You've probably chosen to travel by campervan for a number of reasons - freedom, unique experiences and cost. So with this in mind, we've put together a list of 5 of the best walks in New Zealand that will take you away from the crowds and give you a taste of pristine nature. Dotted all over New Zealand, there's an experience below to suit everyone's needs. Best of all, being free, they will keep your daily travelling budget down!
Tongariro Crossing - North Island
The track traverses between two volcanoes in an area packed with volcanic activity and history - crunch on the rocky scoria beneath your feet while steaming geothermal vents all around create an eerie mist. For those feeling energetic, the hike up Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom from Lord Of The Rings) is well worth the effort for the spectacular 360 views at the summit. The walk is a point to point so you'll need to grab some friends with another camper and carpool for a free ride. Don't forget to pack properly (spare layers, good shoes, plenty of water and food), conditions can change quickly up in the mountains.
Tongariro Crossing. Image credit - Graeme Murray
Hokitika Gorge - South Island
If you're passing Hokitika on the West Coast, make sure you stop off for the short but sweet walk to Hokitika Gorge. Marvel at the blue-green waters of the Hokitika River as it rumbles through the rock sided gorge. The short walk in and multiple secluded viewing spots to escape to mean this is the perfect location to pack up your lunch and enjoy a breathtaking picnic.
Hokitika Gorge. Image credit - Fraser Clements
Abel Tasman - South Island
Is this New Zealand's most stunning coastal areas? There's a great 4-day walk that some enjoy, but we'd suggest doing just a part of the day 1, from Marahau to either Apple Tree Bay or Te Pukatea Bay. There's also an option to walk to Anchorage and get a water taxi back for a few dollars. While the walk is stunning in itself, we'd suggest hiring a kayak and taking a paddle to admire the coast. We've even heard stories of dolphins joining kayakers as they paddle on the clear ocean water…
Abel Tasman National Park. Image credit - Fraser Clements
Karangahake Gorge - North Island
A perfect walk for all, this can be made as short or as long as need be. Only have an hour? Take The Windows Walk through the old mining tunnels learning about the rich mining history of the area. Got half a day? Climb Mount Karangahake for 360 views over the Waikato plains and the surrounding forest. There's even a great camping spot nearby so you can relax in the serenity of the gorge-ous area overnight!
The Windows Walk. Image credit - Shaun Jeffers
Roys Peak - South Island
Those who make the effort will reap rewards. This is true of Roys Peak track. A longer walk at 5-6 hours, those who do decide to tackle it will be rewarded with amazing 360 views over Lake Wanaka in one direction and a collection of towering peaks in the other - one look at the picture below and we're inspired to put our shoes on! The track itself isn't advanced, just steep, so prepare appropriately with the adequate kit and food/water.
Roys Peaks. Image credit - Miles Holden
BONUS - WAITOMO TRAIL RUN
If you're into adventure, there's no better place than Waitomo. Explore the magic of the glowworm caves, enjoy the serene bush walks, or get your competitive side on and enter the Waitomo Trail Run. Explorers will run or walk over and under 6, 11, 21 or 35km of landscape that has to be seen to be believed, through Waitomo’s caves, native bush, canyons and glowworms. With courses to suit every appetite for adventure, Waitomo Trail Run is guaranteed to have something for everyone.
Check out the Waitomo Trail Run website for more.
Are you planning an adventure to any of these locations soon? Our Mighty Campervans are the perfect solution for you, combining accommodation AND transport at a great price. The perfect way to explore without boundaries. Get in touch or check out our camper options at www.mightycampers.co.nz