Mt Patriarch via Chummies Track, Kahurangi National Park

Perhaps the most rewarding way to approach Mt Patriarch is on the Chummies Track, up past John Reid Hut, on to the southern end of the Arthur Range. Almost…

Distance
32.4km
Time
Wangapeka River to Pt1463, 4-5hr; To Kiwi Saddle Hut via Mt Patriarch, 4-6hr; To Siberia Campsite, 5-6hr

Lake Constance, Nelson Lakes National Park

Lake Constance is huge. Two kilometres long and up to 700m wide, it lies in a massive post-glacial basin at 1340m, making it the largest truly alpine lake in…

Distance
98km
Time
6-9 days to walk the Waiau Pass Route
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Ministry of Works Historic Hut, Kahurangi National Park

Deep in the wild heart of northern Kahurangi is a subalpine tableland that rises to 870m. Mackay Downs features numerous granite tors which punctuate peat-filled valleys of tussock. Home…

Distance
2859m
Time
Road end to Perry Saddle Hut, 5hr; To Gouland Downs Hut, 2hr; To Saxon Hut, 1.5hr; To Blue Shirt Creek, 1hr; To Ministry of Works Hut, 3hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Arthur Range Loop, Kahurangi National Park

A traverse of the Arthur Range between Kiwi Saddle and John Reid Huts offers superb alpine tramping and makes a good introduction to off-track alpine tramping for suitably experienced…

Distance
30.4km
Time
2-3 days. Rolling Junction to Kiwi Saddle Hut, 6-7hr; To John Reid Hut, 4-6hr; To Wangapeka Road, 4hr
Grade
Moderate

St Arnaud Range Tarns, Nelson Lakes National Park

If you have only one day to get a taste of the big skies and endless peaks of Nelson Lakes National Park, this out-and-back trip to the tops of…

Distance
10.46km return
Time
8hr return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Scott’s Beach, Kahurangi National Park

Most people start the Heaphy Track from the Collingwood side, but being already on the West Coast, I decided to begin at Kohaihai.  It was after 4pm when I arrived at the…

Distance
2.9km
Time
1hr
Grade
Easy

Headlands Track, Abel Tasman National Park

If your liking is for a short and easy hike around a seaside headland through native forest accompanied by the ever-present sound of the sea, and often the wind,…

Distance
3.84km
Time
45-60mins
Grade
Easy

Mt Robert via Paddys Track, Nelson Lakes National Park

You can begin the Mount Robert Circuit along Paddy’s Track, which cuts across the mountain’s open face and crosses several scree-filled gullies before climbing to Bushline Hut, where spectacular…

Distance
5.34km to summit
Time
v2-3hr to summit via Paddy’s Track
Grade
Easy

Biggs Tops camping, Kahurangi National Park

Celestial. Sublime. Godlike. Dramatic terms yes, but no exaggeration when describing the sun’s evening rays pouring out from behind the Scarlett Range. This alone was rewarding enough for the…

Distance
23.8km
Time
Car park to Stone Hut, 6-8hr; Hut to Biggs Tops, 2-4hr
Grade
Moderate

Abel Tasman Coast Track, Abel Tasman National Park

Weaving from beach to beach, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is the most popular Great Walk. Starting from Marahau, a boardwalk leads across the estuary to the headland and…

Distance
60km
Time
Marahau to Anchorage Hut, 4hr; To Bark Bay Hut, 4hr; To Awaroa Hut, 4.5hr; To Whariwharangi Hut, 5.5hr; To Wainui, 2hr
Grade
Easy

Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park

If there’s one word to summarise the Heaphy Track, it’s variety. It takes some time to digest this tramp, such is its depth and rapidly changing landscape. From the…

Distance
78.4km
Time
Brown Hut to Perry Saddle Hut, 5hr; To Gouland Downs Hut, 2hr; To Saxon Hut, 1.5hr; To James Mackay Hut, 3hr; To Lewis Hut, 3.5hr; To Heaphy Hut, 2.5hr; To Kohaihai River Mouth, 5hr
Grade
Moderate

Flanagans Hut, Kahurangi National Park

With some relief, I suddenly spied it. Wet, itchy, puffy and punctured after enduring a crossing of Baton Saddle, I resolutely sloshed across Baton River – hardly more than…

Distance
13km to hut
Time
Baton Valley Road to Flanagans Hut, 3-4hr; Hut to Baton Saddle, 1-2hr
Grade
Moderate

Mt Richmond – Mt Fell Circuit, Mt Richmond Forest Park

This two-to-three day loop to the summit of Mt Richmond includes Richmond Saddle Hut and Mt Fell Hut, running through bush-clad valleys and tussock tops. Park at Jubilee Flat,…

