1.Greenstone-Caples Track, Greenstone and Caples Conservation Area
61km, four days
While the Greenstone-Caples circuit is missing the stunning alpine scenery of the nearby Routeburn Track, the twin river valleys make pleasant walking. If you have time, stay an extra night at McKellar Hut and visit Key Summit. The route starts and finishes at the Greenstone car park.
2. St James Walkway, Lewis Pass
65km, five days
Starting from either Boyle Village or Lewis Pass, this track crosses two low saddles, alpine meadows, farmland and beech forest. While the main huts are four to seven hours apart, a number of smaller huts are dotted in between, making ideal lunch spots.
3. Te Paki Coastal Walkway, Northland
41km, four days
The Te Paki Coastal Walkway traverses a number of capes, bays and headlands between Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) and Ninety Mile Beach. There are no huts along the route, only campsites, so don’t forget your tent.
4. Lake Waikaremoana, Te Urewera
42km, four to six days
While it’s a popular Great Walk, the number of huts and campsites between Onepoto Bay and Hopuruahine Landing means this track never feels crowded. Expect to walk two to six hours between huts and campsites.
5. Mt Taranaki circuit, Egmont National Park
49km, five days
Starting and finishing at Dawson Falls, this low level circuit takes in Lake Dive Hut, Waiaua Gorge Hut, Holly Hut and Maketawa Hut. It’s four to eight hours between huts, with most of the track below the bushline.