“With luxury lodges to stay in and water taxis available to transport your luggage, the Queen Charlotte Track is one of the country’s more manageable overnight tramps”
Alps 2 Ocean
New Zealand’s “longest continuous ride” begins in Aoraki/mount Cook and descends 600m to Oamaru, past lakes, mountains and limestone cliffs. The ride (which takes four to eight days) is part of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail, and is suitable for all ages and abilities – those with less time or lower levels of stamina (such as kids) can ride sections of the track. Accommodation ranges from backpacker hostels to luxury lodges and activities include fishing, vineyard visits and blue penguin spotting. Visit alps2ocean.com.
Kauaeranga Kauri Trail
If you’re looking for a day or overnight tramp with challenging climbs, great views and a large, well-appointed hut to rest in, try the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail. This steep track leads to the summit of the Pinnacles in Coromandel Forest Park, Waikato. The final section of the walk includes mildly terrifying vertical ascents on ladders, but it’s worth tackling for the spectacular views at the top.
The track and hut have been closed for repairs during winter and are set to re-open in late October. Search ‘Kauaeranga Trail’ on doc.govt.nz.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Through native bush and across tidal lagoons and golden beaches, this track follows the coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park. It’s one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, which are classified as “easier” multi-day tramps. The park, just north of Nelson, is stunning, with plentiful bird life and a couple of fur seal colonies. Trampers have the option of staying in campgrounds, huts or lodges. The track is open year round, with the full walk taking three to five days. If you only want to experience a section of the track, you can water taxi or kayak between points. Go to doc.govt.nz/ abeltasmantrack.
Montana Heritage Trail
Auckland has a number of beautiful walks within easy reach of the city, including a collection which traverse the Waitakere Ranges. The 8km Montana Heritage Trail, in Cascade Kauri Regional Park, leads to the largest remaining stand of mature kauri trees in the region. As well as impressive trees, there are amazing views, a hidden waterfall and a variety of birds to spot. The track, a collaboration between Montana Wines and Auckland Council, is a good option when you have half a day to kill and a hankering to get out of the city. Search ‘Montana’ on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.
Queen Charlotte Track
You can walk or cycle this track, which traverses the land between Queen Charlotte and Keneperu Sounds in Marlborough. With luxury lodges to stay in (or campgrounds and homestays if you prefer) and water taxis available to transport your luggage, it is one of the country’s more manageable overnight tramps. The trip is part of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail, and takes two to three days to cycle or three to five days to walk. It’s open year round, with one section closed to cyclists during the summer. Visit qctrack.co.nz.
Take a three- or four-day walk around picturesque Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera, home of the Tūhoe iwi.
The track winds halfway around the lake, with highlights including views from Panekire Bluff and the magical Korokoro Falls. Guided options are available, including one with Te Urewera Treks, on which Tūhoe guides share the area’s unique culture and history. The walk is open year round, with accommodation available in huts or campsites. Search ‘Waikaremoana’ on doc.govt.nz.
Tora Coastal Walk
A private track such as Tora Coastal
Walk on the Wairarapa coast offers more comfort than most public walks. The fully catered, three-day walk is on private farmland and crosses river valleys and ridges offering beautiful views of the coast. There are rustic cottages and lodges to stay in, with much of the food (which is delivered) grown by the hosts. The track can be walked from October through to April. Some accommodation is also available during winter, from which you can walk parts of the track. See toracoastalwalk.nz.
Auckland cycle loop
Auckland’s growing cycle network is helping to make the city easier and more fun to explore. Te Ara I Whiti, the award-winning ‘Lightpath’, gives riders (and walkers, scooter riders and skaters) the chance to fly through the sky on a bright pink pathway. The path connects the Grafton Gully and Nelson Street cycleways, and is part of a cycle loop which now connects a large section of the central city. The final section of the loop is set to be completed by the end of the year. See bikeauckland.org.nz.
Taranaki’s dramatic coastline can be explored on the Whitecliffs Walkway.
The track uses a route cut through the forest when the Auckland to Kapuni gas pipeline was laid. There are various day walks to choose from, including a seven-hour tramp to Mt Messenger or a three-hour coastal option. Discover Taranaki offers a guided walk complete with boutique accommodation, or you can enjoy the walk by yourself. The walk is on private land and is closed from July to the end of September each year for the lambing season. Search ‘Whitecliffs’ on doc.govt.nz or visit discovertaranaki.nz/ whitecliffs-walk.
Four Peaks High Country Track
Experience life on a high-country sheep station when you explore the Four Peaks Track in South Canterbury. The private three- or four-day trail can be cycled or walked, or you can BYO horse if you happen to have one. Accommodation is in cosy upgraded shepherds’ huts that date as far back as the 1860s. The track is open from November to April with access limited to 10 people per day, which makes this walk a perfectly peaceful experience. • Visit walkfourpeaks.co.nz.
The private Tora Coastal Walk offers views over the Wairarapa coast.