Rob Roy Track, Aspiring National Park, Wanaka
Your calves will be burning but no bother, the trail is grassy and the endless array of mountains will keep you distracted.
Wear layers – storms emerge out of no where.
Stay: Te Wanaka Lodge
Dine: Relishes Cafe
Cheers: Kai Whakapai
Hooker Valley Track, Mt. Cook National Park
An endless array of terrain over bridges, through the valley leading to the glacial lagoon.
Stay: Hermitage Hotel
Dine: Yesh. Get ready for a random, expensive Asian buffet unless you bring you’re own food.
Cheers: Bring you’re own wine & nestle in next to the grand hearth.
Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough Sounds, Picton
Lush tropical forest. Depending on the weather, it feels like a combination of the upper Atlantic Ocean and Polynesia.
Stay: Furneaux Lodge is spectacular This is a difficult call though based on the length of your stay in the Sounds. Ferries leave from Picton in the am and pick up early evening. The schedule changes according to season. If you stay in Anakiwa backpackers you’ll be isolated and nestled at the end of the track, but the curvy roads are mind-numbing at night. Only bonus is the glowworms and dolphin songs at night, which you can find anywhere along the track.
Dine: Furneaux Lodge at the end of the trek, especially if you’re heading back to Picton.
Cheers: Bring you’re own wine from one of the vineyards in nearby wine country.
Mt. John Summit Track, Lake Tekapo
Run this route through the meadows, vie to take your own path to the summit and run down on pine needle trail then through meadows surrounded by the white-capped foothills of the Alps.
This place is tiny and does not have a ton of outdoor pursuits, best bet is a one night stay after you catch a golden sky and a starry night.
Stay: The Chalet
Dine: Tin Plate