Nine walks (or ‘tramps’ as Kiwis call them) have become more celebrated than all others in New Zealand because of the particularly stunning landscapes they cross. The so-called Great Walks or Classic Tramps have become famous throughout the world.
The 9 Great Walks
Abel Tasman Coastal Track (South Island)
An easy three to five day walk through the Abel Tasman National Park taking in its many stunning beaches and bays. Very popular in mid-summer.
Heaphy Track (South Island)
The longest of the Great Walks (78km) the Heaphy track takes four to five days to complete as it winds its way through the Kahurangi National Park. Includes forest, coastline and grasslands.
Whanganui Journey (North Island)
The only Great Walk that doesn’t involve walking! It’s a canoe trip down the Whanganui River, which has somehow gained membership to the Great Walks club. A spectacular and classic trip nevertheless from Taumaruni to Pipriki.
Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk (North Island)
This walk is in Te Urewera National Park and provides views around the lake and surrounding slopes. A relatively easy three to four-day tramp.
Tongariro Northern Circuit (North Island)
A tramp through the frequently surreal volcanic landscape of Tongariro National Park. A four day, medium to hard walk.
Routeburn Track (South Island)
A 40km easy three to four day walk through the stunning rainforest and sub-alpine scenery of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Often closed in winter though because of snow.
Milford Track (South Island)
One of the most famous walks in the world the 53km Milford Track guides the walker through glaciers, river valleys, alpine passes and waterfalls in four days tramping through the Fiordland National Park.
Kepler Track (South Island)
Also in the Fiordland National Park, the 60km Kepler Track takes three to four days to complete. Alpine, lake and river valley landscapes form the backdrop to this spectacular tramp.
Rakiura Track (Stewart Island)
The most southerly of the walks, the Rakiura track is found on Stewart Island. It’s an easy three-day tramp through forest and along the coast, much of the time on duckboards.