New Zealand’s Great Walks

One of the things that I’ve been really impressed by during our trip has been the walking, or ‘tramping’. NZ has an huge array of amazing walking tracks, which you might expect given the scenery here. What is really impressive though, is how accessible, well maintained and well publicised these tracks are. This seems to be mostly due to the Department of Conservation (DOC). There are a series of multi-day ‘great walks‘ around NZ, many of which you can access for day walks. The DOC produce brochures for each of the routes, provide hut accommodation for walkers (sometimes staffed), maintain the tracks and signposts, and provide visitor centre information at each location. Another thing which really helps the accessibility of the walks are the companies that provide shuttle transport to the start and end points, we’ve used both bus and water taxi services so far.

Here’s a little summary of some of our great walks highlights so far:

Tongariro Crossing, 10.11.12
We were massively lucky to be able to complete the crossing back in November and it deserves a post of its own (you never know, I might just write one) but here are some photos for the time being…

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Queen Charlotte Track, 20.11.12
A beautiful walk through native forest along Queen Charlotte Sound. We started at the beginning of the track, by water taxi from Picton and were picked up at Furneaux Lodge later in the day.

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Kepler track, 11.12.12
A water taxi across Lake Te Anau took us to the Kepler track, and we walked to the control gates and on to Rainbow Reach car park.

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Routeburn track, 12.12.12
An amazing walk from the Divide, on the Milford Road, to Key Summit. Beautiful views, amazing weather and very little time needed.
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