Hikes in New Zealand
We are blessed with a huge choice of trails, terrain and high peaks all across our own green and pleasant land as well as throughout Europe.
So some would be forgiven for thinking that they would need an extraordinary reason to head all the way to New Zealand for a spot of trekking. However, its majestic scenery, as shown off in the Lord of the Rings films, is reason enough to get us packing.
The inimitable vistas of mountain ranges and silver lakes with not a soul in sight help to attract 200,000 UK visitors every year. Known as tramping rather than hiking in Kiwi country, the routes vary from city-commutable day trips to dangerous treks for experienced hikers only. Most notably, they're abundant: the North Island and South Island seem custom-made to accommodate adventurers, with perfect conditions between November and May.
So if fresh air and hearty exercise are right up your path the Flexicover team lists some top Kiwi trails to try.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand's most popular areas for tramping and it's easy to see why. In its 20km track, day hikers take in many of the marvellous sights found in New Zealand: alpine meadows, lunar landscapes, hot springs, volcanic terrain and turquoise-green lakes - not to mention Mount Doom itself, Mt Ngauruhoe. The authorities added the 'alpine' to the name of the trail in 2007 after seeing some laid back hikers in flip flops and t-shirts. So now its varied conditions are better understood: hikers will need both sunscreen and and a decent trekking jacket to prepare for this seven-hour walk.
We suspect there's more than a scattering of Lord of the Rings fans in the visiting UK contingent. As enrapturing as Peter Jackson's epic was, there were several occasions when the impressive scenery stole the show. Remember where Edoras, the capital of Rohan, stood tall against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains? That's Mount Sunday and it's just as impressive in real life as on the silver screen. The hike to the top is only a mile and a half but traverse as much as you like through Hakatere Conservation Park to soak in this remote part of the world.
Lake Waikaremoana Track
For those with more stamina than strength the near-flat trail around the tranquil waters of Lake Waikaremoana is an ideal place to amble. The recommended route is 46km and takes three to four days, which allows for lots of lingering at its many picturesque stops. Mainly curling around the shore of the crystal-clear lake it would be impossible to resist a quick dip or a spot of fishing when the opportunity arises. Other sections take walkers further inland surrounding them with dense forests filled with an abundance of wildlife, including falcons, deer and the famous kiwi. And if the lake didn't make the hike aquatic enough the cascading waterfalls and gently flowing streams along the way will keep walkers in touch with this trail's watery theme.
The Kepler Track is located in the south west of the South Island and begins on the shores of Lake Te Anau, climbing into the alpine landscape of the Kepler Mountains in Fiordland National Park. It is one of New Zealand's Great Walks and is not for a first-timer as its often-steep 60km can be a bit of an endurance test but can be covered in three to four days. However, the ever-changing scenery makes it worth the effort and then some. Enjoy alpine surrounds and forest adventuring and pause to investigate the Luxmore Caves or Iris Burn Falls. But be warned: accommodation en route is basic, so you may want to leave the hair straighteners at home.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
If there's one thing that New Zealand has plenty of (besides dry humour and delicious wines) its coastline. That's the aspect of nature which is celebrated in the Abel Tasman Coast Track. For as its name suggests it follows miles of brown-sugar beaches, taking in a tidal crossing, suspension bridges, fur seals, manuka groves and Cleopatra's Pool, a swimming spot complete with a natural waterslide. Leave a minimum of three days for this 60km hike, but you certainly won't be bored if you stay for five.
Whether it’s a long or short haul destination that you’re escaping to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover is with you every step of the way and is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.