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Day walks

New Zealand unforgettable day walks

  • 3 minutes

Karangahake Gorge, New Zealand

Places to go and things to see

New Zealand heritage stories - day walks

Birdlife / wildlife - day walks

Scenic - day walks

Abandoned gold mine Waiuta, West Coast, NZ
Blackwater goldmine in Waiuta, West Coast


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.


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.

Tieke Saddleback on Tiritiri Matangi island, New Zealand
Tieke Saddleback on Tiritir Matangi island
Dusk at Lake Taupo, New Zealand
Dusk at Lake Taupo


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.

Lake Matheson Sunrise, New Zealand
Lake Matheson Sunrise, Glacier Country


Explore regional guides, short walks in the area and plan ahead to avoid disappointment with track closures or transport limitations.

Coromandel Pinnacles at Coromandel Forest Park. Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Coromandel Pinnacles


  1. Check the local weather forecast in the regional guide for the area you are planning to visit
  2. Walks are often in remote areas check your transport options, drop off and pick up beforehand
  3. New Zealand is a country of unpredictable weather, always carrying layers of clothing and checking Day Walks guide for frequently asked questions.
  4. Download online maps as Wifi could be non-existent and, if necessary print a paper copy
  5. 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

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