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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

  •   4.68 out of 5 (from 244 reviews)

    Loved NZ Kea Adventure

    New Zealand is a beautiful country, but the experience would not have been half as memorable if it were not for our AA guides. They were professional, could answer any question about NZ, incredibly competent in all ways and so much fun! But it would be unfair not to mention the preliminary support team leading up to the trip. All requests and needs were handled quickly and efficiently. And last, but not least, the itinerary was so well thought out. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and was sorry to see it end.
    Lori Schimpf Review Image
    – California, United States
    Kea, January 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    A Great Eight Days

    My wife, Shanen, and I had a goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and our seventh took place on March 18, in Rotorua, NZ. So two days after completing our goal, we returned to Christchurch and met up with our guides, Hillary and Dan, along with our fellow travelers. As good fortune would have it we all clicked as a group and off we went.

    For the remainder of our journey it was clear that both Hillary and Dan took great joy in what they do. Furthermore, and of great importance to us, they ensured meals had met our vegetarian and vegan needs. We were never made to feel our dietary needs were inconvenient to them and they were handled in such a way that all of us were able to enjoy our group meals.

    The actual adventure was well planned out and the expectations of each day were always explained. Our group was one that started together, made sure all finished and enjoyed the adventure.

    John Edmundson Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Tui, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    South Island Rimu Trip

    My South Island trip was outstanding, even with the cyclone that came ashore on the second day! The itinerary needed to be changed because of all the washed out roads to places that we were suppose to venture to. Our guides, Jackie and Carrie, came up with new plans that were great. A mark of a good company is when they can handle unexpected events, such as a cyclone, and still provide their guest with a trip of a life time. Thank you A.A. for a great and safe trip!
    Pete Orefice Review Image
    – Connecticut, United States
    Rimu, February 2018
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Beautiful, perfect trip!

    The Tui trip was a perfect way to see parts of New Zealand on a short time frame. I was concerned traveling by myself, and this trip was the perfect way to do it. Between the the most spectacular scenery, the knowledge of the guides, and the varied and incredible itinerary, this really was the trip of a lifetime for me.
    Rosie Stein Review Image
    – New York, United States
    Tui, March 2017
  •   4.48 out of 5 (from 298 reviews)

    Weka - New Zealand

    Wow!! What a trip! This hiking & biking tour was breath-taking both figuratively and literally. Our guides made our adventure challenging, yet fun. They were knowledgeable, encouraging and you could tell they are truly passionate about what they do. This tour captured all the great highlights of New Zealand staying just off the beaten path so we could really experience the diverse beauty and savory tastes of the island. Our group enjoyed ourselves so much we are already discussing another Active Adventure trip in 2019. Thank you Active Adventures for a wonderful experience!
    Sue Stohrer Review Image
    – California, United States
    Weka, March 2018

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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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