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I love any opportunity to show off New Zealand hikes and I get a little pleased inside when I hear other people talking about how they love New Zealand too. We are a proud nation, us Kiwis. I recently asked a few travel bloggers what their favourite New Zealand hikes were and three travel bloggers shared their favourite New Zealand hikes.

 

 

Our World to Wander

Andra and Vlad from Our World to Wander stepped up to the plate to write all about the Mueller Hut Trek and doesn't it sound amazing? Andrea and Vlad have seen 17% of the world and plan on seeing the remainder. They are travellers who love backpacking and immersing themselves in local cultures. Go take a nosy at their Facebook page for more backpacking adventures.

The Mueller Hut Trek

It’s not difficult to start dreaming about New Zealand given all the photos that are out there roaming the internet. You see the perfect views, the perfect green, the perfect hills, and for sure you will want to hop on the next flight to New Zealand. It happened to us as well. But in our case, it was the mountains. The possibility of trekking in New Zealand was the number one reason we booked our tickets to Auckland.

And one of our favourite treks there was the Mueller Hut trek. A pretty famous one where you aren’t quite alone on the trail. But when you get there and look around, you quickly realize that it would be impossible to have those amazing views all for yourself. And if you are an Edmund Hillary fan as we are, you will enjoy the trek even more. Because you will have in the back of your mind those amazing stories he had from Mount Cook.

Where is Mueller Hut?

But where is this Mueller Hut? It’s in New Zealand’s South Island, in the Aoraki National Park, on the Sealy Range. Aoraki is the Māori name for Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3,764m. And Mueller Hut is located at 1,800m, not bad for a short day trek. You can also opt to stay the night, but we decided to do it just as a day trek. It will take you around 3 to 4 hours to go up and another 2 to come back.

The beginning of the walk

How many stairs?!

However, you should bear in mind that the first part of the trek is not really “knee-friendly”. Because it actually involves a lot of stairs. So, after you park your car, you head to Kea Point Track. It’s a nice start but then when you get to the bottom of the Mueller Range, you come face to face with the stairs. And there are only 1806 of them. They are quite a pain in the butt, but the views really help you cope with them. When you get to Sealy Tarns you are spoiled with an amazing panorama of the Hooker Valley and Mount Cook.

The view from the top of the stairs

Rock Climbing

From there the trail gets a bit harsher, with a lot of big rocks that you might soon start to love as you need to climb them. It's a bit like in childhood when we were playing around and climbing everything around. After the rocks, the trail gets easier and you will soon spot the famous Mueller Hut. You should get a snack and some tea there before heading back down.

I would say it’s a pretty accessible trek, but don’t get fooled by it. Even if you are a fit one, you can start feeling those stairs in your knees. And going up it’s pretty steep, not so many flat parts. But still, it’s an extremely picturesque trek and you should definitely not miss it. That Mount Cook is indeed a must-see!

Mt Cook

 

 

 

Walk My World

Cat and Joe from Walk My World are two travel fanatics from the U.K. In 2012 they brought one-way tickets to Istanbul and never looked back. They now live in Australia (I won't hold that against them though ;) ) and enjoy hiking and exploring. Give their Facebook page some love and swoon over their epic adventures. 

The Hump Ridge Track

The Hump Ridge track is a three day hike in the beautiful Fiordland National Park. Fiordland is one of the most famous tramping areas in New Zealand, yet most people don't seem to know about the Hump Ridge. Walking the trail feels like being let in on an amazing secret. The scenery is spectacular, made up of forest, beaches and ridge tops that look out to Stewart Island and the wild Southern Ocean. The forest is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful I have ever walked in, like walking straight through the pages of The Lord of the Rings. I know everyone says that about New Zealand, but honestly, this forest definitely has the wow factor.

A little solitude

A limited number of people can start the track each day so unless you seek company you can walk the track in absolute solitude, which is something I wouldn't have expected in such a well known national park. I also loved the novelty value of filling my water bottle at water bridge. Standing on the bridge you fling a bucket on string into the stream below, it took me a few attempts to collect enough to fill the bottle but water has never tasted so good!

