Each day on our tours is action-packed, whether you're off on an optional activity, taking in the sights on a bike or heading out on the trails to explore on foot there is something for everyone. That's why we wanted to include some of the best options to Trail Running on tour for those keen to really stretch their legs.
During the tour, we'll be sending you on walks to take in some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer and in this travel advice, we've highlighted a selection of those hikes which you can easily run instead of walk for those super keen and active passengers!
Check out the tours we offer and if these great running options are included in your trip and don't forget to add them to your New Zealand and Flying Kiwi must dos!
Waitomo Village Walkway
This run will take you from the far end of Waitomo where you can explore the awesome Ruakuri bush walk before running back to Waitomo Village 4km away. A short but sweet run you'll be passing by some dense fern forest and a few limestone rock features that make this place famous. The track follows a river before crossing open farm land and returning you to Waitomo Village where your guides will be setting up a delicious picnic lunch.
The trail is a well maintained gravel path with a couple of bigger rocks to look out for but the main hazards are sheep and fences so nothing too major to worry about, just take your time and we'll be waiting for you at the end with a picnic ready to go!
Haruru Falls Walkway
Arriving mid afternoon in the beautiful Bay of Islands we have just enough time to send you on an awesome run to the awesome Haruru Falls. Dropping you near the Waitangi Treaty Grounds it's a 5km walkway that is totally run-able as you follow a gravel path and cross boardwalks through mangroves before arriving at Haruru Falls. If you run you'll have a bit more time than everyone else to relax at the waterfalls before the bus comes to pick you up and take everyone to camp.
The run follows a fairly popular walkway so your only real obstacle is other people but if you're patient and polite you should have no trouble tackling this trail.
If you're not rafting in the morning we will be taking you up the road from camp to explore the Peel Forest. Home to some awesome native bush the Peel Forest is a firm favorite among our passengers and a great place to spot native birds and enjoy the solitude of the forest.
There are a number of tracks in the forest but the best option for running is the Fern Track. This track has some short steep sections and has quite a lot of tree roots that cross the track making it quite a technical run and pretty challenging but if you can manage the distance of 6km it's a fun trail run.
There are a number of hazards to think about on this trail as it does often get quite wet in the forest plus there are prominent tree roots throughout that you'll have to be careful of. On the plus side it's usually a quiet track and it'll just be you and the trail!
No trip to the South Island should be complete without visiting the country's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook! While we're in the area we send everyone off to explore Hooker Valley where you can follow a trail leading through the valley that has stunning views of the mountain before reaching a glacier lake at the top.
A slightly longer run, this one is 5km to the lake and then 5km back, so 10km in total but it's also good to run one way and walk the other and as the track climbs slightly on the way up to the lake most people would choose to walk in and run the downhill back to the carpark. Either way running on this trail give you the opportunity to get past the crowds and explore this beautiful place at your own pace!
Thing to watch out for on this track include the people, once again this is quite a popular trail however if you put the effort in at the start you'll soon leave the crowds behind you. The trail itself is very well maintained and is gravel all the way apart from 3 swing bridges along the route which you may choose to walk across. Apart from that just be careful not to run off the track as it's pretty easy to be distracted by the awesome landscape!
Pororari River Track
While making our way up the West Coast we spend the afternoon in a beautiful spot called Punakaiki. The main attraction here is the awesome Pancake Rocks and Blowholes but before you get there you can incorporate an epic trail run that starts just across the road from our camp.
Heading up along the edge of the Pororari River this track follows a rocky trail through dense forest home to the world's southernmost palm tree species, the Nikau Palm and showcases some of the Paparoa National Park's awesome limestone rock formations. After following the river for a while the track heads inland climbing steeply before dropping back down into another valley. When you get to the bottom of this valley you'll follow the Punakaiki River to join back with the road which will take you back to camp. Stop off to check out the Pancake Rocks on your way back to camp to complete this challenging 10km loop.
Most people walk this trail but it's fun to run it is one of the longer runs we'd recommend but it's definitely possible to walk parts like the big hill right in the middle which is very steep in places! Be on the lookout for tree roots and slippery rocks as the track is often quite wet but if you're up for a challenge then look no further than this great loop.