Best rails trails trails in New Zealand

373 Reviews
Explore the most popular rails trails 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.
Map of rails trails trails in New Zealand
Top trails (10)
#1 - Paekakariki Escarpment
Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(130)
Length: 6.1 mi • Est. 3 h 17 m
Hike from Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki many many stairs two swing bridges lots of narrow cliff top trails. Not for the faint hearted. Pub at the end at paekakariki is a welcome finish point. Show more
#2 - Karangahake Mountain Track Loop
Paeroa, Waikato, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(48)
Length: 5.7 mi • Est. 3 h 30 m
This loop combines several tracks into a single hike. It traverses the Scottsman Gully, then a portion of the Crown Trail followed by a direct ascent to the top of Karangahake Summit. The return is via the Mountain Summit Trail that then connects back to Crown returning the same way it started. There is plenty of parking at the Karangahake Gorge swing bridge, but it can get pretty busy during the holiday season. Additional parking is available off Crown Hill Road. But if you park there it shortens the hike to exclude Scottsman Gully; which would be a miss as that portion of the trail is beautiful with cascading waters from a stream that empties into the Ohinemuri River. Most of the trail is graded and wide. The only section that is a footpath and somewhat narrow, but definitely steep is the 0.7 mile section starting clockwise for the loop. It is a constant climb and will test your cardio. At the top the views are magnificent. As far as the eyes can see towards the Coromandel and Kaimai. The plains are vast and never ending - yet the ocean is visible in the distance. The return loop is an easy downhill walk on a wide graded path. There are a few small stream crossings depending on the rain, and keep a look out for the occasional mining tunnel. This is a great alternative to the gorge walks which can get very busy at times. Show more
#3 - Rimutaka Incline
Featherston, Wellington, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(20)
Length: 10.6 mi • Est. 5 h 25 m
A great ride from the Kaitoki carpark to the Summit tunnel - easy gradient. Caution, it can get very windy.Show more
#4 - Maungatauhoro and Perimeter Track Loop
Wenderholm Regional Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(61)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 28 m
NOTE: Dogs are permitted on parts of this route. Please visit the park site for more information: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/parkmaps/map-wenderholm-regional-park.pdfShow more
#5 - Karangahake Old Rail Tunnel Trail
Paeroa, Waikato, New Zealand
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(79)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 43 m
Track mostly follows an old gold mining rail line so is pretty flat. Very scenic with a couple of bridges across the river and a long tunnel to ride through.Show more
#6 - Otago Central Rail Trail
Clyde, Otago, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(9)
Length: 93.7 mi • Est. Multi-day
#7 - Little River Rail Trail: Motukarara to Little River
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 13.8 mi • Est. 5 h 46 m
#8 - Lower Manorburn Dam via Tucker Hill Road
Mount Aspiring National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(7)
Length: 4.6 mi • Est. 2 h 2 m
Nice trail for running or walking in AlexandraShow more
#9 - Little River Rail Trail: Little River to Motukarara
Little River, Canterbury, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(4)
Length: 13.8 mi • Est. 5 h 45 m
#10 - Otago Rail Trail - Ranfurly to Omakau
Ranfurly, Otago, New Zealand
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(2)
Length: 34.7 mi • Est. Multi-day