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

Five Passes, Mt Aspiring National Park

The five Passes is a classic backcountry loop trip which includes the crossing of Sugarloaf Pass, Park Pass, Cow Saddle, Fiery Col and Fohn Saddle. This route is mostly…

Distance
54.9km (approx)
Time
5-6 days in good weather
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Scott Creek to Caples Valley, Greenstone and Caples Conservation Area

To test your navigation skills beyond marked tracks and routes, head out on the Scott Creek to Kay Creek crossing between the Routeburn and Caples valleys. Even though the…

Distance
32km
Time
Car park to Scott Creek forks, 3-4hr; Forks to head of Death Valley, 5-6hr; Death Valley to Caples Hut 8.5hr; Caples Hut to Greenstone Track car park, 3hr;
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Wye Creek Basin, The Remarkables Conservation Area

The upper Wye Creek basin is the perfect destination for a camping trip. Camping on high alpine terrain usually requires a gruelling approach. The Remarkables access road spares the…

Distance
4.18km
Time
3-4hr return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Valley of the Trolls, Mt Aspiring National Park

For those looking for a special side trip off the Routeburn Track that offers a pristine environment and an uncrowded location a world away from the busy Great Walk,…

Distance
14km to Lake Wilson
Time
8-10hr return from Routeburn Shelter Road End
Grade
Moderate

Gillespie Pass Circuit, Mt Aspiring National Park

A jet boat journey saves a potentially awkward crossing of the Makarora River and will leave you at the confluence of the Makarora and Young rivers. The Young Valley…

Distance
58km
Time
3-4 days
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Ballarat Hut

A solid day’s walk to the goldfields, up from the old homestead at Skippers Creek, travelling through the gorge, pushing through giant stands of beautifully weedy lupins in shades…

Distance
32km
Time
15hr
Grade
Moderate

Fern Burn Hut, Motatapu Station

An overnight trip from Wanaka to the 12-bunk Fern Burn Hut offers a slice of this Otago high country station. The walk in is easy going as the gradient…

Distance
6.36km one way
Time
2.5-3hr each way
Grade
Easy

Roys Peak, The Stack Conservation Area

The track zigzags countless times; first through farmland and then through a fence that marks the start of The Stack Conservation Area. These continue and when you brush the…

Distance
14.18km
Time
5-6hr
Grade
Moderate

Earnslaw Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park

From the car park, follow the track across Muddy Creek and up the Rees Valley. The vista opens up, with the sweeping ridgeline of the Forbes Mountains from Mt…

Distance
10.5km
Time
4-4.5hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Mt Alfred/Ari, Glenorchy

Mt Alfred/Ari is a wedge-shaped monolith, formed when the Dart Glacier split into two streams, and stands more than 1000m above the surrounding valleys. Draw a 20km circle around…

Distance
3.35km
Time
5-8hr return
Grade
Moderate

Freehold Creek, Ohau Conservation Area

For Te Araroa Trail walkers, the East Ahuriri Track marks the start of another epic tramping section between Lake Ohau and Lake Hawea. The track begins on a 4WD…

Distance
26.9km
Time
2 days by bike; 4-5 days by foot
Grade
Moderate

Advance Peak, Macetown Historic Reserve

One of the most important sites for seeing our mining heritage is Macetown, a ghost town and now a historic reserve, 15km from Arrowtown. Setting off from Arrowtown there,s…

Distance
38.9km
Time
14-17hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Possum Hut, Silver Peaks Scenic Reserve

When people think of heritage sites in the Silver Peaks, they usually think of the early tramping and mustering huts or the ,caves, – rock bivvies. Often overlooked is…

Distance
8.83km
Time
3-5hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Corner Peak, Hawea Conservation Area

Corner Peak, 1683m, is accessed from the Timaru High River Track above the Timaru River. From the car park cross Peter Muir Bridge and, about 50m up the road,…

Distance
7.75km
Time
6-10hr
Grade
Moderate

Crucible Lake, Mt Aspiring National Park

Take a 30-minute boat ride, or 13km walk, to Kerin Forks, the track zigzags steeply up a spur above the Forks. The track then eases into a gentle gradient…

Distance
24.8km
Time
2-3 days
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Makarora Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park

The track starts easily enough though just 20-minutes in, Stewart Creek needs to be crossed below Stewart Falls. As with all river crossing, care needs to be taken. If…

Distance
10.1km
Time
5-7hr
Grade
Moderate

Big Hut, Rock and Pillar Conservation Area

Follow the marked track towards the hill. At the first stile turn sharp right and follow the fence to the sign-posted Rock and Pillar Conservation Area. The route heads…

Distance
4.15km
Time
2-3hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Harbour Cone, Dunedin

The purchase by the Dunedin City Council of a 328ha farm surrounding the visually impressive Harbour Cone has given a boost to walking opportunities on Otago Peninsula. This circular…

Distance
6.23km
Time
2.5-3 hours
Grade
Easy

Black Peak, Mt Aspiring National Park

The first two hours of the climb are a gruelling slog up a steep slope with nothing but tussock grass to cling to. There is no path to follow…

Distance
7.35km one way
Time
5-5.5hr
Grade
Difficult

Burns Saddle Track, Otago

Park at the top of the Northern Motorway and walk down Waitati Valley Rd until a gate with a faded ‘No access – water catchment area’ sign. The sign is…

Distance
9.71km
Time
3.5-4hr
Grade
Easy

Mt Cargill Walk, Dunedin

At 676m, Mt Cargill is one of the hills that dominates Dunedin,s skyline. The track begins by meandering through a popular picnic area before crossing Lindsay Creek and starting…

Distance
4.23km
Time
3-4hr
Grade
Easy

Sawyer Burn Hut, Kidds Bush Recreation Reserve

A popular camping spot, Kidds Bush is located on the northern shores of Lake Hawea. The climb to the top of the 2.5km Sawyer Burn Track takes about two…

Distance
3.79km
Time
2-4hr
Grade
Easy

Mt Iron, Wanaka

Mt Iron, 549m, is perhaps Wanaka’s most well known, and loved, trail. It would certainly seem so from the number of tourists, locals, runners, children, dogs, and even paraponters…

Distance
3.96km
Time
1.5hr
Grade
Easy