A swingbridge over Kohaihai river on the Heaphy Track in the Kahurangi National Park, West Coast  Tourism West Coast

New Zealand Great Walks

New Zealand's Great Walks are the Department of Conservation's (DOC) premier New Zealand walking tracks. Each year, thousands of visitors travel to our country specifically to walk the Great Walks and experience New Zealand's National Parks.

Each located within a National Park, the Great Walks of New Zealand traverse through some of the best scenery in the country. 
Extremely popular, New Zealand's Great Walks are busiest during the summer season, and huts must be booked well in advance at that time.

Continue reading for more information on each of the Great Walks, as well as accommodation and track conditions.

Great Walks Summary

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

Heaphy Track

Kepler Track


 Walker, Appletree Bay, Abel Tasman National Park.  Nelson Tasman Tourism  

Lake Waikaremoana Track

Milford Track

Rakiura Track


 Lake Waikaremoana.  Judith Doyle

Routeburn Track

Tongariro Northern Circuit 

Whanganui Journey


The Routeburn typically reflects the Scottish ancestry of its name Roy Sinclair


Accommodation on the Great Walks

The standard of huts and tracks in New Zealand National Parks is generally very good.

The Great Walks are very popular - particularly during summer. Booking for access and huts over summer is essential for some of the Great Walks, and advisable for all.

DOC manages this process, and you can check availability and book accommodation for a number of the Great Walks online.

Whilst you need to purchase hut tickets or campsite passes to secure yourself a bed, it always pays to carry a tent in case the number of trampers at a hut excedes the number of available beds.

Great Walks Walking Conditions         

You should always find out in advance what the current track conditions are like, and whether the track category suits your levels of fitness, time and preparation.

Regardless of the track or hut conditions, you always need to take appropriate, sturdy footwear, layers of warm, waterproof clothing and plentiful energy-dense food and water - even if you're not planning on an overnight trip. New Zealand's weather conditions can change instantly and you must always be prepared for the worst.

Also be aware that the Great Walks can be very busy at peak times and you may not “get away from it all”. However, there are lots of other great walks in NZ, they're just not the 'Great Walks'!