In terms of hiking the New Zealand’s South Island offers some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery you could expect. If you’re seeking mountains glaciers, lakes, rivers, lakes beaches, or forests in the South Island has it all and more.
There is no better method to get the most of the beauty of the scenery than to go on hiking trails. Through New Zealand you will find official hiking trails that lead you deeper into the natural scenery and allow you to see the natural beauty for yourself.
The hikes around New Zealand can be anything from short 30 minute trails to longer , multi-day hikes. There is an official track that weaves its way across the entire nation starting from North from the North to South. Whatever type of trail you’re seeking, there will be an option available to you.
Certain hikes can be considered to be easy and ideal for anyone to do part in, whereas other trails could be more challenging. This is crucial to take into consideration in deciding on which trails to make use of.
The New Zealand’s South Island and its surrounding mountains is an outdoor nature lover’s dream. It is home to the breathtaking Southern Alps which provide the perfect playground for the enthusiastic hiker who wants to immerse themselves in the wilderness and take in stunning views.
The hiking trails around the New Zealand mountains of the South Island are endless. From day hikes that are the best to the most challenging multi-day hikes there’s a hiking adventure for anyone!
In all truth there are a few that truly stand out which make South Island one of the most scenic hiking destinations anywhere in the world.
What are the most beautiful South Island hiking trails?
After a year of exploring NZ and navigating South Island South Island, I’ve come up with the ultimate bucket list of the top hikes in South Island! South Island!
Without further delay this list of the 10 most breathtaking hikes in the South Island of New Zealand!
New Zealand Weather
You shouldn’t venture out on the trails for hiking without knowing the forecast for the coming day (or for the next few days). The majority of South Island is mountainous and could be prone to a variety of bad weather. Wind, rain and stormy weather are typical for the region.
What you do not need is to find yourself in bad weather conditions, with low visibility, and away from the trailhead. The ability to recognize weather conditions will be of paramount importance in this case.
Every time I travel, I attempt at being as versatile as I can in regards to my itinerary. If I know that I’ll be in a particular area or city for a couple of days I don’t want to write a day by schedule to an exacting standard.
hiking packing list
If you plan to take on multi-hour New Zealand South Island hikes You must be ready with the proper equipment. Making a well-organized hiking pack list will make you stress-free in all kinds of conditions.
How to prepare for a hike
Whatever place I am located in the world, I’ll always review a list in getting ready for a day exploring. Here are some essential points to think about:
If you’re looking to take part in the multi-day trail and want to stay overnight, you’ll probably be in a position to sleep at an official mountain lodge along the route. A lot of them are booked in advance , ensuring an overnight stay. This guide will cover some of these trails in case you want to make a second trek.
Getting Around New Zealand
The general rule is that traveling all over New Zealand is going to be easier if you lease your own vehicle (or camping van). Although buses traverse all over the South Island, it will be a challenge to travel to trailheads if you don’t have the luxury of a vehicle.
For many driving around New Zealand is going to be different from. driving in the United States. This is because the driving experience within New Zealand is done on the left-hand right side. In addition, roads can become rough and windy it can create an entirely new driving experience.
Here are a few of the top New Zealand’s Hikes we’d recommend.
It is the Tiki Trail is a frequent hike route that runs that runs from Queens Town on Brecon Street right in front of Queenstown’s Gondola. In fact, this is the only option for people on a budget could hike up Bob’s Peak to see the high-rise buildings and huts. However, the trails themselves are stunning and one can walk through enormous pine trees and look out over Lake Wakatipu and Queen’s Town below. Of course, the most fascinating part is watching the views as you walk by. This is a very difficult hike, but it only takes 1.5hrs.
10 days New Zealand South Island Itinerary
You don’t have to worry about planning your next trip to Auckland! Explore the 10-day South Island adventure! What is included in this itinerary? Accommodation recommendations * Restaurant guides * GoogleMap that highlights the best spots * Distance to the driving route.
Bob’s Cove Track
Bob’s Cove is an amazing area situated on Lake Wakatipu only 15 minutes from Queensville. Though breathtaking from the shore, you have to hike Bobs Cove Road to Picnic Point to enjoy the most breathtaking views. Bobs Cove tracks is a short walk that takes only thirty minutes. The walk provides a stunning views of Queenstown. It is possible to check out that picture? It’ll take you all over however the trail isn’t within Queenstown’s main town. Look out for sunset and sunrise, and take in this stunning view!
