Even though it’s fall in the US, springtime is just around the corner. To be more precise – it’s in New Zealand. And speaking of springtime, there is no better weather for hiking.
With thousands of kilometers of tracks, walking options are available to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Walk one of the day walks for a few hours or plan a multi-day hike through national parks, native forests and stunning coastal regions.
Navigating the Land of the Long White Cloud is easy, but to choose your path when time is shorter than your desire—that’s an overwhelming prospect.
Take A Beach Hike
Named for the first European to set foot on Aotearoa’s idyllic shores, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is perhaps the least strenuous of New Zealand’s iconic Great Walks, but equally rewarding.
It includes 30 miles of golden sand beaches, granite cliffs, and subtropical bush line this coastal track, lapped by clear azure waters where fur seals amass in play.
The two- to five-day one-way track takes you alternately through verdant fern and manuka groves and along empty shores, where you can camp at water’s edge or stay in Department of Conservation huts.
Several tidal inlets require that you time your crossings with low-tide, so plan ahead and set out early. Then spend your afternoons watching seals swim, spotting birds, and diving into the tumbling surf.
The Land Of Fantasy
In case you are a fan of the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy, Tongariro National Park is the place for you. On this 12-mile hike you can see Mount Ngauruhoe, otherwise known as Mount Doom from the said fantasy book/movie.
Once you crest Summit Crate you can opt for taking a side scramble up the mountain, which has no predetermined path. Now that is an unexpected adventure! After that, the decent is more rewarding than you can imagine – climb down to the Emerald Lakes and have a perfect resting moment next to turquoise, geothermally heated waters.