New Zealand is a hiker's paradise, boasting some of the most breathtaking and beautiful walks in the world. Our two islands have over 13 national parks and thousands of kilometres of well-maintained tracks. Featuring a diverse range of terrain from pristine beaches and dense rainforests to towering mountain ranges and amazing volcanic landscapes.

If you're a hiking enthusiast or just looking to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, you've come to the right place. With options for day trips to multi day hikes, there is a New Zealand hiking adventure for every traveller. So grab those hiking boots and get ready to explore the wonders of hiking in New Zealand.

Hiking in New Zealand's North Island

1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

This hike in five words: Volcanic, Scenic, Challenging, Iconic, Diverse.

For an epic one-day hike, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is unparalleled. Located in the heart of the North Island, this iconic trek track begins at the Mangatepopo Car Park, and you'll start your hike from here. The trail is well-marked and well maintained, with signposts to guide you along the way.

This hike can be a bit steep as you make your ascent to the volcanic craters and down past the vibrant Emerald Lakes. You will traverse a total distance of approximately 19.4 kilometers of vast untamed and barren terrain, typically taking around 7 to 9 hours to complete. The total elevation gain of the Tongariro Crossing is 800 meters, providing spectacular views of the contrasting terrain.

To ensure that the fragile environment of Tongariro National Park is protected, the Department of Conservation has introduced a booking system for visitors to book their slots to prevent overcrowding. This ensures longevity for the park and a smooth trip for you!

The dramatic and almost lunar-like setting is unparalleled in its stark beauty, making it one of New Zealand's ultimate hikes and Great Walks. This alone makes Tongariro Alpine Crossing a bucket-list item for hikers worldwide, and one you won’t want to miss! 

Check out our Northern Light Tour, to tick this iconic New Zealand hike off your bucket-list.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Flying Kiwi Tours

Hiking in New Zealand's South Island

2. Ben Lomond Track

This hike in five words: Alpine, Panoramic, Steep, Queenstown, Adventurous.

The Ben Lomond Track near Queenstown stands as a quintessential adventure for those seeking stunning panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountainous terrain. Covering approximately 11 kilometers one way, this moderately challenging hike usually takes around 6-8 hours to complete.

The trail winds through alpine meadows, beech forests, and rugged landscapes, culminating in the rewarding summit that offers incredible views and an unrivaled 360° perspective of Queenstown and the snowcapped mountains. A true gem for hikers, the Ben Lomond Track promises not only a physical challenge but full exposure to the wonders of hiking in NZ.

3. Routeburn Track

This hike in five words: Majestic, Alpine, Diverse, Fiordland, Scenic.

Nestled in the Southern Alps, the Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, unfolding over 32 kilometers magnificent alpine terrain. As the track links the Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park, it treats hikers to lush forests, glass-like lakes, and expansive mountain ranges.

With a recommended completion time of 2 to 4 days, the Routeburn Track is moderately challenging trek offers an elevation gain of around 1,300 meters, resulting in panoramic views that will leave you breathless (literally and figuratively) especially on a clear day.

Capturing the essence of New Zealand's untamed beauty, this track ensures an unforgettable adventure for those seeking a perfect blend of challenge and reward.

As this EPIC hike is included in numerous Flying Kiwi trips, you’re spoilt for choice as to which adventure tour to choose. Browse through our full list of New Zealand hiking tours and take your pick!

Routeburn Track with Flying Kiwi Tours

4. Abel Tasman Coastal Track

This hike in five words: Coastal, Golden Beaches, Tranquil, Paradise.

Embark on a coastal adventure with the Abel Tasman Coastal Track! Whilst the South Island is known for its immersive mountain treks, this track in Abel Tasman National Park gives explorers the chance to experience the golden shores of the island’s northern tip.

Through the National Park you will trek through golden beaches, native forests, and crystal-clear waters. As you wander along the trail, catch glimpses of playful seals and an array of birdlife, to connect with nature and witness its wonders up close. The highlight is undoubtedly the turquoise bays and secluded coves that invite weary feet to dip into the refreshing ocean.

