New Zealand Walks

There are a set of nine really popular New Zealand walks that is a great place to start if you are looking for access to exploring New Zealand back country and National Parks. Most people who walk these famous tracks are visitors from outside of New Zealand as they provide some of the best tramping and the tracks are maintained to a very high standard.

Some quieter walking tracks are listed further down this page.

Fiordland River Scenery, Southland, South Island, New Zealand
A River in Fiordland

By the way, 'Tramping' is Kiwi-speak for hiking, trekking, or bush walking.

The nine most famous 'Great Walks' are Department of Conservation (DOC) maintained hiking tracks that make it easier for visitors to make the most of what this fantastic country has to offer the enthusiastic walker. However, don't expect to find solitude in the high season as as these 'Great Walks' are heavily promoted to tourists and can become quite crowded at the most popular times of year. If you are keen to meet other like-minded hikers and have a sociable attitude to walking then one of these nine would be a fantastic choice.

If you want to get away from the crowds better to choose a lesser promoted walk. Staff at visitor centres will help you plan enjoyable tramps on less visited tracks.

More walks listed further down this page.

Huts and Camping

Not only are the tracks well maintained but they also have conveniently located and comfortable huts that are well equipped to deal with a high number of visitors through the tramping season.

Some of the huts may be serviced by wardens, there should be a drinking water supply, the bunks may have mattresses, some huts include a flush toilet, some heating and gas for cooking may also be provided during high season.

Out of peak season any such facilities are likely to be minimal. Camping areas are often provided near to the huts so you can pitch a tent if you prefer or if the hut is full to capacity.

Food and Equipment

You need to go prepared with your own food, cooking utensils, bedding, and water when there is a poor supply forecast.

Be warned, there will not be anyone selling food and supplies at the huts, the wardens are there to service the sites and do not sell or provide any such supplies so do make sure you have carried adequate provisions with you.


There isn't really any charge for using the tracks themselves but check the permit requirements and/or charges that apply to the hut or camping facilities for any individual walk or season.

In high season you will need to make a booking to be guaranteed a camping space or use of a hut along the most popular tracks.

It is also possible to purchase a Great Walks Pass that permits you to use camping or huts on a particular walk for a specified number of nights. However, unlike the permit, the pass does not guarantee you a space in the hut.

Weather Conditions

During the winter many New Zealand walks in the Alps will be impassable or not fully accessible across the whole route due to risk of avalanche and snow. Please ensure you check before embarking on any walk during the winter season.

Tongariro National Park Walks, North Island Landscape, New Zealand
Tongariro National Park Walks

If the weather permits, you may be able to take a winter walk for part of a track but it is not advised to do so without the appropriate knowledge and equipment during the winter months.

Always best to check with the DOC for any last minute tips, guides, warnings, and news. For example, if it has been a really dry season there may not be a drinking water supply at the huts. In which case, the DOC will display that information on the web site and/or visitor centres.

Walks Books

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GREAT WALKS OF NEW ZEALAND - Craig Potton with Shaun Barnett

DAY WALKS IN NEW ZEALAND 100 GREAT TRACKS - Shaun Barnett & Geographx

New Zealand Walks

Abel Tasman Coast Track

Abel Tasman Inland Track

Angelus Hut Loop

Arthur's Pass

Avalanche Peak Track

Bald Spur Walk - Mount Te Aroha

Banks Peninsula Track

Bealey Spur

Ben Lomond-Moonlight Track

Ben Lomond Summit Track

Cape Brett Track

Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway

Caples Track

Cascade Saddle

Casey Saddle to Binser Saddle

Cass-Lagoon Saddle Track

Catlins River-Wisp Loop Track

Croesus Track

Gillespie Pass Tramp

Great Barrier Island Tracks

Great Walks - 9 famous treks on one page with a description of each walk.

Greenstone Track

Heaphy Track

Hilary Trail

Hokitika Gorge Walk

Hokitika Walks - Tracks and trails in the Hokitika West Coast Region

Hollyford Track

Hump Ridge Track

Inland Pack Track

Kaikoura Wilderness Walks

Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park

Kauaeranga Valley Walks

Kepler Track

Lake Kaniere Walkway

Lake Waikaremoana Track

Lyndon Saddle

Mangapurua Track

Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust Walks

Matukituki Valley Walks

Milford Track


Mount Hikurangi

Mount Holdsworth Circuit

Mount Karioi Track

Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

Mount Paku Summit Walk, Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Peninsula View from Mt Paku Summit Walk, New Zealand
Coromandel Peninsula View from Mt Paku Summit Walk

Mount Ruapehu Crater Lake

Mount Somers Track

Mount Taranaki / Egmont Round the Mountain

Mount Te Aroha - Summit Track and Bald Spur Walk

Mueller Hut Route

Ninety Mile Beach Cape Reinga Walkway

North West Circuit

Nydia Track

Pouakai Circuit

Powell-Jumbo Tramp

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks Walk

Queen Charlotte Track - Marlborough

Rakiura Track

Rangitoto Summit Walk

Rees-Dart Track

Routeburn Track

Ruapehu Crater Rim Hike

South Coast Tracks

St James Walkway

Taranaki Summit Route

Te Araroa

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Tongariro Round the Mountain Track

Tongariro Trek

Travers-Sabine Circuit

Wangapeka and Leslie-Karamea Tracks

Welcome Flat Hot Springs

West Coast Walks in and near Hokitika

Whanganui Journey

Whirinaki Track

Whitecliffs Walkway

Wilkin and Young Valley Circuit

You will find that there are a multitude of New Zealand walks for you to participate in. Some are just for an hour or two to half or one day, others can take you out into the bush for days on end. They all provide a real experience of this unique environment and the outdoors.

Book - DAY WALKS IN NEW ZEALAND 100 GREAT TRACKS - Shaun Barnett & Geographx