Epic Adventures in New Zealand: Camping & Hiking

How to plan the most memorable New Zealand camping & hiking trip ever!

New Zealand…a place where heaven seems to be tangibly present on earth, a place where the vast wilderness is best explored one tiny step at a time!

This is no secret here friends: Kiwi country is probably best explored by foot, and since its one of the best ways to ensure that you see all of the pristine beauty New Zealand has to offer, we suggest you pack your hiking gear and prepare to be blown away.

Top New Zealand Hiking Trails and Camping Opportunities

We’ve rounded up some of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets, the trails and camping grounds that will allow you to emerge yourself in the natural tranquility and start traveling with a greener tomorrow in mind. Have a look at our recommendations and see if you can squeeze them into your travel itinerary!

Milford Track – Fiordland National Park, South Island

Why Head Here?

Fiordland National Park is an excellent spot to embrace a proper multi-day hiking excursion.

 The Scoop:

Aside from the spectacular green Fjord in the National Park, Milford Track offers you a 4-day trekking opportunity, and of course the idea of losing yourself in the beauty of the misted mountains and cataracts that tumble down the valley. This place is one of the bets hiking trails in the world, which means that you’d be mad to miss out on the opportunity of seeing it!

The 33-mile trail path was made back in 1888, and spans from Lake Te Anau, all the way to Milford Sound. Roughly 14,000 backpackers head here on an annual basis, beginning their hiking and camping journeys at Lake Te Anau, and ending off their adventures at Sandfly Point.

Mount Sunday – Canterbury, South Island

Why Head Here?

It’s the best place to get that “Lord of the Rings” experience!

 The Scoop:

Mount Sunday offers backpackers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of trekking through one of the locations where the epic film, The Lord of the Rings’ Capital of Rohan – Edoras -, was shot. Sunday is as remote as they come in New Zealand, and experiencing the bliss of the Southern Alps is simply astonishing!

Explore the site that made the world relive Middle Earth, and then hike up to the windy summit to get a bird’s eye view of the Rangitata River. This also makes for a great picnic spot, so make sure you pack some munchies to complete the experience.

Abel Tasman Coast Track – Abel Tasman National Park, South Island

Why Head Here?

If you’re looking for an opportunity of trekking along a scenic stretch of beach, this is definitely it.

The Scoop:

Lined with beautiful, golden beaches, a subtropical forest-line along the coast, and spectacular granite cliffs to explore, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of a kind. New Zealand is famed for its variety of Great Walks, but the Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of the least strenuous, and also one of the best beach hiking trails in the country.

You can embark on a tour that spans anywhere between two-and-five-days. As far as camping is concerned, you can choose between staying over in the Department of Conservation’s huts, or just pitching camp along the water’s edge.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing – Tongariro National Park, North Island

Why Head Here?

Backpackers looking for a quick and relatively easy day hiking trail should definitely go see this park on the North Island.

The Scoop:

Tongariro National Park is yet another gem that Lord of the Rings fans will appreciate, as it’s the site where Mordor was shot for the films. You’d be hard pressed not to feel a little bit eerie as you take on the climbs that steeply go over the barren lands, or gaze upon the volcanic rock on a moody-weathered day.

When the weather is being friendly, hikers can look forward to seeing Mt. Ngauruhoe, the all-star attraction of L.O.T.R trilogy films, Mount Doom. Once you’ve seen the splendor on offer here, make sure you head down to Red Crater for the popular Emerald Lakes and its turquoise geothermally heated waters. On your descent, you’ll pass on towards the Ketetahi trailhead as you make your way through old lava fields, finally making your way back to the pickup bus.

Mueller Hut Route – Mount Cook National Park, South Island

Why Head Here?

If you’re a hiker looking for an epic overnight trekking opportunity, make sure you work Mount Cook into your itinerary.

The Scoop:

New Zealand’s tallest mountain is Mount Cook, measuring it at a whopping 12,316 feet high. The terrain around here is glaciated and leads up to Mueller Hut, a cozy halfway house (well, hut), located on a high alpine plateau.

The valley’s river system that seamlessly braids through the landscape and the stunning blue glacial pools at the mountain’s foot are essentially what demands your full attention as you make your way three miles through the terrain. Once you get to the plateau, at 6,000 feet, you’ll bunk over for the night in the hut. All that’s left to do then is to soak up the breathtaking views and regroup for the descent you’ll tackle the next day!

