Introduction

Compare these ten awe-inspiring journeys so you can plan your Great Walks adventure!

Lake Waikaremoana

Trace the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana, the 'sea of rippling waters.' Pass giant podocarp trees and remote beaches, and enjoy breathtaking views from Panekire Bluff.

Duration: 3-4 days
Distance: 46 km
Location: Te Urewera, east North Island
Closest towns: Wairoa, Gisborne, Rotorua
Start/Finish: This is one-way walk between Onepoto and Hopuruahine. Both ends are accessed by water taxi from Aniwaniwa.

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Tongariro Northern Circuit

Journey through dramatic (and active!) volcanic landscapes, glacial valleys, native beech forest, alpine meadows and emerald coloured lakes. Wind past Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe.

Duration: 3-4 days
Distance: 43 km
Location: Tongariro National Park, central North Island
Closest towns: National Park Village, Tūrangi, Ohakune, Waiouru
Start/Finish: This circuit walk starts and ends in Whakapapa Village.

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Whanganui Journey

Paddle through a landscape of remote hills and bush clad valleys.

Duration: 3-5 days
Distance: 87 or 145 km
Location: Whanganui National Park, south-west North Island
Closest towns: Whanganui, Taumarunui, Ohakune
Start/ Finish: This river trip starts in Taumarunui or Whakahoro and ends in Pipiriki.

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Abel Tasman Coast Track

Take in golden beaches, crystal clear waters and lush coastal forest. Walk the whole track or kayak between different locations.

Duration: 3-5 days
Distance: 60 km
Location: Abel Tasman National Park, north-west South Island
Closest towns: Nelson, Motueka, Takaka
Start/Finish: This is a one-way walk between Marahau and Totaranui or Wainui. Both ends are serviced by public transport and water taxis stop at the main beaches.

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Heaphy Track

Cross rivers and streams through beautiful beech forest, rolling areas of red tussock and podocarp forest before emerging amongst nikau palm-fringed coastline and the roaring seas of the Wild West Coast.

Duration: 4-6 days
Distance: 78.4 km
Location: Kahurangi National Park, north-west South Island
Closest towns: Nelson, Westport, Collingwood
Start/Finish: This is a one-way walk between Brown Hut in Golden Bay and Kohaihai on the West Coast. Air and shuttle services, and vehicle relocations are available for both ends.

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Paparoa Track

Journey through lush rainforest, limestone karst landscapes and over alpine tops on the Paparoa Track. This newly constructed track can be hiked or mountain biked.

Duration: 2-3 days
Distance: 55 km
Location: Paparoa Range, West Coast of the South Island
Closest towns: Blackball, Greymouth and Punakaiki
Start/Finish: This is a one-way walk or bike ride between Smoke-Ho car park near Blackball and Pororari River car park (walkers) or Waikori Road (bikers) near Punakaiki. Transport services are available to and from the track.

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Routeburn Track

Traverse the magnificent Southern Alps/ Kā Tiritiri o te Moana of New Zealand. Walk below majestic peaks, through beautiful beech forest and above vast valleys.

Duration: 2-4 days
Distance: 32 km
Location: Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, south-west South Island
Closest towns: Queenstown, Te Anau
Start/Finish: This is a one-way walk between the Routeburn Shelter near Queenstown and the Divide Shelter near Te Anau. Shuttles and vehicle relocations are available between both ends.

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Kepler Track

Walk through the gentle beech-forested shores of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri over exposed alpine tussock lands and Mt Luxmore with panoramic views.

Duration: 3-4 days
Distance: 60 km
Location: Fiordland National Park, south-west South Island
Closest towns: Queenstown and Te Anau
Start/Finish: This circuit walk starts and ends close to Te Anau.

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Milford Track

Experience the grandeur of rugged mountain peaks, sheer canyons and majestic waterfalls. Walk beside pristine rivers and in lush rainforest before crossing Mackinnon Pass and reaching spectacular Milford Sound.

Duration: 4 days
Distance: 53.5 km
Location: Fiordland National Park, south-west South Island
Closest towns: Te Anau and Queenstown
Start/Finish: This is a one-way walk from the head of Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Transport services are available to and from the track.

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Rakiura Track

Escape the hustle and bustle of mainland life for the tranquillity of Stewart Island/Rakiura. Revel in the peacefulness and idyllic surroundings with the bush, birds and beach at your side.

Duration: 3 days
Distance: 32 km
Location: Stewart Island/Rakiura
Closest town: Invercargill (20 min flight) or Bluff (1 hour ferry)
Start/Finish: This circuit walk starts and ends near the main township of Halfmoon Bay.

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