Hiking Bucket List: The Must Go Hiking Trails in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the wonderful countries in the world with cloudy mountains and emerald inlets. There are also old-aged fern-ridden forests with cascading waterfalls.

Besides, the empty miles of white and black sand beaches make this country more intriguing to the travelers and visitors alike. With these in mind, you will happily step into the land of this country.

Here, everything is fascinating with magical places and hiking trails. This is why most of the people find it difficult to gauge which is the best place. Simply put, it will be a monumental task for you to decide the best place in New Zealand.

So, if you are a wanna-be hiker or seasoned winner, you should read more to know the best hiking trails in New Zealand. We assure you the below trails are one of the mesmerizing hiking trails in New Zealand.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park, North Island

The Tongariro National Park is an iconic place as it was used as the land of Mordor in the Lord of the Ring’s latest sequel. Usually, the mountain will appear as a scary sense of darkness in a moody weather. To add to that, it is steep and considered as a spiky volcanic rock.

However, this is not the end of the world because, on a clear sunny day, you will be able to see the full mountain. Moreover, there is a glorious opportunity to hike 12 miles for seven hours.

In fact, you can reach the peak of the mountain by taking an alternative way. It is a bit risky, as you have to go sideways and scramble up the mountain to reach the top (do not dare to take this route in a bad weather).

After that, you will head down the ridge from Red Crater to relax at the edge of the neon turquoise. This is a place of geothermally heated waters of the Emerald Lakes. Then go through the lava fields and tussocked meadows, which is another six miles adventure before the final descent.

Finally, reach the Ketetahi trailhead to catch the bus. This bus will take you back to the starting point of the mountain.

Mueller Hut Route, Mount Cook National Park, South Island

The dome of Mount Cook is the tallest peak of New Zealand at 12,316 feet. It is always snowcapped and it leads the glaciated terrain that rises above the en route to Mueller Hut.

Now, the Mueller Hut is a spare red trekker’s hut. In addition, it is cantilevered into the side of a scree slope on a high alpine plateau. All these interesting facts point to a fascinating hiking tour.

Usually, the tour would be a three-mile adventure where the valley floor is vertical and switchbacked. As a result, you can easily stop and indulge yourself into the beautiful view to the valley’s braided river system.

Else, you can observe the sheer presence of the bright blue glacial pools as well as they catch the meltwater at the foot of the mountain. When you will pass the tussocky Seals, you will climb up a big field of loose talus to the plateau ridge at 6,000 feet.

Afterwards, savor yourself to enjoy the meditative sunset views to the iconic Mount Cook summit. You will also hear a loud roar from the katabatic winds at the face of the cliff. In short, hiking in the Mueller Hut will bring you a once in a lifetime opportunity explore your brevity.

Abbey Caves, Whangarei, North Island

The Abbey Caves at the edge of Whangarei, North Island is sometimes overlooked by the general people. In contrast, this place also holds the finest displays of amassed glowworms.

The Abbey Caves is a special hiking trail in New Zealand where you will have the opportunity to walk through the ancient-looking fields. These fields are studded with stands of web-pocked monoliths.

Now, you will climb the pacing stool over a knotted fence and slide into the slick throat of Organ Cave. Keep in mind that this is the first of three caverns. And, you   need to walk through a shin-deep beside 200 yards of a concealed stream to a massive canvas of glowworms).

Next, you will head towards to the Middle cave, which is poorly marked. Here, you will try to find the fluted limestone stalactites and constellations of glowworms.

Remember that these are lined across the ceiling like a green Milky Way. After that, you will go into the Ivy Cave by an abrupt and bouldery descent beside a hastening steam. In this way, you will end your hiking tour in Abbey Caves Whangarei, North Island.

Routeburn Track, Lake Wakatipu Region

The Routeburn Track is one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand and covers 32 km (20 miles). It is said to be one of the most spectacular walks in the world, winding through tussock fields and forest to a pass high above the Lake Wakatipu, with views over Fiordland National Park on one side and Lake Wakatipu on the other.

Kepler Track, South Island

The Kepler Track offers hikers a variety of scenery from alpine to forest with turquoise lakes and rugged peaks. The track takes about three days to complete, which makes it a good option for those with limited time.

For those who want to add an extra day of hiking, there are also two optional side trails available, as well as a backpacking option for more experienced hikers.

This beautiful trail is located in Fiordland National Park and is a six-day hike that winds around mountains and fjords. It’s named after Captain Cook’s astronomer, who was the first European to see the location where this trail begins.

The track passes along Lake Te Anau and ends at the Luxmore Hut. It’s considered one of the best New Zealand hiking trails for beginners because it offers amazing views without too much difficulty.

Hump Ridge Track, New Zealand

This hiking trail located in New Zealand’s South Island gives you a wonderful view of the Southern Alps mountain range. There are a lot of waterfalls along the way and in addition to that, there are also some glaciers that you can walk across.

In fact, it has been voted as one of the best 25 hikes in the world and it will give you an adventure like never before.

Abel Tasman National Park:

This is a beautiful park located at North Island. The landscapes are similar to those from “Lord of the Rings”. You will find here a lot of rainforests, lakes and rivers. In this park you can find a lot of great hiking trails that will take you to beautiful beaches, waterfalls and amazing vistas.

Milford Track

Milford Track is located in South Island of New Zealand. It is situated near Fiordland National Park and Lake Te Anau, in part of Fiordland Conservation Area.

The track was constructed by and named after hunter, conservationist, and politician Sir Hector Fisher when he worked as an assistant surveyor for Otago Provincial Council to explore this region of New Zealand.

Milford Track is regarded as one of the most beautiful hikes in the world because it presents pristine landscapes with magnificent views at every corner.

Mount Taranaki (Mount Egmont), North Island

This 1,518-meter tall dormant volcano is the most famous landmark in the Taranaki Region. It is located on the west coast of the North Island and is visible for miles away. The mountain was formed about 350,000 years ago and is the youngest and most active of the volcanoes in the region.

Abel Tasman Coast Track

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is an easy hike and it takes a day to complete (8 hours). Which is great for beginners! It starts from Marahau and goes all the way to Totaranui. At the end, you can take a ferry back to Marahau or Motueka.

Abel Tasman National Park can be found in the southwest corner of South Island. The park protects a 22-km long beachfront along one of New Zealand’s most stunning coastlines.

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a multi-day hike that starts at Marahau, passes through the small fishing village of Kaiteriteri and ends at Totaranui. There are several different ways to hike this track, and most people opt for either 4 days or 5 days.

Bottom Line

Though hiking is all about adventure but it is still renowned as an exercise to improve health conditions. Apart from this, hiking can really feed off the desire of adventurous person as well. This is why the above trails in New Zealand would be in the top of the list for many hikers.

In fact, these trails are famous worldwide for their unique appeal and magnificent environment as a whole. So, always include these trails in your bucket list and cherish every moment while hiking!

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