicable. Final booking confirmation only provided once payment has been processed. Contact our travel team for more details. Our Vacation Centre reserves the right to withdraw this promotion without notice at any time. Pricing correct as at 14 October 2021.
*pricing based on Tongariro Alpine Crossing Guided Walk 20/03/2022, two adults, twin share