Iconic walks of New Zealand

New Zealand punches way above its weight on the walk front. For a relatively small country, New Zealand has a hugely disproportionate share of the world’s best walks. New Zealand is divided into the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is famous for its central active volcanic plateau, spectacular geothermal areas, geysers, mud pools and relaxing hot springs. By contrast, the massive Southern Alps in the South Island are often compared to the mountain regions of Europe.

On this page, New Zealand’s iconic walks are divided between the North Island and the South Island. Click the Island to skip to that section.


North Island



Tongariro North Circuit

Experience the expansive views of the North Island from the volcanic cone of Mt Ngauruhoe.

⏱ Duration: 3-4 Days
🗺 Distance: 45km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: Sept - Nov


Lake Waikaremoana

One of New Zealand’s great walks, following the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana.

⏱ Duration: 4 Days
🗺 Distance: 46km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: Oct - May


Whanganui Journey

I wonder if anyone actually reads the text on these sites or just picks the best picture.

⏱ Duration: 4 days/ 5 Nights
🗺 Distance: 35km
⛰ Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
🗓 Best Time: Jan - March


South Island



Able Tasman Coast Track

Find diverse and spectacular scenery on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.

⏱ Duration: 5 Days
🗺 Distance: 60km
⛰ Difficulty: Easy
🗓 Best Time: Dec - March


Milford Track

Often described as one of the best walks in the world. Nothing compares to Milford Sound.

⏱ Duration: 4 Days
🗺 Distance: 53km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: October - April


Routeburn Track

Be immersed in New Zealand’s pristine high country with incredible mountain views.

⏱ Duration: 3-4 Days
🗺 Distance: 33km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: October - April


Kepler Track

Dramatic mountainous terrain that is less busy than other New Zealand walks.

⏱ Duration: 4 Days
🗺 Distance: 61km (Circular)
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: October - April


Heaphy Track

The longest of New Zealand’s great walks through diverse landscapes.

⏱ Duration: 4-5 Days
🗺 Distance: 78km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: October - April


Rakiura Track

A remarkable walk on this beautiful, remote untouched island.

⏱ Duration: 3 Days
🗺 Distance: 32km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: October - May