South Island NZ

Popular Walks

Parent Regions

Walks in South Island NZ

60 km one-way
4 days

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

Discover Cleopatra's Pool – natural rock pool with a moss-lined waterslide.
Admire the beautiful inlet to Falls River as you walk across a 47 m suspension bridge.
Keep an eye out for fur seals/kekeno.
Crystal-clear waters of Tonga Island Marine Reserve.

The track is well marked and signposted, but some sections may be steep and rough and the track could be muddy.

There is one compulsory tidal crossing – check the tide tables for when it's safe to cross.

Part of the Abel Tasman NP. Easy but challenging walk on well maintained coastal track. Day walks are possible as drop off and pick up by water taxi is available. Combining with sea kayaking amongst the seal colony is a special experience. Many coves, beaches, even a few crossings on hanging bridges. Stunning scenery and lots of birds and wildlife.

5 km return
2 hrs

Castle Hill

Castle Hill Basin lies between the Torlesse and Craigieburn mountain ranges and is characterised by its distinctive limestone rock formations. These limestone rock formations are the water eroded remnants of limestone formed during the Oligocene age 30-40 million years ago when much of present day New Zealand was covered by the sea.
The area is of special cultural, spiritual and historical significance to Ngai Tahu who named it Kura Tawhiti (treasure from afar). Hidden amongst the limestone outcrops of Castle Hill are traces of 500-year old charcoal drawings traditionally said to have been left by the Waitaha, the first people to travel through this area.

5.9 km return
105 mins

Cowans Hill

The track passes the Church of the Good Shepherd and Dog Statue, along the shoreline, before heading along the edge of an exotic forest to open hillside tussock country and small tarns where wetland birds stop to feed, before heading back down to the Tekapo River through a plantation.

6.6 km return
2.5 hrs

Fox Glacier Valley Walk

The Fox Glacier Valley Walk follows the south bank of the Fox River through ancient podocarp rainforest. The track heads gently up the valley crossing ancient glacial moraine surfaces, with the forest reflecting the various ages of the glacier moraines which it has colonised and gets you within 4km of the glacier face.

2 km return
1 hr

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Franz Josef Glacier is now just 300m above sea level and 12km long, starting its journey in the neve of Mt Tasman, having once stretched as far as 35km out into the Tasman Sea. As a result of its accessibility, it is one of the most widely visited glaciers in the world.
This walk gives you some sort of perspective of the power of ice and water and includes a view of the spectacular 35m high Trident Falls.

82 km
5 days

Heaphy Track

A 4-6 day walk linking Golden Bay and the West Coast crossing through part of Kahurangi National Park, the Heaphy Track is one of New Zealand's nine Great Walks.<br /><br />The Heaphy Track includes a great range of feature including Beech forests, iconic Nikau Palm groves and the Gouland Downs.

6.1 km return
2 hrs

Hectors Coastal Track

Hector's Coastal Track offers coastal scenic views, as it crosses Caroline Bay, up to the old Lighthouse and along the cliffs to Dashing Point and beyond.

1.7 km return
1 hr

Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika Gorge, often referred to as the "Blue Gorge', due to its vivid turquoise water, swing bridge and surrounding of lush native bush, looks just too good to be true.

10.3 km return
3 hrs

Hooker Valley Track

One of the most popular walks in the park with its picturesque icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains; it will have you reaching for your camera at every turn. The track leads up the Hooker Valley towards Aoraki/Mount Cook and passes close to Freda's Rock and the Alpine Memorial before coming to the viewing platform of the Mueller Glacier and the first of three swing bridges.

The track ends with an amazing view over the iceberg-speckled Hooker Lake and up to majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Southern Alps.

Listen for the rumbling of avalanches from the distant Mount Sefton and try to spot them before they crash into the Mueller Glacier below.

3.2 km return
75 mins

Kea Point

This walk gently winds its way through sub-alpine grasslands and scrub to the Mueller Glacier moraine wall. The track passes through a landscape that was formed in 1913 when a stream cut through from the glacier to the original Hermitage site, damaging the building. The walk ends at a viewing deck that gives stunning views of Mount Sefton, The Footstool, Hooker Valley, Mueller Glacier Lake and Aoraki/Mount Cook.