Cascading waterfalls, miles of empty black sand beaches, snow-capped peaks and lush forests, the New Zealand landscape really is something to behold. When it comes to hiking in New Zealand, we’re spoilt with choice. So, whether your next adventure sees you trudging through streams or over fresh pow, we’ve pulled together New Zealand’s most picturesque hikes, just in time for you to explore over the long weekend.
Easily the most Instagrammable hike of the lot, the Routeburn Track boasts some of the most diverse scenery, from luscious forests to alpine lakes, picturesque waterfalls and panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. The three-day hike traces 39km and covers various terrain. Book spaces in the huts to add a touch more comfort to your nights, or you can take a tent.
New Zealand’s largest national park is the perfect setting to get your hike on, not to mention one of our biggest tourist attractions. It’s easy to see why, hikers follow a historic Maori route through the rugged landscape through valleys, besides mountains and over steep fiords from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Bookings are essential, or you’ll miss out.
Coming soon: Pike29 Memorial Walk
Set to open in 2018, the Pike29 Memorial Track will track through 45km of the Paparoa National Park on the South Island’s west coast. The national park will be extended by nearly 4,000 hectares to include the Pike River area as a memorial to the 29 men who tragically passed away in the 2010 mining disaster.
A must-do for keen kayakers and canoers alike, the Whanganui Journey is a 145km paddle down the Whanganui River. The expedition takes five days to complete, and is a stunning vista to explore the early New Zealand settlement days through a historical Maori route.
Tongariro Northern Circuit
Starting and finishing at the foot of Mount Ruapehu, the Tongariro Northern Circuit is a loop track taking three to four days to complete. This loop offers unprecedented views of the active volcanic region with its lava formations, tussocky grassland, geysers and pristine mineral lakes. If a shorter walk is more your thing, the Tongariro Crossing is one of New Zealand’s most famous day hikes. Lock this in your diary from November to March, before the weather closes the track.
You’ve figured out where you’re headed? Great. But what to take? Don’t stress, Macpac has you sorted. From scorching hot days to evening chills, their latest offering will have you well equipped for whatever our unpredictable climate throws at you.
The Hybrid vest keeps your arms free for pulling yourself around fallen trees and up onto rocks, while keeping you well-insulated during cooler days. The best part? The Pertex Equilibrium face fabric is totally water resistant (read: rain resistant) and the slim fit means you won’t feel bulky like some other puffer-style counterparts.
Boasting clever Polartec Delta construction, the Lightspeed range is perfect for summer exercise, keeping you dry and comfortable in the heat. Macpac is the first in the world to use this garment technology, which replicates your body’s natural cooling process by holding some moisture next to the skin before drawing away and evaporating, which helps the cooling process. Available in Tank, Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve styles, we guarantee they’ll have a style to suit.
If you’re an athletic type, or a massive trail running fan, then consider the Lightspeed Jacket a must-have on your next run. Breathable enough for high intensity exercise, this piece is versatile enough for cool morning starts or when the weather begins to turn. Better still, it features a chest pocket for your headphones, in case you’re prone to getting bored on those 30km stretches.
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Photo credits: Stoked for Saturday, 100% Pure New Zealand, FMC, In A Faraway Land.