Places to go and things to see
New Zealand heritage stories - day walks
Te Awa Cambridge to Lake Karapiro (Waikato, North Island)learn more
Karangahake Gorge day walklearn more
Arthur’s Pass Walking Tracklearn more
Birdlife / wildlife - day walks
Tiritiri Matangi Island Kawerau loop tracklearn more
Rotoroa Island, Hauraki Gulf weekend awaylearn more
Unforgettable Munro Beachlearn more
Kaikoura Peninsulalearn more
Scenic - day walks
Unforgettable day walk Rainbow Mountainlearn more
Unforgettable Whirinaki Waterfall loop tracklearn more
Unforgettable Lake Matheson Lake Gaultlearn more
Pinnacles day walk Coromandellearn more
The top of the North Island, Northland and Auckland has a starring role in the creation of contemporary New Zealand. Amazing history found in beautiful scenic locations is a match made in walking heaven. Central North Island is where New Zealand Land Wars has left its mark on the landscape with its stories of heroism, tragedy and loss. Wellington, seat of government is surrounded by hills and stunning coastline with a history of military scares creating interesting walks through the past.
The South Island is a treasure trove for heritage fans of the 19th century gold rush era when thousands of prospectors headed for the mountains. The West Coast is the story of gold, timber and coal. Further South pastoral leases left a legacy for heritage fans to wander through massive homesteads. Whaling and fishing is evident with rusting blubber pots telling stories about the wholesale slaughter of whales.
BIRDLIFE / WILDLIFE FOCUSED DAY WALKS
Aotearoa New Zealand, a land where no large land mammals lived. Birds dominated the landscape creating a unique environment where the national bird, among those forgot to fly. Birds that walk in the forests and on the shoreline are extraordinary native wildlife now threatened by introduced species. Find walks through sanctuaries and places that conserve and protect New Zealand’s wildlife.
SCENIC DAY WALKS
The top of the North Island, Northland and Auckland offer visitors a wrap-around scenic experience with coastal views combined with lush subtropical bush and forest. Auckland’s narrow land mass between east to west creates a sense of being between the ocean, sky and land. The scenery is dramatic with cliff faces with stunning plunges into coves and bays. Deeply indented harbours, myriad waterways and islands add to the drama of sea and coast.
The centre of the North Island is home to the largest lake in the country, Lake Taupo. Massive volcanic mountains reside inTongariro National Park. There are rivers running from the high plateaus and mountains where trout beckon fishing buffs and magnificent waterfalls. Coast to coast some of New Zealand’s best beaches are found in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty with Taranaki’s surfing beaches always a great place for views of the solitary splendour of Mount Taranaki.
New Zealand’s South Island where the alps are the major dividing line between the lush rainforests of the west coast and drier east coast. The landscape offers visitors an extraordinary choice from alpine tussock with folded rolling hills to plains, rivers and rolling hilly farmland. Nelson has celebrity status with the Abel Tasman National Park, magical gold sandy beaches fringed with coastal bush. Glacier Country, winter in the mountains with the promise of the elements in full display and the changing of the seasons with spring in the deep South a stunning contrast.
WHAT TO DO NEARBY AND THINGS TO DO
Explore regional guides, short walks in the area and plan ahead to avoid disappointment with track closures or transport limitations.
- Check the local weather forecast in the regional guide for the area you are planning to visit
- Walks are often in remote areas check your transport options, drop off and pick up beforehand
- New Zealand is a country of unpredictable weather, always carrying layers of clothing and checking Day Walks guide for frequently asked questions.
- Download online maps as Wifi could be non-existent and, if necessary print a paper copy
- Tell someone where you are going, the route and estimated time to return, if necessary your accommodation provider and/or nearest visitor centre. Remember to inform interested parties of your safe return
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE