Explore the most popular birding trails in New Zealand with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

be prepared for sudden changes in weather. even if it's hit and sunny when you start out be prepared for hail and snow at the top. we did it a few weeks back and there was a sudden change of weather about 20 minutes to the summit. the exposure to wind and snow is awful. I was sure I wouldn't make it...! obviously I did. 2.5 hrs down the mountain cold and wet is not fun. be prepared!

Steep single track start and opens up later. Climb steadily up to summit road. We then turned left along summit road and came back down along Rapaki trail. Look out for Roger's Trail on your left which takes you back down to the car park where you started (Mt Vernon Park)

Was wet, needed hiking boots as was not suitable for walking shoes. shipwreck was fun for the kids to see.

5 days ago

I only hiked down after returning from the skyline. A decent hike for sure. It took about an hour to get down

It’s hard but I highly recommend that. The view is amazing, unforgettable!!!

walking
7 days ago

Amazing views, a bit muddy in winter even on a sunny day... however TOTALLY worth it!

walking
7 days ago

We did this in 2017 and loved it - very lucky to have clear weather to enjoy the forests, lakes and waterfalls, incredibly beautiful and a good challenging hike

Absolutely stunning vistas, we were incredibly lucky with the weather - 3 bluebird days to enjoy incredible scenery. A good challenging hike

A great challenging hill climb with amazing views. Loved the faerie grove

hiking
8 days ago

Part of Te Araroa, this section is known as the Richmond Trail. Nice views over Lake Tekapo. Best tramped south to north to fully enjoy the views of the mountains.

Love this track! Well maintained, beautiful views and lots of lovely native bush and birds. Due to the number of stairs I would rate it as moderate, not easy.

hiking
12 days ago

This is where the hobbits live. Lush and interesting. Such a beautiful climb. 3.5hrs total, with lots of pictures, at a steady pace. I would do this hike a hundred times over.

13 days ago

Amazing view during sunset

Easy walk to (near) the base of the glacier. The track is really well maintained and great to walk on. If you're only stopping by in Franz Josef thus is a good little out and back walk to do.

13 days ago

Walked the track in July (mid winter) starting in the darkness at 7am. The first 4ks up were fine, then the track became snow/ice covered which made progress slow going. Amazing views at the top, but the lookout point was very slippery (be careful if going up when icy).

6hours return.

hiking
13 days ago

One of the best hike I ever did. 6 hrs, took our time, long and hard but so worth it. Imagine walking on a Volcano, and feeling like you are on Mars! Bring layers, good shoes, lots of water and a lunch. You need shuttle service at end or another arrangement. This is a one way 20k ride. Enjoy!

18 days ago

Best ever

hiking
18 days ago

sublime

hiking
19 days ago

As the other reviews mentioned, the track itself is pretty bland but the views are spectacular! Worth going all the way to the top past the view point. About 1/3 of the track was very muddy and slippery and the summit push is pretty snowy, but manageable (we were hiking in running shoes). Definitely steep. We made it to the summit in just under 3 hours with the above conditions.

Awesome track! Took us two hours to reach the end (one way) and it was worth it. The track is not exhausting (I am medium fit) but can be a bit slippery aspecially when you go back down.

20 days ago

Great hike with an amazing view at the lake. It’s basically a climb the whole way until the last 5-10 minutes when you descend into the lake.

on Kepler Track

21 days ago

Hiked the first part up to the end of the treeline back in February. Easily the most stunning place I've ever been. The forest is incredibly lush and the trails are well maintained. It helps to have waterproof boots during the rainy season as mud does accumulate quite a bit. Once you get past the treeline prepare to be amazed with stunning views of the surrounding snowcapped mountains and lake below. I will definitely be back to complete the loop when I'm outfitted with enough gear.

One of the best

Beautiful, really varied hike. I don’t train for hikes but I wouldn’t consider myself unfit, though I found the Devil’s Staircase (?) very very challenging.
Mountainous, some looks like Mars, a bit of a scramble coming down to the lakes, and a lovely forest walk.
We took 2 cars, left 1 at Mangatepopo

backpacking
25 days ago

Physically I found this hard (I wouldn’t consider myself unfit but I don’t train or anything), but the trail is very straightforward and well maintained. All worth it for the views, and options to climb right up to the peak for the added panoramic view ❤️

walking
26 days ago

Love this track. Did it on Christmas day for something different to do! Was a bit longer than expected, but an amazing walk and nice waterfall.

hiking
27 days ago

Did this in Nov 17, lovely track.. If you saw what on the NewZealand.com adv, it us what you will be seeing there. Fantastic sightseeing, but It was hard for me 4 days of walking, best to travel light and carry pain killer, just in case you need it for the sore feet. Wooly for the feet and Vaseline work best. But it is a once in a lifetime experience

Nice walk; not very challenging but nice environment...definitely wouldn't do it in flip flops though unless you want to get your feet ripped up on the gravel and high potential to slide in the muddy sections...we walked it in winter....

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