Guidebook

Hike the Land of the Long White Cloud

New Zealand's best hikes, from one day trips to epic hut to hut journeys such as the Milford Trail.

Charlie Boscoe

Description

With every type of topography, from high, glacier-covered peaks to tropical forests and sandy beaches, there is a lifetime of hiking adventures to be had in New Zealand, regardless of your skill or fitness level. New Zealand is sparsely populated and most rural parts of the country are amazingly wild, despite the relatively small landmass its 2 main islands occupy.

Reflecting the wild and remote nature of New Zealand's mountains, this list of hikes is mainly made up of multi-day trips into the wilderness, but there are also day trips such as the Tongariro Crossing - possibly the most famous short hike in the Southern hemisphere. It would be fair to say that this is not the Alps and on many of these trips there won't be a comfortable hut awaiting you at the end of the day - you'll need to carry your accommodation with you in your rucksack! Having a heavy bag isn't always the most enjoyable experience, but it's a small price to pay to experience the wilderness of New Zealand, and only adds to the feeling of remoteness.

Hiking in New Zealand presents many logistical problems so don't expect to tick these hikes off in the space of 6 weeks - a full summer would be required to do them all. Most are remote and can only be accessed by road and most are also linear, so you'll need to plan a drop-off and/or pick-up. As with the heavy bag, these logistical issues only add to the sense of adventure you'll experience when hiking these wild, beautiful and legendary trails.

Kepler Track
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Kepler Track

Fiordland National Park
1 day +
57.3 km
2,259 m
2,259 m
A 60 kilometre loop which passes through some of New Zealand's most impressive scenery (and that's saying something) close to the small town of Te Anau in the Fjordland region of the South Island.
Moderate
Private
Milford Track: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Milford Track: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut

Fiordland National Park
4 - 5 hrs
18.0 km
680 m
279 m
Day 2: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut—6 hours, 16.5km.
Moderate
Private
Milford Track: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Milford Track: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut

Fiordland National Park
3 - 4 hrs
13.5 km
696 m
1,216 m
Day 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut — 6-7 hours, 14km.
Moderate
Private
Milford Track: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut

Milford Track: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut

Fiordland National Park
0 - 1 hrs
4.8 km
79 m
70 m
Day 1: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut - 1 hour 30 minutes, 5km.
Moderate
Private
Milford Track: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point

Milford Track: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point

Fiordland National Park
4 - 5 hrs
18.3 km
731 m
695 m
Day 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point — 18km, 6 hours.
Moderate
Private
Routeburn Track
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Routeburn Track

Fiordland National Park
1 day +
31.6 km
1,719 m
1,663 m
Possibly the most famous hike in The Long of the White Cloud, this is New Zealand at its very finest.
Moderate
Private
Copland Valley Track
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Copland Valley Track

1 day +
46.8 km
1,640 m
1,640 m
Explore the south island’s wild west coast with this 2 day out-and-back adventure.
Difficult
Private
The Pelorus Track
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Pelorus Track

1 day +
41.1 km
1,995 m
1,343 m
A beautiful 3-4 day hike through Mt Richmond Forest Park.
Difficult
Private
Queen Charlotte Track
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Queen Charlotte Track

1 day +
67.6 km
2,807 m
2,819 m
Ridge and coastline walking among lush forests in South Island's Marlborough Sounds.
Moderate
Private
Pirongia Traverse
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Pirongia Traverse

7 - 8 hrs
32.1 km
1,185 m
809 m
Enchanting forests, steep ridges, and an ancient volcano on the North Island’s west coast.
Difficult
Private