Distance
22km
Time
Top Valley Rd to Richmond Saddle Hut, 3-4hr; Richmond Saddle Hut to Mt Fell Hut, 4-5hr; Mt Fell Hut to Timms Valley, 5-6hr
Grade
Moderate

Mt Robert Circuit, Nelson Lakes National Park

On top of the world at the Bushline… Te Araroa Trail walkers are a bit like mice – nearly every hut has them. I say that with love, because…

Distance
9km
Time
Car park to Bushline Hut along Pinchgut Track , 3hr; hut to car park along Paddys Track, 1.5hr
Grade
Easy

Sylvester Hut, Kahurangi National Park

Feeling I needed a quick and cheeky hut escape, I soon had my sights set on Sylvester Hut. The hut is just a two-hour easy walk from the car…

Distance
5.2km
Time
1.5-2hr each way
Grade
Easy

Lake Matiri Hut, Kahurangi National Park

On the southern boundary of Kahurangi National Park, where the Matiri River flows into the mighty Buller River at Murchison, an access road and track head north to charming…

Distance
6.85km
Time
2-3hr to hut
Grade
Easy

Lake Rotoiti Circuit, Nelson Lakes National Park

The environs of Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park would easily rival that of any lake setting in New Zealand. When you add an excellent around-the-lake track with…

Distance
19.2km
Time
Kerr Bay to Lakehead Hut, 3hr; Hut to Mt Robert Road, 3-3.5hr
Grade
Easy

Awapoto Hut, Abel Tasman National Park

For an unusual experience of Abel Tasman National Park, entirely away from beaches, try the hike to Awapoto Hut. A well-defined track from Pigeon Saddle heads uphill into the…

Distance
5.11km
Time
2-3hr each way
Grade
Easy

Salisbury Lodge via Bullock Track, Kahurangi National Park

With a maximum altitude of just over 1300m, hummocky tussock lands and a choice of huts and alternative tracks, this Cobb Valley route should be possible in most winter…

Distance
12.2km
Time
Road end to Lower Junction, 2hr; Lower Junction to Salisbury Lodge, 2.5-3hr
Grade
Moderate

Larrikin Creek Hut, Kahurangi National Park

Tucked into the southern Kahurangi, north of Murchison, is the famous Thousand Acres Plateau. This great tussock tableland is bounded by the Matiri Valley to the east and the…

Distance
18.6km
Time
9hr via Lake Matiri and Poor Pete’s huts
Grade
Moderate

Mt Misery Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park

Each summer, hordes of trampers traipse through Nelson Lakes National Park. In recent years, many of the tracks have become increasingly popular, even more so since the Te Araroa…

Distance
27.2km from Mt Robert Rd, Lake Rotoiti; 10km from Sabine Hut; 3.9km from Mt Misery jetty
Time
12-14hr from Lake Rotoiti; 4.5-6hr from Sabine Hut; 3-4hr from from Mt Misery jetty
Grade
Moderate

St Arnaud Range Track, Nelson Lakes National Park

A quick trip to the tops If you have only one day to get a taste of the big skies and endless peaks of Nelson Lakes National Park, this…

Distance
10.46km return
Time
5hr return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Historic Kill Devil Pack Track, Kahurangi National Park

The Historic Kill Devil Pack Track gives trampers a rare opportunity to do a four-day walk with minimal evidence of modern interference, amid traces of the gold mining days.…

Distance
52km
Time
Urewhenua Road to Riordans Hut, 4-5hr; Riordans Hut to Waingaro Forks Hut, 2-3hr; Waingaro Forks Hut to Soper Shelter, 3.5-5hr; Soper Shelter to Anatoki Forks Hut, 5-6hr; Anatoki Forks Hut to road end, 8hr
Grade
Moderate

Johnston Peak, Mt Richmond Forest Park

In the New Zealand backcountry there have been several notorious plane crashes. Sometimes the wreckage was removed; sometimes it is still there waiting for an adventurous tramper to discover…

Distance
9.26km to Johnston Peak
Time
Car park to Richmond Saddle Hut, 4hr; Hut to Mt Richmond, 1hr; Mt Richmond to Johnston Peak, 1.5hr
Grade
Moderate

Wangapeka Track, Kahurangi National Park

There’s a proposal to develop a new road along the route of the Wangapeka Track in Kahurangi National Park, which would connect Tapawera to Karamea, halving the driving time…

Distance
55km
Time
4-6 days

Fenella Hut, Kahurangi National Park

From the top of Takaka Hill, head into the wide open river flats and beech forest pockets of the Cobb Valley. From Trilobite Hut, near the car park, follow…

