HIKER’S PARADISE: New Zealand

Welcome to HIKER’S PARADISE!

We’re glad you’re here!  This series is where you’ll find some of the best recommendations for places in the world to live in if your passion has to do with spending time in the mountains.  Our featured hiker’s paradise is: 

NEW ZEALAND

by Birthe of Wandering the World

New Zealand is a country filled with stunning nature. From the bluest lakes to the biggest glaciers, New Zealand has them all. A road trip is a great way to see lots of amazing views, but to get to the real good parts you’ll have to hike.

New Zealand has tons of awesome hikes, most of them maintained by the Department of Conservation. Their website, along with the NZ Frenzy guidebook, is a great source to find the best hikes together with some practical information.

During our one month road trip through New Zealand we did a whole range of hikes throughout the entire country. The shortest were 5 minutes, the longest up to 6 hours. There are multi-day hikes as well, but we decided to skip those (for now!).

One of our favourite hikes is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park. This (very) popular 6 hour hike takes you up and down over volcanic terrain, along awesome views. You’ll pass Mount Doom (you have seen Lord of the Rings, right?), the Emerald Lakes, and Blue Lake. Prepare for steep climbs, strong winds and lots of hikers, but it’s still a must do hike!

Another awesome hike is the Hooker Valley Track in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The scenery during this 3 hour hike is just breathtaking. You’ll cross swing bridges and see Hooker Glacier, all against a Mount Cook backdrop.

The last hike we’ll describe has another glacier: the Rob Roy Glacier Track.  This 4 hour return track takes you through beech forest, along the turquoise coloured West Matukituki River, up to a viewpoint over the Rob Roy Glacier. The drive to the trailhead is almost as awesome as the hike itself, but do check the weather before you leave.

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Brown Gal Trekker is a nomad at heart who survives the mountains to inspire others to trek them.