Huge mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls, vast glacier-carved valleys, and jaw dropping coastline, you have everything if you’re willing to tread in New Zealand’s manifold lands rife with majesty. Hiking/walking/tramping is the best way to experience this dynamic country. See its beautiful landscapes and explore vast wilderness areas. New Zealand’s walking and hiking offering includes world heritage sites and the Sub-Antarctic Islands – and nine Great Walks across the North and South Islands, as well as many one-day options. These tracks are the perfect way to see NZ’s beautiful backcountry – they capture everything from the long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains. You will also discover magnificent rivers, waterfalls and ghostly valleys of mist. It’s also an opportunity to find country’s rich diverse landscapes, wildlife and environments not found anywhere else in the world. Immerse yourselves in natural environments and travel through them at your own pace. Here are some of greatest walks’ in the South and Stewart Islands.
1. Abel Tasman Coastal Walk
Blessed with golden beaches and lush coastal native bush, the Abel Tasman Coastal walk is the most popular multi-day walk in New Zealand. The track is a 60 kilometres long within the Abel Tasman National Park. The Park is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and its world-famous coast track. The track also allows a chance to experience the true Kiwi wilderness with a bit of comfort and ease.
You Can Also Kayak when you’re tired of walking!
Make the most of the year-round sunshine. Cruise the golden coast and take walk the rugged and remote. Fall in love with its golden sand beaches. Wander along beaches that constantly invite you in for a swim and hike around headlands with stunning views. Discover Cleopatra’s Pool or admire the beautiful inlet to Falls River as you walk across a 47 metre suspension bridge. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the fur seals along the coast of the park. Get the most crossing the Takaka Hill to Golden Bay for caves and impressive rock formations.
Milford walk is an intimate and unique experience with magnificent scenery and pristine lakes. Often described as one of the finest walks in the world, the Milford Track is walked through the heart of Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. The park is a part of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area.
Milford is one of the most Beautiful Hikes
Deep lakes, silent fiords, luxuriant forest and sheer canyons carved out of imposing granite define this landscape. The hike includes a number of pretty waterfalls, suspension bridges and crystal-clear creeks. Saunter through ancient beech forest and grassy flats. Make sure to soak up the spectacular views of Lake Mintaro and the Clinton Valley. Enjoy the native birdlife and spot rarest native bird species including the Robin, Kea, Weka, Fantail, Parakeet, Bellbird, and even Kiwi. Don’t miss the mesmerizing McKay Falls and Lake Ida.
3. Franz Josef Glacier
This is your chance to take a gentle stroll and be inspired! Wind through the rocky riverbed; get rewarded with stunning glacier views. The spectacular Franz Josef Walk can be best experienced walking and can take 1 hour 30 minutes for roundtrip.
Exceptional Views along the Franz Josef Walk
The West Coast’s two largest glaciers – Fox and Franz Josef are unique considering its terminal face is quite low in altitude in comparison to other glaciers at similar latitudes around the world. It makes parts of them easily accessible for walking and tramping.
Walking on a glacier is a different experience altogether
The steeper incline means that Franz Josef Glacier create stunning ice formations such as ice caves and crevasses, where the dynamic flow of ice has literally been ripped apart. Keep on walking to the dune lake where you’ll find magnificent views of the windswept coastline. The first significant waterfall is called Trident Falls and is an excellent photographic opportunity.
Even when it is teeming with rain, the Glacier Valley is still a place of isolation, wonderment and awe. A definite stop on the way up the coast is the local hot pools. It’s a great way to relax after a day on the ice.
Canterbury is a typical outdoor recreation spot in New Zealand for its rolling countryside, lush green spaces, brilliant blue waterways, and a dynamic alpine environment. Hikes & day walks are a great way to get the best of this region.
Feel dwarfed by the mighty mountains with this stunning four hour walk into the heart of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Hooker Valley Track is stunning for views of Mount Cook, the bouncy suspension bridges, boardwalks over the tussock and frequent viewpoints. It may take anywhere from two to four hours to complete.
Mount Cook has Surreal Views
The Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway is a beautiful walk round the headland. Experience ocean views and while you’re there, chances are you’ll spot seals, seabirds and even dolphins. The walk starts at Point Kean Car Park where you’ll often see a local seal colony basking in the sun. There’s also a famous seafood BBQ kiosk on your way back.
South Canterbury has varied landscapes and attractive scenery, with a number of easily accessible and well maintained walking tracks.
5. Stewart Island
Wilderness explorers wanting to experience the ‘end of the earth’ head for Stewart Island, New Zealand’s southernmost and least populated Island. One of New Zealand’s Great Walks, the Rakiura Track, is a good insight to the landscape of Stewart Island. The Rakiura track is in Rakiura National Park located on Stewart Island. As a scarcely populated island, it is more populated mostly by bird and marine life. The walk is a 3 day circuit suitable to do all year round.
The national park makes up a major portion of the southern island, encapsulating ancient forests and secluded beaches, except for the odd seal colony and penguins. Relax and unwind in the peaceful surroundings with the bush, birds and beach at your side. The track passes through a variety of vegetation including previously milled and virgin podocarp forest. Remnants of milling activity can be seen along the track. It is also an opportunity to learn more about Maori people, their traditions and way of life.