Roys Peak, Wanaka
Is it hard to choose a of your favorite trails that you can enjoy in New Zealand? It’s located above Lake Wanaka which is flanked by gorgeous southern mountains! The spectacular view isn’t easy to find and reaching the top is a climb of more than 1,250 meters over the 8-km single way. Although it’s not an easy hike I can tell you that the views are well worth the effort. The trail begins near the bustling tourist center Wanaka and is easily accessible by automobile. Due to its stunning scenic beauty, these trail is among the top sought-after trails throughout New Zealand.
Ben Lomond Summit, Queenstown
Don’t forget that it was the first! If you’re in New Zealand, it’s a Ben Lomond Road. This beautiful hike is likely an extremely popular excursion to Queenstown because of a number of reasons. Oneis that the beauty of the view is unique and the trail is a part of the city’s centre! It’s a cozy place which is accessible to anyone looking to take an all-day trip back to the highest point. It’s not an easy trek. You can go as far as you like and take in breathtaking views as you go and still take in stunning views.
Earnslaw Burn Track
Earnslaw Burn Trail is an great free activity close to Glenorchy. The trails aren’t very well-known however, they ought to be. Earnslaw Burn tracks begin with an upward ascent into forests of New Zealand beach forests before moving up to a higher altitude. However, you’ll need to spend 10 days walking to reach the backcountry. A lot of people opt to camp in campers near the glacier. The camp site is beautiful to camp at.
Hike Name: Isthmus Peak. Trailhead name: Isthmus Peak Trailhead. The Bastion Town of Wanaka. Hike length: 16 km / 10 miles. Hike Elevation Gain: 1,250m / 4,100m. Hikes Duration: This less frequented trail is a great alternative to the best hiking trails. The trail is located a short distance to the north-east of Wanaka the trail is just a few steps from Wanaka’s main road. From here, you can walk towards the mountains, climbing lots of elevation along the route.
Rob Roy Glacier Track
The hike: Rob Roy Glacier Trails Trail Head: Raspberry Flat Carpark Base Town: Wanaka. Hikes length: 10km/6.4mile. The height of the hike is 410m. Duration: 3 hours. The area is home to a large range of trails for hiking. One of the trails is known as the Rob Roy Glacier Track. The highlight of these hikes is being able to see the ice in close proximity. However, before you can spot the glacial ridge, it should be observed.
Name of the hike: Queenstown Hill Trail head name: Belfast Terrace / Queenstown Hill Walking Trail. My personal favorite spot can be found on Queen Street Hill. While its elevation gain might be a bit low, it’s nonetheless comparatively less difficult to climb than tougher climbs. The best part about it is that it’s possible to go right from the village in itself. Begin by walking up to the trailhead, then continue to follow the trails within the forest. From here, you can hike.
A very well-known trails on the South Island is the Key Summit. It is also a closest rival of Lake Marian because people have just a short amount of time, and it’s quite a distance from the lake. Key Summit Key Summit is an observation point that leads to hikes that climb Routeburn Track and then branching out to Key Summit Track for the final climb. It is a very difficult trail , with 3.4 miles of hiking on it. Key Summit is most famous for its stunning views of Fiordland National Park. On sunny days, one can gaze out over Lake Marian.
I’m going to go with for the Roy Peak Track. There are other options near the top however, Roy’s Peak ranks on the most difficult end of the South Island bucketlist. Do not mislead the masses with Roys Peak being a difficult trek. The trail starts close to Wanaka and covers an 8km (5 miles) of uphill with an elevation gain of 1,300-m (4,265 meters). The entire hike to the summit will take three hours to finish. After reaching the summit, the views seem to fade away. It’s possible to gaze across Lake Wanaka and nearby mountains. There are times when we get cloudy skies and it’s cool!
The Routeburn Track – Epic South Island Multi-Day Tramp
Routeburn is considered to be the ideal overnight trip on the South Island. The trails begin from or Glenorchy and in the Fjordeland National Park. Through vast tussock plains, deep valleys, and then traversing through temperate rainforests and alpine peaks higher up trekkers can enjoy a true experience. Explore the Routeburn Track Day Walk New Zealand Great WalkingThe New Zealand Department of Nature has declared several trails to be worth a walking route. The nine “premier trails” are the typical multi-day tramps that take you to New Zealand’s top trails for hiking.
