Before we start I just wanted to apologise for the quality of some of these photos. Only recently have I had the pleasure of using a modern camera so most of these pictures have been taken with my old camera/iphone 4. Having said this I hope you enjoy reading about my top 5 must do hikes in New Zealand.
#1 – Roy’s Peak. 1,578m (5 hours)
By far the best. Close to Wanaka, stunning lake and mountain views. I suggest a few little warm up hikes as it was pretty steep the entire way. You can either stop at the viewpoint or hike right up to the top (definitely hike up to the top). It’s not too much further and you will feel like you have achieved greatness, because not everybody climbs up that far.
#2 – Wye Creek (30min to the platform)
As one of the least popular hikes in the area, Wye Creek took me completely by surprise. It’s an easy uphill walk, very accessible and concludes with a waterfall and ladder up to a little wooden platform over hanging Lake Wakatipu, sounds perfect doesn’t it.. well it is. Having done this hike 3 times I can confidently advise anyone visiting the area to give this easy hike a go.
#3 – Tongariro Alpine Crossing 19.4 km (7 hours)
For me this remains the most difficult hike I’ve done in New Zealand. If you don’t enjoy walking uphill for large periods of time, try walking down hill for an even longer period of time. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing will test you. I hiked this beast twice and can confirm it shouldn’t be attempted unless you are in good physical shape. Having said this; the views are like nothing I’ve ever seen before, how often is it you get to stand on top of an active volcano and wander up Mt. Doom, the actual Lord Of The Rings film location? It’s a must do on the North island.
#4 – Hooker Valley, Mt Cook National Park
This 3 hour return hike takes you through the Hooker Valley on an easy board walk to a glacial lake filled with icebergs! Doing this hike for the third time was just as exciting as the first. An easy but very rewarding track!
#5 – Ben Lomond 1,748m (6-8 hour)
Being very similar to but not as spectacular as Roy’s peak, this hike had to take a few steps down the list. With wild Kea lingering at the summit it really is a magical place. The climb up is extremely challenging with the tiki trail at the beggining being the steepest part. Again, this is one for the experienced hiker as it’s very steep and the path turns into a slight scramble during the last 20 minutes.