Final Thoughts

From New Zealand’s fantastic fjords, to its misted mountains and fern-ridden forests, the miles of pristine beaches and the cascading waterfalls, Kiwi country truly is a hiker’s paradise. Where there’s a hiker with a will, New Zealand will provide a wild path.

We hope that this post has helped you, in your stupor, to plan out the best hiking and camping route for navigating the Land of the Long White Cloud. Grab your gear and your sense of adventure, and get prepared to leave New Zealand as a changed human being!

About The Author

I’m Dan, and I’m the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics. I’m also an avid adventurer, digital nomad and traveler. I enjoy all types of outdoor sports, a good golf tan, and spontaneous weekend trips. I currently live in Brazil where I can be found frequently hiking the rain forest around my city!

Rugby World Cup to give New Zealand a boost.

One of the highlights of the sporting calendar is set to kick off, as the the Rugby World Cup starts in New Zealand. Teams from around the world including England, Wales and Scotland will battle it out with other teams including the mighty All Blacks and Australia.

The Rugby World Cup only takes place once every four years, so it is always a special occasion and captures the attention and imagination of rugby fans all over the world. Martin Johnson and his troops have already arrived in New Zealand but the serious business of the test matches does not get under way until 9 September, with England playing Argentina on 10 September. Various venues will host games including Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

New Zealand is guaranteed to prove a hospitable venue for players and fans alike. It has a marginally larger land area than the UK, but its population is just four million. As a result, the country is delightfully tranquil, with mile after mile of impressive coastline, mountain ranges and fiords to take the breath away.

There are 14 national parks and 19 forest parks, containing a wide variety of untouched landscape and vegetation. More than 5 million hectares – a third of New Zealand – is protected in parks and reserves.

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is found at the southern tip of the North Island, and boasts a beautiful harbour. It is also small in size, just two kilometres wide, so it is easy for tourists to explore on foot.

Wellington is considered to be the arts and culture centre of New Zealand, and the Te Papa, situated on the waterfront, is the national museum. The city is surrounded by beautiful green hills and it is possible to talk walking tours and coach tours to explore the surroundings more fully. The top of Mount Victoria provides stunning views across the city.

Wine enthusiasts will content themselves with trips to the country’s top wine regions, such as Marlborough and Wairarapa, both within range of Wellington. A more recent tourist development is the Lord Of The Rings tour, which allows you to visit the locations that were used during the epic film trilogy.

Auckland, situated towards the north of the North Island, is fondly known as the City of Sails. The city is a launch pad to explore so much. Within half an hour, you can reach beautiful beaches, walking trails or holiday islands, or content yourself with the city harbours, fine restaurants and Maori culture.

You can go up the impressive Sky Tower, 328 metres high, for stunning views of the city, and you can even enjoy a spot of dinner up there too. A visit to the National Maritime museum is worthwhile, or you can learn more about the city at the Auckland Museum. Music lovers can also check out the Joshua tree that inspired the naming of the famous U2 album.

Christchurch, on the South Island, is another city where there is plenty to do to satisfy most tastes. For those seeking to do something more on the relaxing side, you can visit thermal pools, punt down the river, go hot-air ballooning or enjoy the wealth of culture and wildlife on offer.

But if it is action you are after, then you will not be disappointed. You can take your pick from adrenaline activities such as jet-boating, white water rafting, skydiving, bungy jumping, or in the winter skiing and snowboarding.

Elsewhere on the South Island, the Southern Alps provide a number of glaciers, the biggest being the Tasman glacier, visible by making the short walk from Mount Cook village. The most famous glaciers are the Franz Josef and Fox, on the West Coast. They are easily accessible to walkers and mountaineers, and quite spectacular

The Fiordland area, in the south-west of the South Island, is another example of stunning natural beauty. Hundreds of lakes fill the landscape, including Lake Hauroko which is 462m deep. There are 14 fiords, running from Milford Sound in the north to Preservation Inlet in the south. The most popular for tourists are Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.
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In total, New Zealand has some 15,000 kilometres of varied coastline. The north of the South Island has some great beaches, while the coastline around the rest of the South Island tends to be wilder. Views from the coastal road are superb, a visual treat waiting around every headland.

Intererested in a holiday to New Zealand? Call Global Holidays the UK travel agent for tailor-made holidays worldwide.

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