I’ve always been a really active person. As a kid I played lots of different sports and even back then began to really enjoy going on hikes with my parents in the mountains not too far from our home. And growing up, while I dropped pretty much all the sports (I do play sometimes when I’m home just for a bit of fun), I still love hiking.
My time in New Zealand was made so much better by the hikes I took; getting out and up close and personal with the incredible nature New Zealand has to offer and often being rewarded by views I won’t ever forget.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of hiking, I would definitely recommend going on at least a couple while you’re visiting. There are a few that won’t take too long and the payoff is well worth it, while some are a little longer (quite a few will actually take two-plus days for those extra-keen folks out there). Anyway, here are my favourite hikes in NZ.
Right near Queenstown and taking you to some wonderfully picturesque spots on the trail is the Queenstown Hill Walkway in Queenstown Hill Reservation Preserve. While it’s quite lengthy for beginners – 6.9 kilometers to be exact – the trial itself is very easy and has no difficult stretches at all.
If a breathtaking waterfall is for you, the Taranaki Falls Loop track in Tongariro National Park is ideal. The Taranaki Falls drop a whopping 20 meters, and it definitely needs to be seen to be believed. It’s a little more challenging than the Queenstown Hill Walkway, though not too much, and is just under 6 kilometers long.
(FYI there’s a toilet at the halfway point!)
Catch the Diamond Lake and experience its stunning mirroring effect on the gorgeous surrounding scenery for awesome Instagrammable pics (if that’s what you’re about). Located in Wanaka on the South Island, take the east track up Rocky Mountain for an awesome view and the west track down for the best experience. The whole trek will take you around three hours and I’d say is just on moderate-level difficulty.
Be sure to get a decent breakfast before heading off on this one! It’ll take a full day to hike and may provide a few intense challenges, but for the views you get you certainly won’t regret making the journey. The weather can play a big part in whether you’re actually able to do the hike or not, so make sure you check either on the web opr with the locals whether it’s the day to head off.
Perhaps that’s why this is regarded as the best day trek in all of New Zealand!