A trip to New Zealand really is a trip to Middle Earth
Anyone who visits New Zealand quite quickly understands just why they filmed Lord of The Rings here. It's a country that has landscapes that makes you pinch yourself to check you're not dreaming.
It may be small, but it packs a punch with epic mountains, glaciers, wild volcanoes and wild beaches that make you feel you're in on a secret.
New Zealand Bucket List
Top Tip: If you're looking to do any of the Great Walks, book on the day they go on sale. Tracks like the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler can sell out for a whole year, very quickly.
Currency: New Zealand Dollars
Visa: New Zealand's visa can be granted on arrival, but requires proof of an outbound ticket. Visas are granted for three to six months.
Safety: New Zealand is as safe as it gets.
When to go: New Zealand can be visited all year round, but things like the Great Walks in Fiordland are almost impossible in the winter.
Peak Season: November - January
Off Season: June - August
Walk My World Cost Index: $$$$ - New Zealand isn't cheap, with the average cost of even cheap accommodation exceeding $100 per night.
Must-See New Zealand
The Great Walks of New Zealand
The nine (soon to be ten) Great Walks of New Zealand include some of the greatest walking trails in the world. Hiking all 9 of the Great Walks was the most memorable travel experience of our lives. Here’s how you can organise an adventure you’ll never forget.
A stunning 2-3 day walk that goes from Glenorchy to The Divide in Fiordland. Expect stunning ridge lines, waterfalls and glacier views along the way.
The Milford Track
“The Finest Walk in the World” should be on everyone’s bucket list. This historic 4 day track links Te Anau with Milford Sound - an incredible natural wonder. This walk will blow you away.
The Kepler Track
The Kepler Track is a hidden gem and possibly our favourite of all the Great Walks. This 4 day hike will take you across some of the most stunning ridges and views you’ll see anywhere in the world. This is another that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
The Rakiura Track
Short, but sweet, The Rakiura is a 2 day hike around one of New Zealand’s wildest areas. As well as hiking through ancient woodland and beautiful beaches, you’ll have the best chance of seeing Stewart Island’s favourite native (and New Zealand icon): the kiwi.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track
At times the Abel Tasman Coast Track was so enjoyable and relaxed that we forgot we were on a multi-day hike! The track weaves along the coast going from beaches to forest seemlessly for 4 days. With infrastructure such as pack transfers, water taxis and even wi-fi in the huts, this is a hike for those who don’t want to be completely detached from the outside world.
The Heaphy Track
The Heaphy Track is the perfect hike for anyone wanting a diverse trail where you’ll only see anyone else when you get to the hut for the night. Going from Golden Bay to the wild West Coast, the Heaphy is a beautiful 4 day hike that offers everything: mountains, beech forests, rivers, palm trees, wild coastlines and great opportunities to see wild animals.
The Whanganui Journey
The one Great Walk that doesn’t involve any walking! The Whanganui Journey is one for the adventure lover, paddling through the wild Whanganui River for 3-5 days with wild gorges and a few rapids for good measure. Trust us, this is an adventure you’ll never forget.
The Tongariro Northern Circuit
Hikes don’t get more epic than the Tongariro Northern Circuit and the trail through this volcanic landscape is one of the greatest walks we’ve ever done. In this 2-3 day hike you’ll pass 3 volcanoes, the incredible Emerald Lakes and be in awe as you walk through landscapes that range from the surface of the moon to lush green forests and everything in-between. This is another for the bucket list.
If you want a quiet multi-day walk through a land that few people visit, then Lake Waikaremoana is for you. This 3-4 day trail takes you up a mountain, through dense forest and around the beautiful Lake Waikaremoana, a place that has a long and significant history with the Maori population.