With hiking tour options for both day walks and multi day hikes, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track is a versatile and breathtaking adventure, offering the perfect blend of sub-tropical beauty and outdoor exploration.

To enjoy a taster of this stunning National Park, explore our Summer Blast and Wild West South Island tours! Or if you’re looking for a longer jam-packed adventure, our Total Aotearoa tour might just be for you!

Abel Tasman National Park with Flying Kiwi

5. Hooker Valley

This hike in five words: Glacial, Alpine, Scenic, Mount Cook, Picturesque

The Hooker Valley is located within Mt Cook National Park, on the South Island's West Coast. This is an awe-inspiring three-hour alpine adventure with mutiple lookout points to savour the amazing views. This iconic trek unfolds against the breathtaking backdrop of the Southern Alps, treating you to unparalleled views of towering peaks, glacial valleys, and mountain meadows.

The track features the iconic suspension bridge over the Hooker River and culminating at the picturesque Hooker Lake with its floating icebergs. With every step, you are immersed in the raw, untouched beauty of the Southern Alps. This makes the Hooker Valley Track an absolute must for those seeking a short walk packed full of New Zealand’s best scenery!

6. Milford Track

This hike in five words: Majestic Peaks, Waterfalls, Rainforest, Iconic

Embark on an epic adventure through New Zealand's world-famous Milford Sound, located in New Zealand's South Island. Home to numerous short walks, day hikes and multi-day hikes, there are no shortage of options in Fiordland National Park.

The Milford Track, also known as “the finest walk in the world,” is the largest of them all, and a 53.5-kilometer journey. This 4-day trek leads you across suspension bridges, boardwalks, and a mountain pass throughout this Jurassic-looking landscape. As hikers traverse this iconic track in Milford Sound, they are treated to spectacular views. From pristine lakes, towering mountain peaks, vast valley views, and to New Zealand's tallest waterfall, making it one of NZ's ultimate hikes.

Although this full journey is not included in a Flying Kiwi adventure tour, our 9-Day Southern Light tour gives you a snippet of the authentic Milford Sound wilderness experience!

7. Roy's Peak Track

This hike in five words: Panoramic, Challenging, Wanaka, Scenic, Steep

Another South Island gem is Roy's Peak Track, situated near the picturesque Lake Wanaka. This hiking trail provides not only a challenging journey but also an Instagram-worthy panorama that captures the essence of New Zealand's natural beauty. Just over a one-hour drive from Queenstown, this track is the perfect day trip to add-on to the end of your Flying Kiwi tour!

Roy’s Peak Track is approximately a 16 kilometer trip, taking 6 hours all up, making it perfect for a half-day adventure. This track starts with a steady uphill climb through grassy slopes, offering an amazing outlook from early on. As you ascend the uphill climb, the landscape unfolds, revealing breathtaking views. Take in the sparkling expanse of Lake Wanaka and the majestic mountain ranges that surround it. The journey is tough, but the reward is an unforgettable view that will make you feel on top of the world!

Roys Peak With Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours

Plan your epic hiking tour in NZ today!

At Flying Kiwi, we're not just offering tours; we're crafting adventures of a lifetime in the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand.

Whether you're drawn to the alpine majesty of the Routeburn Track, the lunar-like allure of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, or the panoramic glory of the Ben Lomond Track – we've got all your NZ hiking needs covered. Whether you're a hiking novice or avid hiker, New Zealand hiking adventures for every skill level.

So, grab your backpack, lace up your boots, and let the hiking adventure of a lifetime begin in the stunning landscapes of New Zealand.

Our award-winning and unique hiking tours have been top-rated by National Geographic, ensuring you stay in remote locations inaccessible to other tours, creating an intimate and unforgettable experience. With small groups of like-minded travellers, Flying Kiwi adventure tours are tailored for those who love the outdoors, crave adventure, and aspire to travel beyond the tourist trail.

Join us to make friends, create lifelong memories, and discover the unparalleled beauty of New Zealand's finest national parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Plan your adventure tour of a lifetime with Flying Kiwi today!