Lorn Peak, The Remarkables Conservation Area

The track begins from the car park at the end of Glen Nevis Station Road and is indicated by a DOC board. Cross the stile and follow the 4WD…

Distance
13km return
Time
6-8hr return
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Brewster Hut, Mount Aspiring National Park

Brewster Hut is a popular destination near Wānaka, but on this sunny winter’s day we had it to ourselves.  The Haast River stole the warmth from our feet as…

Distance
5.4km return
Time
4-8hr return
Grade
Moderate

Big Hut, Rock and Pillar Conservation Area

The Rock and Pillar Range runs parallel with the coast, only an hour’s drive from Dunedin. A demanding access route begins from Glencreag Station on the patchwork of Strath…

Distance
4.34km
Time
2-3hrs from Big Hut
Grade
Moderate

Invincible Mine Track Glenorchy

A steep track to the site of an historic gold mine and stunning views of the Rees Valley. By Enrique de Azkoitia The track was built in the early…

Distance
4.5km
Time
1.5hr
Grade
Easy

Boundary Hut, Mavora Lakes Conservation Area

Just outside the hustle and bustle of Queenstown is the golden Mararoa Valley – its perfect, clear, meandering river framed by scree and snow-capped mountains. Whilst most visitors to…

Distance
15.6km each way
Time
4hr to hut
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Omeo Gully Track, Kopuwai Conservation Area

The track has become one of my favourite Central Otago day walks, but can be turned into an overnighter, or even a multi-day trip, to Boundary Hut and Old…

Distance
15.4km return
Time
6hr return to the Obelisk Loop Track
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Sam Summers Hut, Queenstown

Accessible near Queenstown is this rustic yesteryear gold mining hut, built from schist and iron during the 1930s by local prospector Sam Summers. Overnight use of the hut is…

Distance
7km
Time
2.5-3hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Catlins River Track, Otago

This is an easy riverside bush track taking walkers through one of the largest remaining forested areas of the eastern South Island and passing exquisite cascades of the Catlins…

Distance
11km
Time
4-5.5hr each way
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Dore Pass, Fiordland National Park

From its completion in 1908, the Milford Track was originally used exclusively by the Tourist Hotel Corporation. Frustrated trampers continually failed to gain independent access until 1965, when the…

Distance
10km to Glade House
Time
Pass, 4-5hr; to Glade House, 3.5-4.5hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Cascade Saddle, Mt Aspiring National Park

Cascade Saddle is a spectacular tramp resulting in what are arguably the best views you can get of Mt Aspiring/Tititea. But those views are hard-earned and can only be…

Distance
15.3km
Time
6-8hr
Grade
Difficult

Dromedary Hill, Lindis Conservation Area

The Lindis Conservation Area provides a plethora of tracks for both trampers and mountain bikers through its rolling tussock hills and alpine ridges. The seldom visited Dromedary Hill is…

Distance
20km return
Time
6-8hr return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

MacLennan Hut, Catlins Conservation Park

MacLennan Hut (curiously spelt McLennan on topo maps) sits in the middle of a lush pocket of bush and is a hidden jewel of the Catlins Conservation Park. Access…

Distance
7.63km
Time
2-3hrs
Grade
Moderate

Tautuku Hut, Catlins Conservation Park

Tautuku Hut is essentially a shed that was donated to DOC by ex-All Black and the local Skyline Garages franchisee Laurie Mains. Mains converted the garage and donated it…

Distance
4km
Time
2-3hrs
Grade
Easy

Skyline Track, Wanaka

The track begins from Roy’s Peak car park, which has been known to be full before 10am in peak season, so an early start is advised (there is a…

Distance
23km
Time
8-11hr
Grade
Moderate

Sentinel Peak, Hāwea Conservation Park

Like a watchman, Sentinel Peak stands tall and proud over two of New Zealand’s best-known lakes: Wanaka and Hāwea. The 1814m peak is a custodian of a unique perspective…

Distance
6.86km to Sentinel Peak
Time
Carpark to Sawyer Burn Hut, 1.5-2hr; To Sentinel Peak, 4-5hr; To car park 4-5hr
Grade
Moderate

Steele Creek Hut via Ailsa Mountains, Caples and Greenstone conservation areas

The Greenstone – Caples Circuit is a well-known classic due to its easy-flowing trail amid grand mountain scenery. However, the Ailsa Mountains that separate these two lush river valleys…

Distance
43.1km
Time
Car park to Home Hill Hut 4hr; To Pt1395, 4hr; To Steele Creek Hut, 4hr; To Caples Junction, 6hr, To Mid Caples Hut, 2hr To Car park, 2hr
Grade
Difficult

Shovel Flat, Mt Aspiring National Park

On a riverside sandwiched between spectacular peaks near the head of the West Matukituki Valley, Shovel Flat offers an accessible campsite to experience the grandeur of Mt Aspiring National…

