March 2015: Spectacular single day walks

Short walks are one of the best ways to experience New Zealand’s natural wonders first-hand.

Hooker Valley, Mount Cook National Park. Photo: Miles Holden
They are perfect for clients who want to experience New Zealand on foot but do not have the time or fitness to complete a multi-day walk. Most short walks are close to major cities and towns, meaning in one day visitors can easily immerse themselves in nature, before returning to town for an afternoon activity or gourmet meal in the evening.
 
No matter where you travel in New Zealand there is guaranteed to be a spectacular short walk close by.  
 
To find out more about short walks in New Zealand click here.
 
Here some short walks you might like to consider for your clients’ New Zealand itinerary:
 

NORTH ISLAND WALKS


Bay of Islands Coastal Walkway
Location: Paihia
Duration: 8 hours return
Distance: 8.2km
This beautiful walk meanders past coastal beaches, mangroves and native bush. The full day circuit track encompasses Russell, Okiato, Opua and Paihia using ferry links.
 
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Location: Waikato
Duration: 1-2 hours return
Distance: 5km
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is surrounded by the world’s longest pest-proof fence, offering a safe haven for many endangered species, including kaka and giant weta. One of the most popular walks in the reserve is the Southern Enclosure. Your clients’ may wish to learn more about the area’s conservation project on a guided tour.
 
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Location: Central North Island
Duration: 8 hours one way
Distance: 19km
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often described as New Zealand’s greatest day walk. It is a challenging but rewarding journey across a remarkable volcanic landscape. A small group guided walk is an excellent way to learn about the area and means all aspects, including mountain safety and transfers, are taken care of.
 
The Pinnacles Track
Location: Wairarapa
Duration: 3 hours return
Distance: 7km
Walk right up to one of the filming locations used in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Visitors can choose to walk up the streambed to marvel at the Putangirua Pinnacles towering overhead, or take the more direct route to the lookout.
 
 

SOUTH ISLAND WALKS
 

Franz Josef Walk
Location: West Coast
Duration: 1.5 hours return
Distance: 5.4km
Although the distance is short on paper this walk is not for the fainthearted! The track winds through a rocky riverbed before climbing up to the viewpoint near the glacier. Always check track conditions before setting out and follow all signs and barriers.
 
Hooker Valley Track
Location: Canterbury
Duration: 4 hours return
Distance: 13km
This popular tracks passes through picturesque Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, following the Hooker River. Impressive views of icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains will accompany your clients along the walk. The track is mostly flat and well-formed crossing three swing bridges, however care must be taken as some sections are rocky and muddy.
 
Rob Roy Glacier Track
Location: Lake Wanaka
Duration: 3-4 hours return
Distance: 10km
This track takes visitors into the beautiful Mount Aspiring National Park. From the safety of the viewing point visitors can watch and listen for avalanches and other signs of activity. Guard your snacks or picnic lunch at the viewing point as cheeky kea (mountain parrots) will try to pinch it when you’re not looking!
 
Queenstown Hill Time Walk
Location: Queenstown
Duration: 3 hours return
Distance: 4.2km
After a 500 metre climb through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness), visitors are rewarded with spectacular views of Queenstown and surrounds.  This walk is popular with both visitors and locals.