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The North Island’s Best Day Walks

New Zealand is one of the most walkable nations in the world. Every year, thousands of intrepid travellers pack their bags and lace-up their all-terrain shoes to explore the hidden pockets and reaches of this green-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see paradise. The best bit? No snakes, creepies or crawlies to ruin your adventure mood. The North Island is a quiet achiever – a glorious stretch of startling natural attractions, beaches, coastlines, National Parks and so much more. How much more? Find out with these four tried and tested day walks, and witness the wild, wonderful side of New Zealand.

Rangitoto Island summit – Photo: Todd Eyre

1. Rangitoto Summit

Duration: 2 hours.

Difficulty Rating: Easy (expect a medium section or two, depending on your fitness level).

Starting Pointing: Rangitoto Wharf.

Hey, Volcano chasers, do we have an easy summit climb for you. Popping out at the Hauraki Golf, this conical vista draws the eye and the camera lens from the moment you meet it, feet first. The trek to the top begins on the wharf, ascending through lava fields, outcrops and lush forest to a proud peak, standing a respectable 259m above sea level. Conquer this local icon anytime throughout the day, as ferries leave the Auckland Viaduct often, like clock-work.

Putangirua Pinnacles – Photo: Destination Wairarapa

2. Putangirua Pinnacles

Duration: 3 hours.

Difficulty Rating: Easy (be ready for a couple of tricky sections along the path).

Starting Pointing: Aorangi Forest Park.

Rocky, raw and extremely photogenic, the Putangirua Pinnacles are people-pleasing stalagmites, piercing the air at around ten metres tall. Famous for their appearance in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, you’ll be spoiled with views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke, making this leisurely walk one to remember. Don’t forget to take enough water – this bush stroll can be thirsty work.

Coromandel Coastal Walk – Photo: The Coromandel

3. Coromandel Coastal Walk

Duration: 7 hours.

Difficulty Rating: The easier end of medium.

Starting Pointing: Northern Coromandel Peninsula.

Take a day-long meander along this tramping – the local word for trekking – jewel, as coastal forest gives way to wildlife sights, the Coromandel Pinnacles, Port Charles and Cuvier Island, just to name a few of the attractions that will prompt your finger to click the camera trigger. Don’t want it to end just yet? Would you rather take your time? Why not camp out at either Stony Bay or Fletcher Bay, and complete the return leg tomorrow?

Photo: Northland NZ

4. Cape Brett Walkway, Northland

Duration: 8 hours one way.

Difficulty Rating: Challenging – for experienced hikers only.

Starting Pointing: Rawhiti, Bay of Islands.

Do you consider yourself to be a competent and confident hiker? The Cape Brett Walkway is your next challenge, threading the topmost territory of the Bay of Islands ever so neatly. Exhausting and rewarding, you’ll be tempted to stop often to take in the beauty of this iconic walk, before it concludes at a historic lighthouse (aka. The Department of Conservation Hut). Rest your legs overnight and make the return journey in the morning or book a boat ahead of time, and return to your hotel, ready to sink into a delicious dinner.

Ready to go? Let us do the hard work for you. Contact New Zealand Holidays today and plan a North Island trip to remember.


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