Distance
12.4km
Time
3-4hr
Grade
Easy

Old Woman Hut, Old Woman Range/Kopuwai Conservation Area

The barren, tundra-like high country of Kopuwai Conservation Area in Central Otago offers views from The Remarkables to Aoraki/Mt Cook and an alpine experience like no other. Encompassing a…

Distance
4.76km
Time
70-90mins
Grade
Easy

Cairnmuir Hill Track, Central Otago

Traversing a mountain range between the historic Central Otago gold mining towns of Clyde and Cromwell, the Cairnmuir Hill Track provides an excellent vantage point to soak in ‘big…

Distance
20.7km
Time
6-8hr (3-5hr to mountain bike)
Grade
Moderate

Rob Roy Peak, Mt Aspiring National Park

If you’re keen enough to venture to Rob Roy Glacier and marvel at the lofty summits at the head of the valley, a little extra planning and preparation could…

Distance
9.83km
Time
Car park to Rob Roy Peak, 10hr
Grade
Difficult

Park Pass Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park

The trip starts at the Routeburn Road end but leaves the Routeburn Track after a short time and climbs steeply to Sugar Loaf Pass, where it descends, again steeply,…

Distance
18.2km
Time
Road end to Park Pass, 8-9hr; Park Pass to lake outlet, 2hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Park Pass Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park

Park Pass Glacier is one of those special places that you’d expect would take days of difficult and arduous tramping to reach. The glacier cascades spectacularly from its high…

Distance
18.2km
Time
Road end to Park Pass, 8-9hr; Park Pass to lake outlet, 2hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Basin View Track, Flat Top Hill Conservation Area

Renowned for its autumn colours and mirror-like reflections, Butchers Dam has become a staple of New Zealand calendars and postcards, but climbing the nearby hills gives a new perspective…

Distance
7.27km
Time
3hr
Grade
Easy

Dynamo Hut, Mt Aurum Recreation Reserve

An electrifying hike Skippers Creek offers a gateway to one of New Zealand’s richest and most isolated goldfields and a diverse landscape of beech forest, tussock country and rugged…

Distance
7.67km
Time
To Bullendale Hut, 3hr; Bullendale to Dynamo Hut, 2hr
Grade
Easy

Route Burn North Branch, Mt Aspiring National Park

While the Great Walks offer an excellent introduction to the enjoyment of tramping, they also provide launchpads to more intrepid places where fewer trampers venture. Just an hour off…

Distance
11km
Time
2.5hr
Grade
Easy

Glacier Burn Track, Humboldts Conservation Area

With a steep climb to the treeline, where waterfalls tumble down the sheer rock walls of 2300m peaks, the Glacier Burn Track is a portal to a rugged alpine…

Distance
3.13km
Time
3h return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Grandview Mountain, Hawea

Rising to 1398m above Lake Hawea, the aptly-named Grandview Mountain provides a stunning panorama without the crowds of nearby Roys Peak. Starting from the car park at the Nook…

Distance
9km
Time
4-6hr return
Grade
Moderate

Lake Alta, The Remarkables Conservation Area

Lake Alta is an exquisite alpine jewel set in a post-glacial cirque at 1800m right under the north-east face of Double Cone, 2319m. Reaching the lake is easy, considering…

Distance
1.56km
Time
45min to the lake
Grade
Moderate

Mt Mason via Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago

From the tiny car park just off SH6, a stile takes you into a field where a short series of poles guides walkers alongside a narrow stream and towards…

Distance
7km return
Time
2.5-3hr return
Grade
Easy

Meg Hut, Pisa Conservation Area

In a valley in the dry high country hills of Pisa Conservation Area, Meg Hut provides a cosy bunk for the night. The eight-bunker is an old musterers hut…

Distance
14.2km
Time
Roaring Meg car park to Meg Hut 3-4hr; Tuohys Gully car park to Meg Hut, 2-3hr; Meg Hut to Deep Creek Hut, 5-6hr return
Grade
Moderate

Rees-Dart Track, Mt Aspiring National Park

From Muddy Creek at the end of Rees Valley Road, a 4WD road crosses leasehold land along easy river flats. Follow marker poles across a boggy section beyond Arthurs…

Distance
77km
Time
Muddy to Shelter Rock Hut, 5-7hr; To Dart Hut, 4-6hr; To Daleys Flat Hut, 5-7hr; To Chinamans Bluff car park, 5-7hr
Grade
Moderate

Routeburn Track, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks

Two national parks, two iconic valleys, and more stunning views, lakes and waterfalls than you can point a selfie-stick at – the Routeburn is the complete package. Starting from…

Distance
32km
Time
The Divide to Howden Hut, 90min; To Lake Mackenzie Hut, 4hr; To Routeburn Falls Hut, 5hr; To Routeburn Flats Hut, 1hr; To Routeburn Shelter, 2hr
Grade
Moderate

