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  • The best walking trails in New Zealand

    Tongariro, photo by andrewcparnell on Flickr

    New Zealand is a relatively small island nation, and very remote, but like many small and secluded places, it packs a huge punch. Aotearoa’s landscapes are so pretty it’s downright outlandish, hence their appearance in movies that depict imaginary places.

    The natural scenery of New Zealand has been celebrate long before the Lord of the Rings Trilogy made it known worldwide, and movie fans are far from the only travelers who come to see these amazing places.

    New Zealand is a paradise for walkers and hikers, and the nine Great Walks designated by the department of conservation now have a booking system in over to avoid overcrowding and damage to the environment caused by the tourist hordes. Here are some of the best walking trails in New Zealand, so remember to book the one you like best!

    Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk, Te Urewera National Park

    This 46 kilometer walk along the length of lake Waikaremoana takes three to four days, so it’s good to know that there are campsites and huts where you can spend the night (you must book in advance, though). The appeal of this walk lies in the fact that you get to see a variety of forests (beech forests, rainforest, broadleaf forest) and see a huge variety of bird species. The scenery is amazing, and you can stop anytime for a swim or to fish.

    Tongariro Northern Circuit, Tongariro National Park

    Lake Waikaremoana, photo by Digging for Fire on Flickr

    Tongariro National Park is one of the earliest national parks in the world, protecting wonders of nature like Mount Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

    The craggy scenery dotted with craters, fumaroles, and glacial valley was naturally used as a filming site, and today it has one of the most walked trails in the country, the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

    Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park

    Heaphy Track, located in the area around Golden Bay, is the longest of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. It can take up to six days to make the over 80 kilometer journey, but the track is hardly challenging for travelers who have been on long walks before.

    The track is famous for the huge variety of landscapes that it crosses, with beech forests, tussocks, views of the Tasman Sea, and huge rimu trees.

    Milford Track, Fiordland National Park

    Rakiura Track, photo by tewahipounamu on Flickr

    Milford Track is also known as the ‘finest walk in the world’, which might not be a huge exaggeration. The trail is an old one, used by the native Maori people to transport stone and other goods, and European trekkers caught wind of it already int the 19th century.

    Milford Track starts at the head of Te Anau Lake and ends at Milford Sound, passing through rainforests and next to waterfalls.

    Rakiura Track, Rakiura Island

    Rakiura National Park is the newest national park in New Zealand, and what makes it special is the fact that it follows the island’s coastline for large parts of the way. You get to see the beaches, as well as the dense forests, and if you keep your eyes peeled you might even get a glimpse of the elusive kiwi.

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