Day Hikes in Oz & NZ


Nov 19th, 2002, 04:17 AM
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Day Hikes in Oz & NZ

Greetings - we're in the process of planning a 4 month trip to OZ & NZ beginning in Dec. Viewing this forum has been very helpful in planning. I'd love to hear about your favorite 1/2 day to full day hikes anywhere in NZ, Tasmania, or on the east coast of OZ (from Melbourne to Cairns).

Also, would like to know about hotel recommendations along the Queen Charlotte walk.

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Nov 19th, 2002, 10:07 AM
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Here's a few that we liked when we did a similar 7-month trip to NZ & Oz a couple of years ago:


Kauri Forest, north of Otamatea. Fairly short hike through one of the last stands of ancient giant Kauri trees to a couple of the largest ones left; Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere.

Tiritiri Matangi Island, in Hauraki Gulf, north of Auckland. Requires a ferry ride from Auckland, but there are some nice trails where you can see lots of wildlife, particularly birds like Takahe and Pukeko.

Rangitoto Island, Auckland. A short ferry ride to this volcano, then a moderate climb to the summit for some of the best views of Auckland and surrounding environs.

'Blackwater Rafting' Ruakuri Cave, Waitomo. This is a guided walk and cave adventure, where you float through the cave in an inner tube. Really spectacular, and worth the cost (about NZ $65).

Craters of the Moon walk, Wairakei geothermal area, near Lake Taupo. A short boardwalk hike through hot springs and mud pots.

'Hidden Valley' of Orakei Korako. All-day loop hike through this valley, studded with hot springs, geysers, and steam vents.

Mt. Ruapehu summit hike. Take the Whakapapa Skifields chairlift to about the 2000-meter level, then continue toward the summit from there. Its longish, and quite rough in places - you might not make it to the summit, but you will be very happy with the spectacular views no matter where you quit.

Abel Tasman National Park. Take a water taxi from Marahau to one of the beaches (perhaps Arawoa Bay). Arrange to get picked up at the end of the day a few beaches further down. Great beach walking, plus some easy climbs up saddles between beaches. Some river crossings required too.

Devil's Punchbowl, Arthur's Pass. A short hike to a nice waterfall, with great views of the surrounding Southern Alps.

Guided walk onto Fox Glacier. Several alpine guide services will take you onto Fox (or nearby Franz Josef) Glacier, and supply you with an alpenstock, crampons, and heavy boots. This was also worth the cost, although I was a bit nervous, watching my children hopping crevasses!

Mt. Iron, Wanaka. A steady short climb up this small mountain for great views of the surrounding countryside.

Cathedral Caves, near Progress Valley. A short descent, followed by a short beach walk to some great caves that are only accessible at low tide.

Ulva Island. Take the ferry from Bluff to Stewart Island, then a water taxi to Ulva Island. Several trails cross through the forest, ending up on the rocky coastline of this small island. Lots of great short walks (and many looong ones) on Stewart Island as well.

The Chasm, between Homer Tunnel and Milford. A great half-day hike to a narrow slot with a powerful waterfall.

Lake Marian, Hollyford Valley. A long climb along the tumbling Hollyford River, including some neat boardwalks cantilevered over a cataract.

Tasman Glacier Moraine, Mt. Cook Park. A short hike across the Tasman Glacier Valley to one of the larger rocky terminal moraines. Great views (weather permitting!) of Mts. Cook and Tasman.
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Nov 19th, 2002, 10:08 AM
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...and here is for,


Overland Track, Cradle Mtn National Park, Tasmania. This is a multi-day Track, but you can head out for half a day, then turn around and head back. Very pleasant valley surrounded by rugged mountains. You can then drive to the other end of the Track at Lake St. Clair Park, and do the same thing.

Devil's Kitchen, Eagle Neck, Tasmania. A short walk to view spectacularl coastal features sculpted by wave erosion. Take another short walk nearby to the Tesselated Pavement, a weird wave-cut terrace.

Buffalo Mtn National Park, Victoria. This isolated mountain is honeycombed with a great trail system, particularly to several lookouts along the summit plateau.

Falls Creek Skifields, Victoria. You can drive an access road up toward the top of these skifields, then set out along the ridges for a half-day hike with great views of the Dividing Range.

Giant's Staircase, Blue Mountains, Victoria. From the Echo Point Lookout in Katoomba, descend this steep trail into the bottom of the valley, then hike to the base of the Scenic Railway which will give you a fun, quick and easy way back to the top.

Mt. Matheson, Nightcap National Park. Drive to the top of Mt. Nardi, then take the half-day loop trail around Mt. Matheson. Great views of the surrounding countryside, particularly Mt. Warning.

Eungella Summit, Eungella National Park. A steep winding drive up to the Summit, then a nice short hike through rainforest habitat. A platypus viewing area is nearby, and if you are patient, you should be rewarded with a glimpse of this reclusive creature at dusk.

Skyrail Waystations, Kuranda. Lots of people take the Skyrail gondola over the rainforest from Cairns to Kuranda, but few spend much time walking the trails that lead off the two waystations in between. You could spend at least 2-3 hours at each stop, heading into the dense understory.

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Nov 20th, 2002, 09:53 AM
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The Tongariro crossing in Tongariro National Park (Nth Island, NZ) is known as NZ's best 1 day hike.

If you get it on a good day (which I did), you get incredible views of numerous craters and lakes.

I actually created a website for friends going to NZ for my wedding last year, it has some guides for areas to see in NZ - you're welcome to use it as a resource. - then go to the NZ info. page.

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