New Zealand is one of the world’s premier hiking destinations, boasting breathtaking flora and fauna, beautiful lakes and wild beaches – not to mention its extensive national parks that provide numerous hiking options for wilderness trekkers.
Stay in one of the backcountry huts during your New Zealand wilderness hiking experience for an unforgettable stay.
Lake Waikaremoana Walk
Lake Waikaremoana Walk is one of New Zealand’s less-crowded Great Walks, making it an excellent way to reconnect and immerse themselves in nature. Renowned for its breathtaking views of shimmering lakes, dramatic rock bluffs and magnificent forest, Lake Waikaremoana offers something spectacular for everyone who seeks escape into New Zealand wilderness.
Tramping involves a three to four day trek over rough, uneven terrain that should be booked well in advance. Huts and campsites must also be reserved in advance, so starting an exercise program a few months ahead can help to prepare you for carrying all of your gear over uneven surfaces.
This track lies within Te Urewera region, home of Ngai Tuhoe – also known as ‘Children of the Mist’ – who hail from Te Urewera region and are native Tuhoe people. You will encounter native forest, regenerating shrubland areas and numerous valleys filled with mist during your trek.
The Heaphy Track is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, linking an alpine rainforest, kahikatea forests and wide tussock downs with primeval palm-fringed coastal regions for an engaging three or four day hike through stunning terrain.
The track follows Heaphy River along its left bank to its mouth. En route it passes through a dense forest filled with kahikatea, rimu and rata trees as it passes through an expanse of glossy-leaved shrubs clinging precariously to their branches in search of nutrients from within their branches.
At its heart is Heaphy Hut, situated away from the coast so as to withstand even the strongest of winds. When conditions allow it, this tranquil river flows merrily. However, during wetter periods its waters churn more intensely, sending up small waves running upriver. A short detour leads there for restful times away from windy seascapes.
Heaphy Track is a favorite tramping path, but booking accommodations during peak season may prove challenging. To maximize your chance of success and secure accommodation before beginning, organise transportation beforehand and align any huts or campsites you reserve with Park and Rec guidelines.
The Kepler Track is a DOC Great Walk which begins along the gently sloped, beech-forested shores of Lake Te Anau and makes an excellent first day’s adventure, whether walking solo or with someone.
Our New Zealand Great Walk season, which officially commences each October and lasts through early May, offers the ideal conditions for this trek. Autumn sees less rainfall than springtime and the track tends to be much less crowded during this time.
To maximize your Kepler Track experience, it is advisable to book one of the huts along the trail or freedom camp nearby (please see map for locations).
The Milford Track is an incredible four-day hike through Fiordland National Park that boasts breathtaking views of rainforest, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. You will pass over high alpine passes before coming close to Sutherland Falls – New Zealand’s tallest waterfall.
DOC operates this track and provides three huts and several private lodges on it for independent trampers who don’t want to worry about cooking or washing their gear each evening. These clean, comfortable lodges make their visit much simpler.
At each hut during the main Great Walks season (October 29 to April 30), rangers provide additional assistance, answering questions about trek profiles and giving up-to-date weather forecasts to assist guests in planning for their trip. This can help ensure an unforgettable journey experience!