Kepler Track Kepler Track Epic 3-4 Days South Island Hike
Another wonderful trek in the countryside It is the Kepler tracks are a two day tramps starting from Tsha Kaa. They start in Te Aau. Kepler Track is a loop track, which means that you don’t have to travel until Te Anau. The Kepler is a stunning scenic walk through the south-west part of New Zealand. It is a long stretch of freshwater that comes from Australian Lake Te Anau. The trail winds through thick woodland and then goes into plains of tussock that offer views across the entire direction. I believe the most efficient way to clear the track is to follow it in the opposite direction each three days.
Hooker Valley Track, Mount Cook National Park
The Hooker Valley Trail offers a brief stroll with stunning views. It was a great track to listen to, the song could be easily read for everyone. The first section of the hike (not all up towards the Lakes) is easily reached with a wheelchair. It’s an easy hike for anyone, and individuals of all ages typically do a 10-mile round trip within a time of three hours. On the way, you’ll pass four suspension bridges, passing by on the Mueller Lake glacier. The final destination can be found at Hooker Lake.
Lake Marian Track, Fiordland National Park
It is said that the Fiordland National Park is renowned as a stunning natural park that is located within New Zealand. To begin, I’ve already introduced the very first Fordland N hike. The breathtaking hike is a journey through indigenous forests in Fiordland and over suspension bridges and through rivers, and is finally finished on the stunning Marian Lake. Marian… It is the most popular Alpine lake of New Zealand and is literally sparkling green! Does it really matter? It’s actually fairly easy to locate and the entire hike requires just three hours of walking. But, you’ll sweat more especially in summertime.
Abel Tasman Coastal Track day hikes
The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is the 10th major hike within New Zealand, traversing the famous Abel Tasman National Park. The entire trail is about 60 km (37 miles) from the beginning point to the end, and typically takes between 4-6 hours to finish. There are plenty of great day hikes for those who are constrained by time. One of the most popular among locals is to take a shuttle bus to Bartlett Beach and then a hike to Marahu. It’s a hike from Marahau. You can also take boats for a trip to Marahau, and take a vessel for sea kayaking.
Sealy Tarns Track
Trail Names for Hikes: Sealy Tarns Trailheads: White Horse Hill Campgrounds. The town of base: Mount Cook villages. Hike length: 5.8 km 3.6 km. The hike’s height is 600m / 1,969 feet. The hike takes four hours. Also, it involves the strenuous more than 2,000 steps to climb the mountain. Once you reach Sealy Troughs, the only opportunity to return to the trailhead is to take a relaxing trip. What is the purpose or reason for Tarns?
Kea Point Track
Name of the hike: Kea Point Track Heading. White Horsehill Campground. Base. Mount Cook Village. Long distance: 2.7 km / 1 mile. Elevation gains: 95m. Hike duration: 1h. It is difficult to do: 2.7 km/1 mile. While it’s a longer trail, its benefits are as great as the ones you can find elsewhere. The trail begins at the Hooker Valley Trailhead. Instead of climbing up the valley, the trail is able to run across the Ridge in Mueller Lake. The views from this viewpoint offer a stunning view of Hooker Valley and up Mount Cook.
Mueller Hut, Mount Cook National Park
Have you ever heard that Roy’s Peak was the very first spot on South Coast? It’s true! Mueller Hut trails offer one of the best spots! In addition to being part of the most well-known New Zealand national park Mount Cook the hike is also the longest I’ve hiked in winter. Mueller Hut can be more than a vacation It’s a journey! Although the hike to the top was breathtaking but my main impression was being in Mueller Hu. Visitors can take in breathtaking views from this residence. It is evident that Mount Cook can be a ideal place to visit every once in a while and could be the most desirable accommodation available in New Zealand.
