It’s an island of volcanic peaks, dense bush, stunning coastline, high plateaus, rolling farmland – pretty much, this is perfect hiking territory, or ‘tramping’, as the Kiwis say.
Often classed as one of the best day hikes in the world, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing will challenge you with the ‘devil’s staircase’ and slippery scree slopes, but reward you with incredible turquoise
Weather can be very temperamental, so come prepared with waterproofs and layers.
Rangitoto is an unmissable sight from Auckland — it’s the volcanic island that rises out of the harbor. Hiking to the summit is an easy amble through native pohutukawa forest.
At the top you’re treated to stunning panoramic views of the harbor and Auckland city, where you’ll understand why it’s called the ‘city of sails’.
Located in beautiful Northland, the Cape Brett Walkway follows a cliff-side path and passes through native bush. The coastal views are amazing, and you’ll also get the chance to stop at Deep Water Cove for some swimming, snorkeling, and beach time.
It’s recommended to stay at the Cape Brett Hut overnight (bookings required).
The Coromandel Peninsula is a gorgeous area of beaches, thermal activity, native forests, and rugged coastline. Experience all of these on the quiet and remote Coromandel Coastal Walk. It’s also possible to mountain bike this one.
Located near Wellington are these enormous gravel pillars, which are unlike anything else in the country and are a wonder to walk among. Like many places in New Zealand, they appeared in The Lord of the Rings films.
Various walks can be done to and around the pinnacles along a streambed. They’re located in the Aorangi Forest Park.
The eastern part of the North Island is sparsely populated and rarely visited by tourists, which makes this the perfect wilderness destination.
Lake Waikaremoana is a particularly beautiful spot, surrounded by bush-covered hills and inlets. Hikers can trek the entire perimeter in three-four days, or embark on much shorter trips of half a day or less, to points of interest like waterfalls, cliffs, and lookout points.
The Te Araroa trail will appeal if you want to string a whole heap of day-hikes together for one mega-adventure. This 1,864mi (3,000km) trail starts at Cape Reinga in the Far North, and extends all the way down to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island.
It’s possible to just trek the North Island parts of Te Araroa. The landscape of the North Island is extremely diverse, from the semi-sub-tropical beaches of Northland to the plains of Waikato, the dense forest of the King Country, and the volcanic plateau of the Central North Island – tackling the top half of Te Araroa allows you to see it all.
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