NZ Walks including the Milford Track and Routeburn Track
New Zealand offers some of the most spectacular walking tracks in the world but trampers need to be properly prepared for all weather, even on a short walk in summer.
There are hundreds of walks available in New Zealand to suit all levels of experience and fitness.
Summer in New Zealand is the most popular time to go tramping but many people set off on their walk without the necessary basics and experience needed. The first rule of any walking excursion, no matter the length, is: be prepared.
New Zealand Weather
New Zealand is a narrow country surrounded by sea and is prone to changeable and extreme weather conditions, even during summer. Before you set off on any walk, check the weather forecast. People often get caught in low cloud and find themselves disorientated and lost , even on short treks.
New Zealand Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is charged with protecting New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage and oversees the management of public conservation land, including hundreds of walking tracks throughout the country.
It maintains huts, campsites, tracks bridges and other facilities that are available for public use. Charges often apply for the use of huts and campsites.
Easy New Zealand Walks
Throughout New Zealand there are walks available for people of all abilities and some can be accessed by wheelchair and mountain buggy. Almost all are suitable for even small children.
Great Walks of New Zealand
Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk – A moderate tramp, the Waikaremoana Great Walk is located in Te Urewera National Park. The tramp climbs up the Panekire Ridge before winding round parts of Lake Waikaremoana
Tongariro Northern Circuit – Winding its way over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngauruhoe is the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the Great Walks of New Zealand.
Whanganui Journey – Paddle the Whanganui on a 145-km journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki. A shorter canoe trip from Whakahoro to Pipiriki is also possible. Although a river journey, the Whanganui is part of the Great Walks network.
Abel Tasman Coast Track – Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, is an easy 3 – 5 day tramp that features stunning coastal views and tremendous beaches.
Heaphy Track – The 78.4 km Heaphy Track is the longest of the DOC Great Walks. Located in Kahurangi National Park, the track crosses expansive tussock downs, lush forests, and stunning coastline.
Routeburn Track – Traversing 32 km through Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park, the Routeburn Track can be walked in conjunction with the Greenstone or Caples tracks.
Milford Track – Beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau and ending at Milford Sound, the 53.5 km Milford Track is in the heart of spectacular Fiordland National Park.
Kepler Track – Traversing through spectacular scenery in Fiordland National Park, the 60 km Kepler Track is a moderate walking track that takes three to four days to complete.
Rakiura Track – The Rakiura Track Great Walk is found on Stewart Island/Rakiura, just a 20 minute flight from Invercargill or an hour by ferry from Bluff.
Safety Tips for NZ Walks
Plan your trip – Choose a trip suitable for the skills, knowledge and experience of your group – be realistic
Equip yourself well – At all times of the year, have warm and waterproof clothing, food and survival gear.
Recreation facilities & services – Get details on the wealth of recreation facilities in the New Zealand bush. There are hundreds of kilometres of track, over 900 backcountry tracks and many campsites.