If you're looking for your first taste of Te Araroa get out and enjoy these stunning journeys

Whananaki Bridge. Photo by Phillip Capper

Russell Forest to Whāngārei Heads

Northland, 6 days

This beautiful part of Northland is full of lush native forest and white sand beaches. This route weaves you in and out of small settlements and forests. It finishes by the steep slopes of Whangarei Heads. You’ll see kauri trees, marae, holiday camps and rocky bays.

Russell Forest to Whāngārei Heads on Find My Adventure 

Sentinel Rock, Mangawhai; photo by russellstreet

Bream Tail Mangawhai Walkway

Northland, 1 day

This stunning beach and cliff-top walkway crosses farmland and bush areas. The high-quality track makes it one of the top attractions in Whangarei. You will enjoy outstanding views of Bream Head, the Hen and Chicken Islands, and the Hauraki Gulf, including the Mokohinau Islands and Great Barrier Island.

Bream Tail Mangawhai Walkway on Find My Adventure

Hibiscus Coast. Photo by Simon Morris.

Puhoi Track

Auckland, 1 day

This was the first Te Araroa track purpose-built for day walkers. Up the Puhoi Valley, a kilometre past the famous Puhoi Cheese Factory. To enter the track, you’ll cross a swing bridge over the Puhoi River. You’ll also see a handful of young kauri trees standing sentry. Untouched mature native trees give you a glimpse of what the New Zealand landscape once was. The track finishes opposite the historic Puhoi Pub, where locals welcome deserving walkers.

Puhoi Track on Find My Adventure

Pirongia. Photo by iTravelNZ

Pirongia Traverse

Waikato and King Country, 2 days

Pirongia Mountain is a distinctive landmark 25km southwest of Hamilton. Pirongia is an ancient volcano. Its dramatic skyline and dark green forests contrast with the surrounding farmland. It offers extensive views of the Waikato Basin across the Kaimai Ranges.

Pirongia Traverse on Find My Adventure

Tongariro summit

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Whanganui, 1 day

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular tramping tracks. And it’s the most popular one-day tramp in New Zealand. The Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage site for its natural and cultural significance. The crossing passes over the volcanic craters of the active volcano Mt Tongariro and the base of Mt Ngauruhoe. The walk is famous for its barren yet beautiful “moon-like” volcanic landscape and volcanic activity.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing on Find My Adventure

Canoe or kayak the Whanganui River

Whanganui, 4 to 6 days

OK, so strictly speaking, you’re not walking, but you won’t want to miss this wonderful experience. You can enter the river at Taumarunui, Whakahoro or Mangapurua Landing.

And at the other end, you can disembark at Pipiriki or continue to Whanganui. Plants and animals abound. And, if you time it right, you can attend a traditional powhiri at Tieke Kainga.

Whanganui River on Find My Adventure

Mangahao Tararua. Photo by Meena Explores

Massey to Levin

Manawatu, 2 to 3 days

This route starts with urban walking through the Turitea green corridor next to Massey University. Once you leave the university behind, you rise through rural and forestry land. The trail enters the native forest on Burtons Track — full of fascinating, pioneering history.

Then the Mangahao-Makahika track continues towards Levin. Occasional lookout points give spectacular vistas of the coast.

Once at the end, hardy souls will continue into the Tararua Ranges towards Wellington. But, if that’s not for you, arrange a pickup from Levin, which is close by.

Massey to Levin on Find My Adventure

Wellington. Photo by Sean Hamlin

Wellington City

Wellington, 1 day

Starting at the top of Wellington’s famous Cable Car, this route takes in inner-city Wellington’s greatest hits. The Botanic Gardens, historic Bolton St Cemetery, Parliament and New Zealand’s Supreme Court, the ‘golden mile’ of Lambton Quay and Willis St, through Civic Square and to the splendid Wellington waterfront.

There are plenty of spots along the way to test Wellington’s reputation as the ‘coffee capital’.

Continue past Te Papa, the National Museum, and around Oriental Bay to where this route ends.

Wellington City on Find My Adventure

Pelorus Bridge. Photo by Paul Rose

Pelorus River Track

Nelson and Marlborough, 3 to 4 days

The Pelorus River Track is a long-established Department of Conservation tramping track with a good hut system. There are bridges on the larger rivers, but the tramp involves many stream crossings too. These may be impassable after rain.

Mt Richmond Forest Park contains a mixture of beech and podocarp forest, including the finest rimu along Te Araroa.

The green pools of the Pelorus River always beckon on a hot day.

Pelorus River Track on Find My Adventure

Lake Ohau. Photo by Vern

East Ahuriri Track

Canterbury, 1 to 2 days

This route is one of Te Araroa’s hidden gems. From Lake Ohau, there is an initial steep climb up Freehold Creek. Once at the top, you get striking views across Lake Ohau and the Mackenzie Basin.

Heading over into the East Ahuriri Valley, you’ll sidle scree slopes and dodge speargrass as you descend to the Ahuriri River. This is the largest unbridged river on Te Araroa.

This track ends at Birchwood Rd., but walkers can move onto the Breast Hill Track for the journey to Lakes Hawea and Wanaka.

East Ahuriri Track on Find My Adventure

Lake Hawea. Photo by Mariano Mantel

Gladstone to Wānaka

Otago, 1 day

This breathtaking long, flat walk along lakes and rivers takes in Central Otago’s Māori and early gold mining history. From Lake Hawea, the Hawea River Track follows the river to Albert Town.

Then the Outlet Track follows the Clutha up to its origin at the Lake Wanaka outlet. Here you’ll enjoy wonderful views across the lake to the Southern Alps.

Then it’s onto the Wanaka lakefront, where cafes, bars and restaurants lie in wait as a reward for a long walk.

Gladstone to Wānaka on Find My Adventure

Colac Bay Hill. Photo by Thomas Pirkopf

Long Hilly Track and Tihaka Beach Track

Southland, 1 day

These two tracks capture some of Southland’s early history and rugged beauty.

The Long Hilly Track is a popular day walk. It takes in many historic mine workings from what was once the largest Chinese mining settlement in New Zealand.

To the south, the beautiful coastline awaits the Tihaka Beach Track. This guides walkers around the rocky shoreline from Colac Bay to Mores Reserve in Riverton. Surfers should keep their eyes peeled for a wonderful example of a left-hand point break curling around the coast.

Long Hilly Track on Find My Adventure

Tihaka Beach on Find My Adventure

Page last updated: Dec 2, 2022, 11:56 AM