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Hiking in Queenstown, Queenstown Overview

Hiking, a leisure activity or exercise, has now become a rapidly-growing industry. The art of taking long walks is no longer limited to short distances but has now developed into a prevalent recreational activity promoted at many hills and mountains. Hiking can be a great pass time as well as physical activity for those who want exercise along with enjoyment. 

Hiking can have physical as well as mental benefits. It not only lifts your spirit but also reduces the chances of osteoporosis. Many organisations and associations have constructed a list of hiking trails under “The Great walks of New Zealand”. Hiking tours have also improved as a way of understanding hiking trails with new knowledge and tricks alongside pre-booked accommodations and planned routes that make hiking an effortless activity. All in all, if you’re up for exploring open spaces in natural beauty, then hiking can be an enjoyable holiday affair for you.

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Best Time to Hike in Queenstown

Hiking is a leisure activity that can be done anytime during the year. However, the best time to hike in New Zealand is during the spring, that is, September, October and November. Sometimes, the weather may be hiking-friendly in December. However, the ideal time to hike is mostly in the spring when the weather is pleasant.

Hiking Essentials

Here is a list of things you would need for hiking: 
  • It is essential to make sure that you are physically as well mentally prepared to do a hike.
  • Hiking shoes or shoes that have a good grip. 
  • Hat or a cap
  • Sunscreen 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Weather appropriate clothes: light and comfortable 
  • First aid kit including bandaids, antiseptic, cotton, pain killers, anti-rash cream, etc. 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Firestarter, lighter
  • Headlamp or any other illuminator 
  • Shell and fleece for insulation 
  • Emergency bivy for shelter
  • Knife or multitool
  • ID proof
  • Repair gear
  • Backpack 
  • For nutrition, one must carry water, electrolytes and dense superfoods. 
  • A GPS or navigation tool is recommended. 
  • A signalling device such as a whistle, signal mirror or other electronic devices for this purpose. 

Hiking Zones

New Zealand is filled with hiking trails, whether you are in the North or South Island or the centre. The top choices to hiking trails that New Zealand is as follows: 

Tongariro North circuit: 
Tongariro North circuit is an intermediate hiking trail spread across 43 kilometres and over 3-4 days. Tongariro is well-known for its volcanic landscape. The highlights of this trail include Emerald Lakes, Waihohonu stream, Taranaki Falls, Tama saddle and Tama Lakes and involve three huts and four campsites. The tangiroro hiking trail is one of the best in North Island. 

Te Araroa:
Te Araroa starts from the North Island at Cape Reinga, and covers volcanoes, farmlands and forest ranges as well. It finishes in the mountains of South Island. Known as the longest trail in New Zealand, Te Araroa requires over four months to complete. Te Araroa refers to “The long path” as it covers around 25 kilometres a day, the Queen Charlotte Track and Tongariro crossing are integrated with this trail. 

Te Henga Walkway:
Te Henga Walkway is a part of the Hillary Trail in the Waitakere Ranges and is quite an isolated and peaceful one. The trail moves in the direction of the ocean and has a narrow and steep path. Primary locations include Huia, Piha and Muriwai. Due to the muddy and wet areas, it is better to take this trail during dry weather.

Routeburn Track:
One of the best-hiking trails in South Island, Routeburn track links with a few national parks. This track includes moves towards rocky coasts, lakes, waterfalls and fjords, which isn’t a loop trail; it starts at Routeburn shelter and ends at The Divide. Taking this trail between May-September is not recommended due to the high risk of avalanches. 

Mount Sunday (Edoras):
Situated at the south of Canterbury, this hiking trail is also known as “Lord of the Rings” hike. Spread across 16 miles into the upper Rangitata Valley, this trail is bumpy one that takes you to the hill where the Lord of the Rings crew built Edoras, which was the capital of Rohan. What’s more, this trail offers a great picnic spot near the Rangitata river that weaves through the plains.

Hiker Tips

  • Start small if you’re a beginner. You should choose the right track that suits your fitness level. 
  • For those who have had injuries, it is always good to recheck with a doctor to see if you can pursue hiking. 
  • Check the weather before going on a hike.
  • Gaiters are recommended. 
  • Become familiar with the track you choose. 
  • Leave no traces behind. When hiking in nature, it is essential to respect the environment by avoiding littering or dirtying the trail. 
  • Make sure you wear the right kind of socks and shoes to avoid discomfort or accidents. 
  • Ensure that you have travel insurance. 
  • Ensure you have all the essentials
  • Don’t push yourself. Know your limits.
  • Avoid going alone, especially to quiet or unknown locations. In case you do, make sure you inform someone where you’re going. 
  • Joining a group is an excellent source of motivation by meeting new people with similar interests. 
  • Take a 10-minute break once in an hour so to avoid exhaustion. 
  • Learn basic aid before starting your journey. 
  • Pack light. 
  • A waterproof backpack is preferable. 
  • Renting or borrowing gear is better as it is less expensive and saves you from carrying extra luggage. 
  • Walk at a constant pace and make sure your posture is balanced. 
  • Avoid feeding wildlife with human food.
  • Carry extra or waterproof clothes in case of rains. 

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