04 arriving at lakehead hut

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While researching your New Zealand trip you’ll probably hear a lot about our Great Walks and rightfully so as they offer a truly world-class hiking experience in some of the most stunning parts of our country. However, outside of our more famous tracks and trails, there exists an abundance of lesser known, but equally impressive hikes well worth exploring. From charming coastal trails and lush forest walks to multi-day hikes and alpine climbs, there’s something for everyone.

Here at New Zealand Trails, we appreciate the delights of the Milford Track and Routeburnjust as much as the next person, but we also love getting a bit further off the beaten path as well, inviting guests to explore the spots which others might not know about. And so, we’ve put our heads together and compiled a list of the top 10 lesser known walks in New Zealand. Admittedly it was hard to narrow it down to just 10, but those that made the cut are our absolute favourites!

1. Te Ara Hura Walkway, Waiheke Island, North Island

7.8km (4.8 miles) one-way trip  |  2 hours hike time

Waiheke Island is a beautiful little island a short ferry ride from our largest city Auckland. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Waiheke is a quiet haven comprised of rolling vineyards, native bush, golden sand beaches and spectacular ocean views. The Te Ara Hura Walkway Network is made up of 100km of track that allows you to circumnavigate the island on foot. You can walk the entire trail over the course of about five days, or you can pick a section and enjoy a shorter stroll. Start at any point, finish wherever you want and go in either direction; the choice is yours!