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9 Best Multi-Day Hikes in New Zealand

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New Zealand has some of the best hikes in the world in stunning National Parks and across diverse landscapes. If you love to hike and find yourself traveling to New Zealand, check out these 9 multi-day hikes that will truly make your trip one to remember.

9 Best Multi-Day Hikes in NZ

1. The Milford Track

A hike that can be found in the Fiordland National Park is the Milford Track. Claimed to be the finest walk in the world! From Glade Wharf to Sandfly Point in Milford Sound, this trek is magnificent!

You will spend 4 days hiking 54kms through stunning glacial valleys and rainforests, as well as beautiful waterfalls. There is an occasional steep climb but most of your journey consists of walking along riversides in the valley. You’ll get to experience Mackinnon Pass, Ocean Peak Corner, and Harris Saddle.

The best time to go is during late October or early May. During the off-hike season, you will need to have excellent hiking experience and prepare for weather changes and minimal facilities will be available.

2. Dusky Track

The Dusky Track is the most secluded hike in New Zealand found in the Fiordland National Park. You can only access this hike by boat or plane.

It is 84kms long and takes about 10 days to complete. You’ll hike from Lake Hauroko to Lake Manapouri. The trek is difficult and has many steep mountain sections and so I suggest only hikers that are very fit and experienced take on this challenge. The hike is only available during the summer months and it is definitely a good idea to book with a reputable tour company.

So, if you are an experienced hiker looking for a more survival type experience, this would be a good hike to consider.

fiordland national park
Fiordland National Park

3. Routeburn Track

Fiordland National Park offers another incredible multi-day hike. The trail begins at Routeburn Shelter and ends at The Divide. You’re taken through the indigenous rainforest and will see stunning alpine views. You’ll walk 32kms and it takes about 3 days to complete the whole hike.

Be aware in wet weather the trail can get slippery and stream levels can rise very quickly. Your best bet for good weather is to book for between October and April.

Along the way, you will even get to see the exceptional Bridal Veil Falls!

bridal veil falls
Bridal Veil Falls

4. Lake Waikaremoana Hike

A North Island hike located in Te Urewera National Park. If you are looking for some cultural experiences on your hike, then this is a good choice.

46kms long and 4 days hiking takes you through the region of the Maori tribe, Ngai Tuhoe which means ‘Children of the Mist’. You’ll be following the great lakes shoreline and pass through the magical ‘goblin forest’.

This region is almost completely untouched by humans and is considered deeply spiritual by the local people. Please be sure to respect the land while you are hiking.

north island new zealand
The stunning North Island of New Zealand

5. Heaphy Track

Kahurangi National Park on the South Island has stunning trails, but this is one to note. The Heaphy Track is an exciting journey as you’ll find a variety of landscapes, palm groves, native birds and swing bridges to cross.

It’ll take 4 or 5 days depending on your pace and is about 82kms long. If you are moderately fit and have experience with multi-day hikes, then you will manage on this hike.

You’ll get to experience walking along the Heaphy River and discover the nikau palm forest which is a valued feature on this trail.

6. Tongariro Northern Circuit Track

On North Island in Tongariro National Park, you’ll find the Tongariro Northern Circuit Track. Set in the landscape featured in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies as Mordor this trail is one of New Zealand’s favorites. You’ll be hiking the Alpine Crossing and around the smoking volcano Mount Ngauruhoe. It’s a 3-day trek that’s about 43kms long.

The trail can be done in 2 days, but you’ll want to extend to 3 days to experience staying overnight at the Oturere Hut on the 2nd night. The star-filled evenings and stunning orange sunrises are an unforgettable experience on this trail!

tongariro national park
Tongariro National Park

7. Abel Tasman Coastal Track

On the South Island in Abel Tasman National Park, you’ll find this hike that takes you from Marahau, close the town of Nelson, to Totaranui.

Approximately 60kms and 3 to 5 days of hiking through an estuary, forests and gullies, and stunning coastline.

For a really awesome coastline experience why not consider kayaking from campsite to campsite on a few of the days.

multi-day hikes in new zealand abel tasman
Abel Tasman Coast

8. Kepler Track

Fiordland National Park brings another exceptional hike to the table! This path takes you on a walk that was created specifically with hikers in mind. You’ll trail through stunning beech forests, past beautiful flowing waterfalls and offers the best panoramic views of both Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau.

It’s a 4-day hike that is 60kms long and has purpose-built walkways to make the walking experience more pleasurable.

Accommodation is provided in huts but only during the walking season which is October to April so be sure to have this in mind when planning your trip.

the kepler track - lake te anau
Lake Te Anau

9. Te Araroa Trail

Now, for the more adventurous hiker looking for a real challenge, this hike will truly encompass New Zealand in a 4 month long and 3,000km hike. Starting in the North at Cape Reinga, you will end the trail in the Bluff in the South.

An extremely varied hike you’ll be able to experience the very best sceneries that New Zealand has to offer. You’ll be passing through small towns along the way which offers a more cultural experience too!

The best time to hike the Te Araroa Trail is during October and November and is when you’ll have less risk of encountering and other extreme weather conditions. These trails truly show off the beauty of New Zealand!

hiking in new zealand
Cape Reinga

So if you find yourself traveling to this stunning country, consider one of these multi-day hikes in New Zealand and go on an adventure you will surely not forget.

Author: Mark has trekked some of the most popular mountain ranges in the world! His travels have taken him to Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. He created Mountain IQ in with a goal to be the best online information portal to the most popular mountain destinations in the world. If he isn’t writing for his blog, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife.

One thought on “9 Best Multi-Day Hikes in New Zealand

  1. Hi
    I did the Heaphy track back in 1973 sure is a different experience if you do it today. The huts were very basic back then. I was with 3 other guys on that amazing track. We came across 2 girls hiking in the oposite direction, each caring in total 2 string net bags that was all heading on to Nelson. Also another couple and there German Shepard at the Heaphy hutt where the river runs in to the ocean. What memories are made of. Good companions from 2 from Australia, 2 of us from Vancouver Island ( Duncan, and I was from Parksville )
    Happy ventures to all.

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