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Hiking in New Zealand

Tramping (verb) - 1. 'To go on a walking excursion or expedition; hike.'

(The Kiwi definition that is)

Hiking New Zealand is pure pleasure – there are no snakes, no poison ivy or poison anything else for that matter and nothing out here that can eat you. From luscious rain forest walks and dramatic boardwalks over fragile environments, to rugged alpine passes and breathtaking coastal trails, hiking in New Zealand has something for everyone. Hiking is known as "tramping" by most New Zealanders, particularly when referring to multi-day hiking trips in the backcountry, so you will often hear people say they're off for a tramp - which could surprise you if you haven't heard the term before!

The Department of Conservation (DOC) maintains thousands of tracks throughout New Zealand, along with hundreds of backcountry huts and campsites, and is armed with a large slice of the country's annual budget to make sure our most scenic land is available and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

The tracks serviced by DOC vary from short 30-minute scenic strolls to long-distance back-country trails in remote areas, such as the 8+ day Dusky Track in Fiordland. The style and level of maintenance of trail varies - some of the shorter tracks will be well-graded, some even wheelchair-accessible, whereas at the the other end of the scale are the "poled routes" where the trail is marked by poles every hundred metres or so, with no clearly defined trail. The majority of tracks however are marked at regular intervals by bright orange plastic triangles. At the start of each trail, and at every major track junction there are signposts marking the different routes, along with approximate times to each destination along that route. Hiking times are given, rather than distances, in order to avoid trouble or confusion, as depending on "undulations" (aka hills) on the trail, not all kilometres are created equal!

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 Or click any of the links below to learn more about hiking in New Zealand. We look forward to seeing you out on the trail soon!


New Zealand Hiking Resources:


Want help planning your hiking trip?

There are so many hiking trails in New Zealand and there's plenty more to hiking New Zealand than just the Milford Track.

If you're not sure of your plans just yet, a good place to start is our brochure. With a full fold-out map of New Zealand, information on our New Zealand hiking tours, as well as lots of cool photos, it's a great place to begin your research.

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Or, if you want to have a chat with a local about your plans, feel free to give us a call:

1 800 661 9073 (USA/Canada)

0808 234 7780 (UK)

+64 3 450 0414 (worldwide).

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Outstanding!

    First, there is the magical place that is New Zealand -- unique, varied, and beautiful. Second, there is the operation that is Active Adventures -- organized, engaged, and attentive. Together, they make for an outstanding experience. Thank you!
    Nanette Bahlinger Review Image
    – Tennessee, United States
    Kauri, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Exceeding expectations and more!

    We had been planning this trip for about a year and I had been dreaming about this trip for about 7 years, therefore the expectations were high. Active Adventures did an excellent job and our guides Kuru and Liana made this a trip of a lifetime. The most amazing part is that they always were one step ahead of planning the next meal, hike, bike or even maneuvering around the NZ wild weather. All the planning ahead and adjusting on the fly would normally turn a trip to be very stressful but we were able to sit back and relax (not literally because it was very active) and truly enjoy the beautiful landscape and everything NZ had to offer. Truly the trip of a lifetime!
    Ryan Hussey Review Image
    – New Hampshire, United States
    Tui, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Guided Trips are the Way to Go!

    I had been wanting to hike in New Zealand for some time, and finally had enough time off. Trying to figure out the hut system, what to see and how to get around seemed a bit overwhelming. Even moreso since I was traveling solo. Active looked to be a great way to travel without having to stress about the planning, travel, etc. Though I had never traveled like this before, I saw the places I wanted to travel to, and others I would have likely not have found alone. Everyone on the trip was pleasant and easy to talk to, friendly and, like me had a great time. Our guides, Katie and Astrid, really made the trip with their upbeat attitudes, informative revelations on everything we saw, continual answering to our sometimes badgering questions and always being ready to help out.
    Henry Shenk Review Image
    – Louisiana, United States
    Tui, March 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Amazing Honeymoon Experience

    We decided to travel around NZ with Active Adventures for our honeymoon. What an incredible decision! All the logistics were taken care of for us, so we didn't have to worry about any of it while we were focusing on planning the wedding. The staff were terrific....excellent tour guides and went above and beyond for us. New Zealand itself is such a gorgeous place and was a great place to kick off married life. Active Adventures really does it right and the group sizes (max 14) are perfect. We had an amazing experience and plan to travel with Active Adventures again on our next adventure!
    Crista Cohen Review Image
    – Colorado, United States
    Tui, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Tui experience

    This trip provided a good balance of activities with the necessary travel time to access the different parts of the South Island. The trip was well organized, and the guides were super. They accommodated our individual desires and capabilities, as well as being good cooks, leaders, and knowledgeable guides. Our group quickly melded into collegial and interesting companions, and that make the experience that much better. The itinerary provides a taste all that the South Island offers. I'm happy to have chosen this company to tour with.
    Gary Ezzell Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Tui, February 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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