New Zealand is famous as a world-class destination for hiking. New Zealand offers a range of hikes from leisurely family strolls to some serious multiday expeditions. New Zealand prioritizes certain hikes for tourism. These are normally particularly picturesque and scenic hikes that are of national importance and a great way to see some of New Zealand's best sights. Infrastructure along these hikes is more developed to accommodate more hikers (huts, toilets, and the like).


New Zealand: The Linguo

Tramping - The Most Common Word For Hiking

Sand Flies - The Pesty Little Mosquitos In New Zealand

Hut - The Cabins Or Shelters For Hikers In New Zealand

Track - The Word For Trail

DOC - (Said As "Dock") Department Of Conservation

DOC/DOC Officer/Employee - Terms Like "Ranger" or "Park Ranger" Are Not Generally Not Used In NZ (Sounds Too Formal And Police-Like For New Zealanders)

New Zealand's Great Walks

New Zealand has ten designated Great Walks, three in the North Island, six in the South Island (see here for how to plan a perfect holiday in the South Island), and one in Stewart Island. These tracks range from 32 kilometers (20 miles) to 82 kilometers (51 miles) in length. The times to complete these tracks are between 3 and 6 days.

  • Admission Fee For National Parks: In New Zealand All National Parks Are Free
  • Cost To Stay At The Huts: Varies $3-$10 Tokens Are Bought In Advance

North Island Great Walks

Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk - 27 Mile Walk Passing Through Different Types Of Forest And Grassland

Tongariro Northern Circuit - This Is The Volcanic Lands That Were The Filming Location For Mordor In Lord Of The Rings (The Tongariro Crossing Is A Part Of This Walk)

Whanganui Journey - Unusual As It Is Not A Hike But A Kayaking Journey Down The Stunning Whanganui River (90 Miles)

South Island Great Walks

Abel Tasman Coast Track - The Most Popular Track, Smaller, Easier, And Great Sunshine Hours

Heaphy Track - 49 Mile Track In The Northern South Island

Routeburn Track - Shortest Track And With Majestic Views In Both The Fiordland National Park And Mt Aspiring National Park

Pararoa Track - The Newest Great Walk (Since 2020) Includes The Pike29 Memorial Track Remembering Pike River Mine Disaster

Kepler Track - Alpine And Circular Track In Fiordland

Milford Track - The Most Famous And Only One You Must Book In Advance

Rakiura Track - Utterly Stunning Track To Explore New Zealand's "Third Island"

Steward Island Great Walk

General Information About Hiking In New Zealand

New Zealand is a developed country so if there is an emergency you can be easily heli-lifted to safety. New Zealand's Great Walks are stunning and they cover a lot of New Zealand's varied landscapes. Some (like the Tongariro Crossing) are very busy. While others like the Routeburn Track have far fewer hikers and you can enjoy the scenery in relative peace.

Related: 10 Of The Best Things To Do In New Zealand

Remember many of these tracks cross alpine crossings and the weather can change rapidly. Always check the weather forecast, bring plenty of dehydrated food, and have plenty of warm clothing. Some of the tracks like the Milford, Pararoa, Kepler, and Routeburn Tracks cut through very very wet regions of New Zealand. Regardless of the weather forecast, you must be prepared for wet and windy weather. This part of New Zealand receives 252 inches of rain per year and it rains 182 days a year with the rain spread throughout the year.

  • Tip: Immigration In New Zealand Is No Problem - Its Customs, Be Very Careful To Read The Customs Declaration Form Provided And Declare!

The government body responsible for the Great Walks and all the conversation land and national parks in New Zealand is the Department of Conservation (DOC). Refer to them for all updates about closures or travel advisory information or any other such information related to the tracks.

Visa: New Zealand Is Visa Free For Western Countries

Sandflies in New Zealand can be very bothersome. You don't need to worry about diseases like malaria from them in New Zealand (there is no malaria in New Zealand). But if you are camping by the lakeside or river expect many of these very annoying bloodsuckers to disturb your peace and ambiance. Bring plenty of effective mosquito spray and long clothing!

There are no dangerous animals in New Zealand (don't confuse Australia with New Zealand - they are polar opposites). There are no snakes at all - poisonous or otherwise - in New Zealand.

Related: Australia Vs New Zealand: 20 Reasons To Choose One Over The Other

  • Tip #1: Always Bring Mosquito Spray
  • Tip #2: DOC Or "Park Rangers" Are Not Armed And Are Not Law Enforcement Like In America Though They Can Issue Fines Etc.

New Zealand is a very strict country when it comes to littering or camping. New Zealand wants to keep its land pure and clean so free camping is restricted. New Zealand is perfect for camping but be sure of knowing the local rules if you want to camp in the wild. Generally, destinated camping spots (and they are everywhere) are the only places you can camp. Even sleeping in your car can hand you a hefty fine.

In summary, hiking in New Zealand is one of the top activities everyone should enjoy and one of the best ways to really get to see New Zealand.

Next: Hobbiton Is On New Zealand's North Island, And This Is Everything You Need To Know Before You Go