Best New Zealand Day Hikes – North Island

Best New Zealand Day Hikes – North Island

The North Island offers some pristine and prehistoric landscapes - that feel like you have stepped right out of Jurassic Park. Every shade of green imaginable will rejuvenate you after a day of bush walking - or 'tramping' in the New Zealand vernacular.

Best New Zealand Day Hikes – North Island

Best New Zealand Day Hikes – North Island

What first comes to mind when you think of New Zealand? Our soaring Southern Alps? Windswept coastlines? Glistening lakes? Our country was made to be explored on foot – it’s the only way to experience the full extent of NZ’s striking wilderness. To show you how to incorporate a little hiking into your New Zealand itinerary, we’ve put together a couple of posts about our favorite day hikes. Here’s the Best New Zealand Day Hikes - The North Island installment.   

Best North Island Day Hikes by First Light Travel

Cape Brett Walkway:

Northland Panoramas of the island-­‐dotted seascape, golden-­‐sand beaches, and staunch cliff-­‐faces, make this heart-­‐pumping 8-­‐hour traverse worth every mile. Standing guard over the Pacific for over 100 years, the Cape Brett Lighthouse marks the end of your journey. From here you can stay overnight in the historic lighthouse keepers hut and hike back to Oke Bay, or take the water taxi home and appreciate the dynamic coastline from a new perspective.

Cape Brett Walkway

Coromandel Coastal Walkway:

Coromandel Peninsula This 7-­‐hour return trek shares with you the remote beauty of the upper Coromandel Peninsula. From iconic Stoney Bay to Fletchers Bay, this leisurely hike guides you through native bush, over rustic farmland and around the rugged coastline, presenting sweeping views at every turn. With accommodation and shuttles at both points, there is no excuse not to hit the Coromandel walkway, rightfully dubbed one of the best New Zealand coastal day hikes.

Coromandel Coastal Walkway

The Blue Lake Track - Rotorua:

The Blue Lake Track is an easy 3.8 mile loop around the azure-­‐blue collapsed volcanic crater. Stroll through the conifers of Whakarewarewa Forest, past sandy bays perfect for picnicking, to viewpoints offering glimpses of both the Blue Lake and neighbouring Green Lake together. Also great for swimming, water sports and fishing, the Blue Lake offers a lot for a day trip; plus the fresh lake air is a great escape from the sulphuric smells of Rotorua.  
Blue Lake Rotorua

Mt. Taranaki:

New Plymouth Standing sentinel amidst Egmont National Park, Mt. Taranaki is the North Island’s tallest and most perfectly-­‐formed volcano. The 6­‐7 hour return trip is best done with an experienced guide as conditions can be unpredictable; but the dynamic plant-­‐life, jagged terrain and view through the clouds over the Taranaki peninsula and farmland are unforgettable.
Mt Taranaki

Tongariro Crossing:

Tongariro National Park The Tongariro Crossing, weaving its way over the rugged volcanic country, past lava flows, emerald-­‐coloured crater-­‐lakes and the active volcanos of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu, effortlessly earns its title as the best New Zealand day hike. The 7-­‐8 hour crossing, with 380-degree views over the central plateau of New Zealand, is no Mt. Everest; but it is best to have a good level of fitness to conquer a couple of decent climbs along the way.
Tongariro Crossing

Putangirua Pinnacles:

Wairapa Take this easy 3-­‐4 hour return walk through pristine bush to marvel at one of nature’s masterpieces, the Putangirua Pinnacles – towering stalagmites, which were carved by millions of years of erosion. Along the way you will be met with gorgeous views of Aorangi Forest Park, Palliser Bay, Lake Onoke and beyond to the South Island.

Putangirua Pinnacles

Hiking in the ‘Great Outdoors’ is the ultimate way to experience New Zealand. Would you like to hike one of these trails when on holiday in New Zealand? To receive a free, no-obligation, personalized itinerary - just follow the link and answer a few brief questions.

First Light Travel's Hiking and Walking Tours


Brent Narbey
Brent Narbey
: 14 Mar 2016 (Last updated: 17 Sep 2021)

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