Lake Hope, Remarkables Conservation Area

Climbing from the shore of Lake Wakatipu and over the Hector Mountains, the trip to Lake Hope is a classic alpine adventure, just a short drive from Queenstown From…

Distance
20.8km
Time
SH6 to Two Mile Creek Hut, 4hr. Hut to Lake Hope, 4hr. Lake Hope to Wye Creek car park down South Wye, 4hr.
Grade
Moderate

Isthmus Peak Track, Matatiaho Conservation Area

A short drive north of Wanaka, Isthmus Peak features grandiose views of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, but with a fraction of the company of the popular Roys Peak…

Distance
7.3km
Time
5hr return
Grade
Moderate

Hidden Lake, Oteake Conservation Park

Tucked in the high bare hills south of Omarama, where northern Otago butts up against southern Canterbury, is a sparkling alpine lake. Sitting at 1550m amid the tawny landscape,…

Distance
14km
Time
3-4hr to lake
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Beech Hut, Eyre Mountains/Taka Rā Haka Conservation Park

With Fiordland National Park to the west and Aspiring National Park to the north, the Eyre Mountains are a rarely-visited gem. While the park lacks the spectacular grandeur of its…

Distance
15km
Time
4hr to Beech Hut
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Earnslaw Burn Track, Mt Aspiring National Park

Featuring an icefall tumbling 2000m down a rock face and feeding a multitude of waterfalls, the Earnslaw Burn is one of the most spectacular valleys in the country. Best…

Distance
11.7km
Time
5hr each way
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Buster Hut, Oteake Conservation Park

Climbing into the dry Central Otago high country to one of New Zealand’s highest gold mines, this loop track offers excellent scenery and fascinating history. From the Mt Buster…

Distance
13.2km
Time
3hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Millennium Walkway, Arrowtown

The Arrowtown Millennium Walkway was built in 1998 to mark 150 years since Europeans settled in Otago. The walkway is hugely popular, but don’t let that be a deterrent,…

Distance
3.25km
Time
1hr return
Grade
Easy

Brewster Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park

A firm favourite The route to Brewster Hut requires an immediate crossing of the Haast River, a trickle in low flow. The marked track on the opposite bank then begins…

Distance
2.7km
Time
Car park to Brewster Hut, 2–4hr; Hut to Mt Armstrong, 2-3hr
Grade
Moderate

Lake Wanaka Lookout Track, Diamond Lake Conservation Area

It might be a cliché to call Diamond Lake a jewel in the crown, but if you’re looking for a short stroll to a hidden treasure, then this lake…

Distance
6km
Time
Car park to viewpoint, 1hr return; including Wanaka Lookout Track, 3hr return
Grade
Easy

Serpentine Range traverse, Mt Aspiring National Park

The southern flanks of the Serpentine Range, which traverses Mt Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, include the incredible Lake Wilson and can be reached from the Routeburn Track. Head…

Distance
38.8km
Time
3-4 days
Grade
Difficult

Mt Alaska, Whakaari Conservation Area

Take the high road Whakaari Conservation Area may be a relatively new reserve, but it’s an area with plenty of history. It was a hub of scheelite mining (calcium…

Distance
10km to summit
Time
8-10hr return
Grade
Moderate

Mt Gladwish via Top Dingle Hut, Hawea Conservation Park

The Dingleburn Route from Ahuriri Base Hut is well marked and leads steeply to a ridgeline that forms an outlier to the Huxley Range. At the 1450m ridgeline, follow…

Distance
18.3km
Time
Ahuriri Base Hut to Top Dingle Hut, 3hr; Top Dingle Hut to Mt Gladwish, 4-5hr; Mt Gladwish to Ahuriri Base Hut via Birchwood, 4-5hr
Grade
Moderate

Carricktown Track, Otago

Downhill from NZ’s highest road With a dry, sunny and reliable climate, a dramatic landscape, and widespread evidence of a romantic gold-rush past, Central Otago offers unique opportunities for…

Distance
12.7km
Time
Duffers Saddle to Quartzville (with Royal Australian Mine side-trip) 4-5hr
Grade
Moderate

Kerin Forks Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park

Conquering the Wilkin Valley With an overseas friend on the verge of returning to Europe, I resolved to give him one final epic adventure. We settled on a walk up…

Distance
14.3km
Time
3.5-4hr to hut
Grade
Moderate

Mt Larkins, Whakaari Conservation Area

For a demanding overnight hike with some decent altitude near Queenstown, look no further than Mt Larkins. The magic of this summit is not only in its 2300m height…

Distance
12.1km
Time
Car park to Heather Jock Hut, 3-4hr; Heather Jock Hut to Mt Larkins, 8hr return
Grade
Moderate

Mt Crichton, Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve

Along the knife’s edge YOU DON’T HAVE to drive far to find the wilderness beyond the high street and Queenstown’s tourism hustle and bustle. Just 12km west of Queenstown…

Distance
13.8km
Time
8-10hr
Grade
Difficult