Not for the faint-hearted

At over 60km long the track definitely requires a little bit of training if you aren't a regular walker. The climb on day one is over 900m, most of which comes in the last 7km, having already walked for 15km. There is also a lot of downhill on day two which can be tough on the knees, so I was glad I had taken walking poles. The track became really muddy in sections. Be prepared to be ankle deep in sludge at regular intervals on day two and three - another reason I was glad for poles! I did a steep walk every weekend for four weeks prior to starting the hike and found this really helped.

A walk with a view

We walked the track in Summer but in true Fiordland fashion, we experienced temperatures ranging from 1.5c to 25c. The wind on the ridge top left me hanging on for dear life at points and we saw an eight year girl who was literally crawling along the final stretch of boardwalk to the lodge! The lodges themselves are in spectacular spots. On day one you sleep at 1000m with panoramic views and day two is back at sea level with the chance to spot rare Hector's dolphins from the beach beside the hut.

The lodges also mean you don't have to carry too much stuff as they sell freeze dried food and even wine. It was also a great place to socialise and get ideas for the next hiking trip. For us walking the track at Christmas, the chance to carry less and even have a glass of wine was a welcome treat!

This is a great hike if you are looking for spectacular scenery, few other people and even a bit of luxury if you choose.

 

 

 

The Wandering Wheatleys

The Wandering Wheatleys are just too gosh darn cute for their own good. Nic and Val got engaged in Laos and then married in the Dominican Republic and continue to wander the world. Go peek at their Instagram for an insight into their adventures. Go on, it'll make you jealous. 

Routeburn Track

During our 3 months in New Zealand we hiked hundreds of miles including all or part of 5 of the 9 "Great Walks". And while they were all stunningly beautiful, the Routeburn Track was hands down our favourite!
You'll find this lovely hike on the South Island right between Queenstown and Milford Sound. In fact, you'll be hiking over the mountain range that runs between the two and you can start your hike from either end.
The Routeburn Track offers a little of everything - majestic alpine views, crystal clear lakes, and even a few waterfalls where you can stop for a dip in if you don't mind a little cold mountain water. And because of the higher elevation, you won't have to fend off as many mozzies or sand flies (the bane of every hiker in New Zealand!)

A short great walk

At 32km (~20 miles) the Routeburn is the shortest of New Zealand's Great Walks. This means it can be accomplished by hikers of all experience levels. It can be through-hiked at a leisurely pace in 3 days. But if you're up for a challenge we actually people running the entire thing in a single day!
One (slight) downside to the Routeburn Track is that it is a one-way hike so you'll need to have two cars - one parked at the beginning of the trek and one waiting for you at the end. Or you can hire a car shuttle service to pick up your car at one end and drop it off at the other.
We had our camper van shuttled from one end to the other and they were a couple of hours late to drop it off. It's pretty nerve racking when you get to the end of a 3-day hike and your van with all of your possessions in it is not where it's supposed to be. Lucky for us hitchhiking is pretty common in New Zealand - you never have to wait for more than a few minutes for a kind soul to pick you up. So we were able to track down our van and set off for our next hike in this spectacular country!

My bucket list has grown

Now I have added three more hikes to add to my ever-growing bucket list! If you want to contribute to my next Best New Zealand Hikes post be sure to contact me and we will sort summat out. I'd love to do another post featuring some more New Zealand Hikes.

Have you ever done any of these hikes? What is your favourite New Zealand Hike?

Jem

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5 thoughts on “3 Of The Best New Zealand Hikes Chosen By Travel Bloggers

  1. Squeee these all look amaaaazing!

    I am in the middle of planning my trip to Kiwiland for January so I am sooo excited to try to make it to all of these. Thank you for sharing them everyone!! 😀

    • I hope you make it to the Coromandel! It is one of the most spectacular spots in the North Island. Are you planning on going mainly to the North or South Island? The bay of Islands in Northland are so beautiful as well, a must!

      • I’m still trying to decide. We have a wedding in Wellington, so I was thinking of heading straight to the South Island from there, unless we head North first. One friend told me I have to do the Togariro Crossing, and another told me I should head straight south. I’m just not suuuure!!

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