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