Franz Joseph Glacier day hikes Day hikes in Franz Joseph Glacier Roberts Point and Alex Knob tracks
There are two glaciers: Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers are among New Zealand’s most famous attractions. It is believed that the Franz Joseph Glacier will be the first destination to see in the direction of northern to southern along the west coast. To get to the glacier, travel on SH6 to the south of the township’s main road and then turn left after crossing the Waiho River bridge. There is an area to park where the Franz Valley Track starts. If you’re looking to walk through the Roberts Point Track and enjoy the incredible glaciers without massive crowd, you might prefer to walk along the Alex Knob track or Roberts Point Trail.
The Blue Pools Trail
West Coast is an amazing area within South Island. The forests contain green rivers as well as blue flies, leaves and green rivers. that make you wish your hands were spraying with insecticides in order to keep the birds out! Blue Pools are available to visit. This stunning pool shows amazing watercolours that were created by the rock flour derived from the ice age, New Zealand’s lush greenery, and yes there are black flies everywhere! It is located in the Blue Pools are accessible via highway 76 from Wanaaka located 76 km away from the area. The Blue Pools are the perfect destination for every trip from Kingstown towards Franz Josef. The road will lead you to the swimming pool at 1.5 kilometers.
Milford Track Milford Track is among the 10 best trails in South Island. The popularity of the area means that booking huts on the trails is comparable to getting tickets for a show – it’s insane! However, if you are able to book reservations or participate in guided tours, you’ll be able to take part in a variety of enjoyable hike. It takes between three and three days in order to finish the 56-km trail that begins with a the boat crossing Lake Te Anau. After a four-day hike, you’ll pass beautiful forests and rivers , until you arrive at Sandfly Point in Milford Sound.
Fox Glacier – Lake Matheson Loop Track
It is possible to use the SH6 south toward Fox City. Fox City if you satisfied the requirements. If you’re traveling towards the south, make a left toward the town center, following the signs for Lake Matheson. There is an amazing cafe and visitor center. The trails are well maintained with real highlightslike the serene reflecting of Mount Tasman and Aoraki-Mother Cook on tranquil lakes Matheson. Be sure to have a decent amount of space in your camera. Lake Matheson walks are short and easily accessible.
Te Araroa Trail – Most Epic Tramp in New Zealand’s South Island
The famous Te Araroa Trail has become the ideal place for those who love adventure. It’s a 3000-km road that certainly won’t leave any person fainthearted. The Te Anaraa connects the entire country areas of New Zealand via a single track starts at Cape Reinga in the North Island. It’s certainly an extraordinary undertaking and requires a lot of work to complete. Do you want to experience an adventure that’s more difficult than the usual walks?
“Devil’s” Punchball Walking Track
What are the best waterfalls to visit in Auckland? Then, you can go to the Arthur Pass and go on Devils Punchball Walking Track. The name alone will make the crowd squeal and if it’s at 131m tall (430ft) then it has to be a spectacular waterfall! The path towards the water falls short and sweet but the climb to the top is only 20 minutes for each trip. You might even get soaked following the hike. …. It’s a stunning spot with stunning views of Christchurch along with Hokitiki.
Mount Fox Summit Route
What is the best way to start your morning trekking? What are the most difficult tramping routes? The answer lies in Mount Fox trails. Very high and very rewarding. It gives you an 80 percent chance to scrounge for roots and 80percent jaw gagging. amazing views. The paths are more difficult to locate if there is a storm or fog. Therefore, choose a day that has excellent weather that leaves at night to minimize morning fogs. This increases your chance of being able to see Fox Glacier / Mount Cook or Aoraki.
Avalanche Peak is one of the most easy hike to be found in Arthurs Pass. This hike of six miles isn’t difficult, and it can take between five and six hours to complete the 6 km hike. What is the reason? The slope and the massive elevation increase of more than 1.2 km (3.644 meters). It’s true that it’s one of the most spectacular views of the entire Southern Alps. Avalanche Peak is located at 1,833 metres (8.14 feet) above sea level that makes the climb risky if you do not have sufficient expertise. Don’t attempt to climb this peak in severe weather, winters, or in the snow! Related Reading: Read this blog to read about what I’m up to on my journey on the North Island!
Catlins Short Waterfall Hikes
If you’re planning to travel to South Island, it is recommended to take an entire day or two within the area to experience the region. This drive is exceptional since there are numerous easy hikes that lead to one of the top forests with temperate rainfalls of NZ. The climb up to Catlins Falls is relatively simple I’ve included a short description below. A list of the top activities for Catlins excursions.