Five of New Zealand’s Greatest Day Hikes

New Zealand is an adventure seeker’s dream. The country offers everything. Boat life, beaches, Heli-hiking into glaciers, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, mountain biking you name it. Another activity the country is famous for is its plethora of “tramping” or hiking trails. Here is a list of 5 must-see day hikes in beautiful New Zealand.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Know as one of the greatest day hikes in New Zealand, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is just over 20 km one way and takes you through the volcanic land of the North Island or Mordor for Lord of the Ring fans. Mt. Ngauruhoe is a site to see on this trek and doubles as Mt. Doom. Booking a shuttle with a tour company from a nearby town is recommended. And bring layers! You will go through about 3 microclimates during this amazing journey.

Abel Tasman

Located along the coast on the north side of the South Island, Abel Tasman is a tropical paradise full of golden sandy beaches and marine life. There are a few different ways you can enjoy this beautiful park.  You can explore the shoreline via kayak, boat or on foot. For the day hike option, you can hire a water taxi or book with a tour group to take you up the coast and you walk back. I stayed in Nelson when I hiked through Abel Tasman. I took a bus to Kaiteriteri and hopped on the water taxi from there. Just don’t do what I did and miss your water taxi on the way back!

Hooker Valley Track

This out and back trek is one of the most popular hikes in the Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. The trail is 5km long one way and will take you across swinging bridges, by roaring glacier rivers and to Hooker Valley Lake which offers a picturesque view of Mt. Cook – the tallest peak in New Zealand. The walk from the town center to the trailhead can add about 40 mins to your hike, but you might be able to stick out your thumb and catch a ride there, or someone might just pull over like they did for me. This is one of my favorite hikes on this list and for good reasons. The views are unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Roy’s Peak

Probably the hike you’ve seen the most on Instagram, Roy’s Peak is a steep 16 km trek. The trailhead is about 3km away from the city center, but with the popularity of the hike, you’re bound to find someone driving your way that can give you a ride. The start of the hike goes through a sheep farm, but if you’ve spent any time in New Zealand, you already know there are sheep everywhere. You’ll wind up the mountain for a picture-perfect view of the glacier-carved Lake Wanaka. The hike is fully exposed, so bring appropriate cover, sunscreen and water.

Kaikoura Peninsula

Located in the small coastal town of Kaikoura, the Peninsula Walkway is almost 12 km long and takes you along the scenic peninsula. Here you can get up close and personal with a seal colony, see whales and dolphins from the shoreline, and take in some of the best views on the South Island. This walk is easily accessible from the city center and the perfect way to explore an incredible coastline.

You really can’t go wrong with any day hike in New Zealand, but if you find yourself there and looking for a hike, these 5 are a great place to start! Now I want to hear from you, where is your favorite country to hike? Tell me in the comments below! I’m always looking for new destinations to explore!

Until next time…..



New Edinburgh

322Dunedin is Galiec for Edinburgh. It was settle by the Scottish in the late 1800s. They designed the city after Edinburgh, the buildings, the streets, and even the street names. The difference. Scotland is much older. Dunedin is just a baby. After getting off the bus, I made my way to their local brewery, Speights, for some tastings. It was here I was able to watch my first football game since arriving in NZ. It was extremely chilly in Dunedin; cold enough I purchased another thermal layer. My plan the following morning was to venture out to the Otago Peninsula. I met a French girl during breakfast who was also planning to check out the peninsula, so we decided to take the bus and venture out together. When we got off the bus we felt very alone Not a lot of tourist, cars or people in general. We did speak to the store clerk who gave us some pointers on a nearby beach. The walk was long. We followed a gravel road for 90% of it. We walked past an inlet that was almost more like a swamp. We saw lots of sheep, and lots of birds. The birds we dive bombing us. It was freaky at first, but then it became comical. I have no idea why they were dive bombing us. The weather was horrible. Absolutely horrific. The wind was so strong it would cause us to stumble. At times it also started to rain. Many times we contemplated on turning back. But we continued on and made it to the beach. It was beautiful. The sun came out, and the wind even died down. We hung out for a bit; I drew some pictures in the sand. It was a good time. The tide snuck up on me while I was drawing a picture in the sand. I took off running, and all my pictures were gone. With the tide coming up there wasn’t a whole lot we could do on the beach anymore. We decided to make the trek back to the bus stop. We took a slightly different way. The scenery was better. The inlet was less swamp like. It was still really windy, but sometimes we were sheltered from it which was nice. We made it to the bus stop and made it back to Dunedin. At that point, I decided to make dinner and then check out Otago University. It was a beautiful campus. I think graduation is soon because I could see students taking pictures in their caps and gowns. The rain to come down so I made my way back to the backpackers. The following morning I explored around town one last time before taking the bus back to Queenstown. I went to the art gallery and the settlers museum. I saw the first Church of Otago, and the first jail. I took pictures of all the old timey looking buildings. The weather this day was the best weather I had seen in a while. Of course, since I would be leaving that day. It was still chilly, but at least the sun was peaking through. After my time in Dunedin, I made my way to the bus stop for my journey to Queenstown. The ride was beautiful, but the road was windy, and the bus driver was going fast. I think to make up for lost time. But unfortunately for me, this made me queasy I was going to be in Queenstown for less than 12 hours. Just enough time to grab some dinner and prepare for my journey to the west coast the following morning. I have been to the west coast once before. Greymouth if you remember. That is further north on the coast, and now I was going to explore the central and southern part. Hokitika and Franz Josef to be excat.