Distance
12.4km
Time
2.5-4.5hr to hut
Grade
Easy

Travers Valley, Nelson Lakes National Park

Hike Lakehead Track to Lakehead Hut (or catch a water taxi and save yourself a few hours). Coninue up the Travers Valley to John Tait Hut. One option is…

Distance
26.9km via Lakehead Track
Time
10-11hr
Grade
Moderate

Adelaide Tarn Hut, Kahurangi National Park

Adelaide Tarn is arguably one of the most spectacular settings in the mountains of Aotearoa. The lakelet is cradled in an alpine amphitheatre, surrounded by a series of gnarly…

Distance
25km
Time
11-15hr to reach hut
Grade
Difficult

Lake Peel Loop, Kahurangi National Park

The Mt Arthur Tablelands area of Kahurangi National Park is deservedly busy over summer. While Mt Arthur Hut and Salisbury Lodge are popular destinations for families, if you want to...

Distance
38.8km
Time
3-4 days
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Mt Owen via Granity Pass Hut, Kahurangi National Park

The peaks of Kahurangi National Park may not be the biggest in the South Island, but the distinctive limestone they’re composed of makes them among the most dramatic. It’s…

Distance
11.6km one way
Time
Courthouse Flat car park to Granity Pass Hut, 4-6hr; Granity Pass Hut to Mt Owen summit, 2-4hr return
Grade
Moderate

Harwoods Hole, Abel Tasman National Park

Marble blocks litter the track to Harwoods Hole like the carcasses of long dead, strange and forgotten animals. Sharp ribs still protrude and holes have worn through the slippery…

Distance
2.15km
Time
1.5hr
Grade
Easy

Xenicus Peak via Fenella Hut, Kahurangi National Park

From Trilobite Hut at the road end, set off up the valley, following the Cobb River. An easy 90-minute walk brings you to the beautifully restored Chaffeys Hut. Continue…

Distance
15.8km
Time
5.5-6.5hr one way
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Gibbs Hill, Abel Tasman National Park

Gibbs Hill, 405m, is a modest summit with a 4km approach along the ridgeline which climbs from Totaranui Beach. The first section of the track is flat, then it…

Distance
3.68km
Time
2hr to summit
Grade
Moderate

Great Taste Trail, Tasman Bay

The stretch of Great Taste Trail from Riwaka to Kaiteriteri officially opened in October 2014. Set off from Kaiteriteri beach, cross the bridge and turn right along Martin Farm…

Distance
33km
Time
4-5hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Dun Mountain and Little Twin, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Dun Mountain is the easiest-to-reach summit in the Richmond Range from the Nelson side. The dunite rock beneath the surface forms infertile soil, meaning despite the peak,s modest 1129m…

Distance
19km
Time
7-9hr
Grade
Moderate

Wainui Hut, Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is the most popular, and crowded, Great Walk. The allure of the coast means fewer trampers frequent the interior of New Zealand’s smallest national…

Distance
14.2km
Time
4-5.5hr
Grade
Easy

Mt Travers, Nelson Lakes National Park

Tramp the Lakehead Track from St Arnaud to Lakehead Hut (or if time is pressing, take a much quicker water taxi). From Lakehead Hut, continue on up the Travers…

Distance
28.4km
Time
3 days plus
Grade
Difficult

Whariwharangi Hut, Abel Tasman National Park

Just about the only criticism of the Abel Tasman Coast Track is the number of people who walk it. The golden beaches, easy walking and endless swimming holes bring…

Distance
16.9km
Time
7-8hr
Grade
Easy

Arthur Range traverse, Kahurangi National Park

This trip from Mt Campbell to the Lodestone is 20.8km, traverses five peaks over 1300m and lasts more than 10 hours, requiring a high level of fitness and aptitude…

Distance
20.8km
Time
8-12hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Waingaro Forks Hut, Kahurangi National Park

This trip on the Waingaro Track features two restored historic huts and a shelter. The first few kilometres are ominously called Kill Devil Ridge, but the track is much…

Distance
19.6km (one way)
Time
14-16hr (return)
Grade
Moderate

Thompsons Flat Hut, Lewis Pass National Reserve

Ringed with mature beech forest and gentle peaks, Lake Daniell is a jewel of a location and is suited to trampers with kids or those looking for something cruisy…

Distance
11.8km
Time
3-4hr
Grade
Easy

Myttons Hut, Kahurangi National Park

A few minutes’  walk from the car park will have you at Myttons Hut, overlooking the Cobb Reservoir. The hut makes a nice alternative to the more crowded Trilobite…

Distance
973m
Time
10-15min
Grade
Easy

Pearse River Resurgence, Kahurangi National Park

The first challenge with any trip to the Pearse Resurgence is getting there. The road is eroded and lined with large rocks – just the right size to ground…

Distance
5.11km
Time
2-3hr
Grade
Easy