The Best 5 Hiking Routes in New Zealand

If you love hiking and if you can’t think of a better way to spend a vacation then exploring new trails, New Zealand is the place to visit.

The thousands of km of walking trails available leaves you with endless choices and depending on if you are experienced, intermediate or beginner hiker, there is something to challenge everyone.

The stunning surroundings include everything from mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches and caves.

Before you lace up your hiking boots though there are some practicalities to consider, such as the fact that you might need a tourist visa for New Zealand.

If this is your first trip to this magnificent country, then you might also need some suggestions as to where to go on your epic hiking trip. Although the list below is by no means exhaustive, it will give you a pretty good indicator on what you can expect to find.


Your nationality will decide whether you will need a visa for New Zealand or not. What will also factor in is the amount of time you wish to stay as well as the purpose for your trip.

Working or studying will require a visa for instance whereas visiting for tourist purposes might not require a visa for citizens of some nationalities.

As such there are a range of countries from which its citizens can enter New Zealand visa free for a period of up to 90 days. These include for instance the United States, Brazil, Japan and all European Union member states.

However, citizens from countries that does not require a visa to visit New Zealand will, come October 2019 be required to pre-register for an ETA visa waiver online before traveling.

Those not eligible for this must then apply for a New Zealand visitor visa. As such travelers are able to apply for a range of visa options when wanting to visit New Zealand and for a full list of options as well as all the rules and regulations concerning the application process it is best to visit official sites online for more information.

Tongariro Northern Circuit

This loop is 43 km long and it will take you approximately 3 to 4 days to complete. While on the trail you will encounter active volcanos, alpine meadows and emerald lakes.

Routeburn Track

This is one of the easier treks, 32 km long and you will not finish where you started from. Lush meadows create the backdrop for this steady climb and the highest point is Harris Saddle at 1255 meters.

Milford Track

This is the best of New Zealand’s great walks and it will leave no one disappointed. It is 54 km long, one-way and it will take a few days to complete. The ancient rainforests will make it worth your while though.

Kepler Track

At 60 km it is one of the more challenging ones but there are plenty of places to rest and it will be worth to walk above the tree line on a mountain ridge.

Able Tasman Coast Track

Also 60 km but with a flat trail. Combining waterfalls and swimming with hiking, it’s a winner.