This year marks the 30th anniversary of New Zealand’s Great Walks – premier walking tracks that traverse the country and provide unparalleled access to its most incredible landscapes, diverse wildlife and rich cultural heritage.
With New Zealand reopening its borders to fully vaccinated international travellers from all visa waiver countries including Singapore from this month, this is the perfect time to discover the great outdoors – get up close with untamed wilderness, majestic mountains, lush forests and flowing rivers. From day walks to multi-day hikes, there are walks for every interest and fitness level – a truly immersive experience with nature.
If You Prefer Day Walks
- Cable Bay Walkway – At three and a half hours, Cable Bay Walkway is a great warm up for hikers looking to tackle the Abel Tasman Coastal Track or Heaphy Track. The route offers sweeping coastal views of Boulder Bank, Nelson City and Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks. Find out more here.
- Roberts Point Track – Winding up over the Waiho Valley, the Roberts Point Track takes hikers from the Douglas Bridge to Hende’s Hut while passing sheer rock walls, side streams and waterfalls. Find reward at the top with unrivaled views of the Franz Josef glacier. Find out more here.
- Ulva Island – The jewel of Rakiura National Park, Ulva Island offers a series of short treks suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. Discover beaches and coves, while connected paths allow you to explore different routes. Avid bird watchers will want to keep an eye out for birdlife along the way. Find out more here.
- Lake Marian Track – Situated off Milford Sound Highway, the Lake Marian Track is a great introduction to Fiordland. Enjoy a taste of real wilderness as you traverse the waterfalls and a glacial-carved hanging valley before arriving at Lake Marian. A perfect adventure on a lovely summer day. Find out more here.
If Multi-Day Hikes Are More Your Thing
- Abel Tasman Coast Track – A coastal trek that takes hikers from sun-soaked golden beaches up to a remarkable coastal forest canopy within the Abel Tasman National Park. With its relatively flat terrain, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is ideal for amateur hikers and families with young children. Due to the mild climate of Nelson Tasman, the track is accessible all year round. For adventure and ocean lovers, opt for a guided kayak tour and complete this Great Walk from the ocean. Find out more here.
- Heaphy Track – Once walked by Māori pounamu (jade) hunters, this ancient Māori trail crosses over tussocks and lush forests, through nīkau palms to the roaring seas of the wild West Coast. Located within the Kahurangi National Park, hikers will encounter native plants, New Zealand’s oldest rocks and wildlife including the great spotted kiwi and the world’s largest carnivorous snail, Poweilliphanta. Find out more here.
- Routeburn Track – With its soaring mountain peaks, huge valleys, towering waterfalls and jewel-like lakes, this track links Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park, offering hikers the best of both worlds. Avid bird watchers and photographers will enjoy this hike with its native birdlife and sweeping sceneries including Earland Falls, one of Fiordland’s most impressive waterfalls at 174m. Find out more here.
- Milford Track – Known as the ‘finest walk in the world’, New Zealand’s most famous walk has been thrilling hikers for more than 105 years. Its alpine scenes and fiords remain as mermersing as ever. The trek takes you right into the heart of New Zealand’s wilderness – a historic route that spans untouched nature and steep mountainsides including the Mackinnon Pass and Sutherland Falls, it’s also home to rare and endangered species. Find out more here.
- Rakiura Track – New Zealand’s most southern Great Walk, this track takes hikers through Stewart Island – offering peace, birdsong and scenery that has barely changed in thousands of years. The island is home to a huge bird population including the country’s national bird, the kiwi. Steeped in history, the track passes through Māori land and early Māori settlement sites. As the world’s fifth international Dark Sky Sanctuary, Stewart Island is great for catching the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights. Find out more here.