10 best hikes in New Zealand


New Zealand is famous for its stunning scenery, and immersing yourself in nature is the best way to experience its remarkable landscapes up close. Hiking is a popular activity with locals and visitors in New Zealand, which has a number of exceptional trails to choose from. From the iconic Great Walks to overnight hikes and short walks, there are options for all ages and levels of ability.

Multi-day hikes are the best way to discover remote lakes and waterfalls or sleep in a picturesque hut on the top of a mountain peak. If you’re looking for something with less gear and effort, opt for a day hike instead – try a shorter section of one of the Great Walks or choose from one of the many short trails with breathtaking views.

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Here are some of our favorite hikes in New Zealand for exploring the country’s coast, volcanoes, mountains and national parks. Some are easy, some are spine-tingling, but all of these hikes are pure Kiwi magic. Just keep in mind that if you’re doing a Great Walk or overnight hike, you’ll need to book huts or campsites well in advance through theDepartment of Conservation.

1. Rangitoto Island Loop

Best from Auckland
7 km (4.3 miles), 2 hours

Auckland’s youngest but largest volcanic cone was created just 600 years ago in a series of fiery eruptions. It is an elegant island and beloved city icon, reachable via a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland. 

Hike up the modest summit (250m) for great views of the city before wandering along the coast, where hardy plants pursue their quest to populate the lava fields. Surprisingly, Rangitoto is home to…

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