New Zealand is a country of dreams. Known as the adventure capital of the world, the home of Lord of The Rings and an adventurer’s playground. It’s no surprise New Zealand is on everyone’s bucket list. As well as thrill seekers, those looking for an outdoor hiking experience also flock here. With some of the best long-distance walking in the world, from mountain trails to scenic coastal walks, there’s a walk for everyone. So, get your backpacks ready and flights booked because after you read these five reasons to go walking in New Zealand, you’ll be itching to get going!
1. The most stunning Scenery in the world
If you’ve ever watched Lord of the Rings, you’ll understand the wish of being sucked into the scenery of the movie. Filmed in New Zealand, seeing the locations in person does not disappoint. The landscapes of New Zealand is hard to explain; there are no words to say how beautiful it is. The two islands are entirely different, but each has their own charm. Each turn on the road gives you another new and extraordinary view. It’s a place where pictures, just don’t do it justice but the memories you have of it will always make you dream those moments back in the full beauty. Whether you’re going to New Zealand for a road trip or a walking trip, the scenery will captivate you on every turn!
2. Stay on the trail, with the best window views
It’s not every day that you can wake up, open the curtains and be surrounded by nature right on the trail. Walking in New Zealand will offer you a different experience. Instead of waking up every day in a different town or city, you will wake up in nature. You’ll have breakfast while enjoying the noise of the cheeky Keas, the wind through the trees or the quiet of the mountain tops. The huts and lodges you’ll stay in on the trails are comfortable, warm and incredibly social. Meet other walkers, chat with the warden and enjoy a social dinner while you reflect on the day past. The accommodation on trails such as the Routeburn, Kepler and Milford are so far away from towns and cities that when night falls, the sky lights up with a spectacular display of stars. It may not be a five-star hotel experience, but the experience of sleeping in the quiet of nature, seeing the clearest night skies and waking up to sensational views make it more memorable than your standard five-star hotel.
3. The Cheeky Keas
The legendary Kea’s are not to be missed when visiting New Zealand. They are the most characteristic animal and a lot of fun! Found in the Alpine regions of New Zealand you’ll be sure to see these guys along the Kepler, Milford and Routeburn Track. They have a distinct call and will often wait for you to pop your backpack down and will appear when the snacks come out. The Kea is often confused with the other local bird, the Kaka. Similar in size and colour the only difference is the Kaka is shy and likes the cover of trees it can hop between. The Kaka is endangered, and if you do spot one, it’ll be likely on the Milford and Routeburn Track.
The Kea is green in colour and can be found hanging around areas of 900 – 2000 metres. They have a rounded beak and are fearless. In New Zealand, the Kea is protected, and tourists are warned not to feed the Keas as our food (such as biscuits and bread) can really harm them. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to eat anything they can get their beak on – including rubber on cars! These cheeky birds are fantastic to watch and interact with and will often leave you with a funny story from your walking trip in New Zealand.
4. There’s a walk for everyone
From Beaches to Mountains, New Zealand has it all and a great hike to match! The Abel Tasman track offers the most breath-taking beach scenes you have ever seen. Golden Bay, a stop with glistening gold sand and bright blue seas is like a scene from a dream, and a must see on your New Zealand trip! From the beaches of Abel Tasman to the mountains and forests of the Routeburn and Milford track. These two trails offer stunning mountain views and treks as well as immersion into New Zealand’s rainforests. Along the Routeburn, you will experience stunning green forests, hugely impressive waterfalls and trails. On the Milford track, the rainforest comes alive with the birds of New Zealand, before ending in the legendary Milford Sound where the dramatic mountains meet the ocean. Whether you’re new to walking or a well-seasoned walked there is a trail for everyone with all abilities here. New Zealand is a country for everyone, and while it may be known as an adventurer’s playground, the walks can be done at your own pace. Take your time, stay on the trail and enjoy your surroundings. You might be walking in the vineyards of Marlborough Sound, the coast of Abel Tasman or the mountains of the Kepler track. Whatever walk you choose to do, it can be done in a time that’s best for you and your ability. So, lace up your hiking boots and find the best walk in New Zealand for you!
5. It’s more than just a walk!
You may be going to New Zealand to go on a walking holiday, but you’ll leave having seen and done so much more! The Milford Track is a sensational walk and one which fills up fast because of its ideal end location, Milford Sound. Why is this a perfect end location? Because from Milford Sound you can take a cruise around the sound and see the mountains and waterfalls up close. You may even see the cheeky Dolphins, Penguins, Seals and Albatross that call this sensational place home. If you go to New Zealand to walk the Routeburn track, you’ll be staying in Queenstown, a thriving and bustling town surrounded by the incredible mountain range, the Remarkables. In Queenstown don’t miss out on trying the legendary ‘Ferg Burger’, going on a Jet Boat around the lake or if you’re up for a thrill go bungee jumping with AJ Hackett. Up on the Abel Tasman track, you’ll enjoy the fantastic beaches and views as you walk but when you finish why not head out Kayaking and see if you spot dolphins, whales and other wild sea life. Or head down to Greymouth and take the transalpine express back to Christchurch. This journey is one of the best train rides in the world and should not be missed! So, no matter what trail you come to New Zealand to walk, there is so much more for you to do around that!
No matter what trail you choose to walk in New Zealand, the memories you come back with are going to last a lifetime, and I promise, these memories you’ll never forget! So, get your hiking boots and passport ready, New Zealand is the ultimate destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable walking adventure!