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Great Walks of New Zealand

The Great Walks are New Zealand's premier walking tracks. They take the walker on an incredible journey through some of the best scenery in the country.

North Island

Tongariro Northern Circuit
Location /Closest airport: Tongariro National Park / Taupo
Length km/days: 49 kms / 3 to 4 days

This National Park is a World Heritage Area; follow the circuit past volcanoes, emerald lakes, beech forests and sub-alpine desert.

Whanganui Journey
Location /Closest airport: Whanganui National Park / Wanganui and Palmerston North
Length km/days: 145 kms (river journey) / 3 to 5 days

Paddle from Yaumarunui to Pipiriki through dense forest alive with bird song and rich in Maori and European history. The famous Bridge to Nowhere is just a 40 minute walk from Mangapurua Landing.

Lake Waikaremoana
Location /Closest airport: Te Urewera National Park / Gisborne, Napier and Rotorua
Length km/days: 46 kms / 3 to 4 days

Walking through dense rainforest, this track follows the shores of beautiful Lake Waikaremoana and climbs over the Panekire Range. Water taxis are available so you can tailor the length of your walk or have your gear carried.

South Island

Abel Tasman Coast Track
Location /Closest airport: Whanganui National Park / Nelson
Length km/days: 54.4 kms / 3 to 5 days

Renowned for its golden beaches and sculptured granite outcrops this easy walk begins from the estuary at Marahau. It climbs gently through coastal forest along beaches to Wainui, with all huts and campsites near the beach. You can kayak, sail or use water taxis here too.

Heaphy Track
Location /Closest airport: Kahurangi National Park / Nelson and Westport
Length km/days: 78.4 kms / 4 to 6 days (walking); 2 to 3 days (mountain biking)

From the junction of the Brown and Aorere rivers it climbs through beautiful forest dominated by red and silver beech followed by rolling areas of red tussock, and then passes through podocarp forest and groves or nikau palms. It follows the Heaphy River to its mouth, then out the beach.

Kepler Track
Location /Closest airport: Fiordland National Park / Queenstown and Invercargill
Length km/days: 60 kms / 3 to 4 days

With excellent scenery at every turn, it’s easy to see why this walk is so popular. From Lake Te Anau the track climbs steeply above the bush past limestone cliffs to Luxmore Hut. It then crosses grassy tops and descends into the Iris Burn Valley. Keep an eye out along the top for cheeky kea investigating your gear.

Milford Track
Location /Closest airport: Fiordland National Park / Queenstown and Invercargill
Length km/days: 53.5 kms / 4 days

The Milford is the most well known Great Walk track, famous for its spectacular glacial valley landscape. It begins with a boat ride to Glade Wharf and a pleasant walk through beech forest to Lake Mintaro. The strenuous climb over McKinnon Pass reveals stunning views. Several waterfalls are passed as the track descends through lush forest to Sandfly Point.

Rakiura Track (Stewart Island)
Location /Closest airport: Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island / Invercargill
Length km/days: 37 kms / 3 days

Starting from Halfmoon Bay, the circuit follows the open coast, climbs over a forested ridge and traverses the sheltered shores of Paterson Inlet / Whaka a Te Whera. It passes historic sites and little blue penguins may join you along the way.

Routeburn Track
Location /Closest airport: Mt Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park / Queenstown and Invercargill
Length km/days: 32 kms / 2 to 4 days

Lush forests, glacial valleys and snow capped peaks – this superb natural diversity is recognised with World Heritage status. The track is best walked from east to west. It passes a mountain lake, climbs a rocky alpine pass covered with alpine flowers in summer, and offers amazing vies before dropping into lush, dense beech forest.

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