The highlight of any tour to New Zealand is a hike across its intact countryside. Hiking is an outdoor activity that not only keeps you physically fit but also it treats one to mind-blowing views if done in fascinating places like New Zealand’s countryside. Here’s a list of day-long hikes in New Zealand a physically fit individual can try.
Rob Roy Glacier Track
Fifty km within Mount Aspiring National Park – away from the South Island – lies this glacier trail. The Raspberry Creek car park is the starting point leading to the sub-alpine basin across the valley and to the glacier. Tramping across the glacier-covered steep slopes that surround the Rob Roy valley is exhilarating. Just make sure to avoid tumbling ice blocks caused by spring melts.
This hike is an excellent way to bond with nature as the valley is covered in the lush forest that is home to an iconic array of birds. You can hear the kea, tomtit and fantail singing in the woods. This popular walk lasts just under 4 hours.
Queenstown Tiki Trail
Do you want a beautiful view of Queenstown? Take this hike across the Tiki Trail and end at Bob’s Peak. This peak offers an enthralling view of the town and its surrounding mountains and lake. This short 1.6 km trail lets you exercise your muscle as you climb over rocks and logs. Just avoid going up there on a cloudy day as the view is not pleasant.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
This is a fan favorite day-long hike across what’s left of Mount Tongariro. It’s a 20 km hike that takes you atop the remnants of a once majestic mountain – its craters, cones, and picturesque lakes. The volcano is still active as evidenced by the smoke from its volcanic cones. The hike lasts for about 7 hours and treats one to panoramic views of Tongariro. Just remember to carry your water and prepare adequately for this challenging hike.
Key Summit Track
This hike offers an amazing view of the Fiordland National Park and the opportunity to bond with flora and fauna like stunning waterfalls, the beach forest, and New Zealand bellbirds. Start at the Divide Carpark on the Routeburn Track, which is an hour walk away from the Key Summit. When you reach the summit ascend it for a pleasant view of Lake Marian, Humboldt and Darran Mountains.
Red Tarns Track
This 2-hour hike across the snow-blanketed landscape in Aoraki ends at amazing alpine pools atop the valley floor. As you ascend from the valley, you’ll see the vegetation change from beech to alpine forest and red pondweed. This trail is also home to the kea, the world’s only alpine parrot, and you may hear it singing away at the Tasman riverbed. The tarns give an amazing reflection of sunset lit Aoraki in the reddish waters. This trail has steps to guide you along the 3.5 km walk, therefore, fit for any physically fit person.
Hooker Valley Track
New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Mount Cook, rests in majestic splendor and if you want to know how it feels to stand near it, take this hike. Tramp the slopes of Mount Cook inside the Aoraki National Park. It’s an easy 10 km hike as slopes are not steep. Start at the White Horse Hill Campground in Mount Cook village and take the beaten terrain through the Hooker Valley across scenic icebergs and swing bridges. Get to experience this ancient rugged ice-covered landscape. At the end of the glacier hike you will enjoy the breath-taking view of the mountain.
In retrospect, New Zealand’s countryside with its snow-covered dramatic mountains and lakes has plenty of scenic attractions worth exploring. There’re plenty of day-long hikes in New Zealand that can treat a person to this beauty.
If you are not really into long hikes, check out these 3 short hikes.