Putangirua Pinnacles

The Putangirua Pinnacles are incredible – in fact, they are so awe-inspiring that they were used as part of the scenery in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (please don’t ask me in what film or what location they were, I have no idea!)

Pouakai Circuit

The Pouakai Circuit is one of the best multi-day hikes I’ve ever done. The views are phenomenal. The huts are great. Sunrise from the Pouakai Tarn was stunning. The track is technical enough to be interesting.  It’s not super full of people. The terrain varies greatly.

Cook’s Cove Walk

This is a popular walk, and for good reasons. It’s free, has stunning views, great picnic spots, has historical significance, and takes less than two hours to do! Cook’s Cove Walk is in Tolaga Bay, home of a famous wharf, and enormous ice creams from the dairy

Atiwhakatu Hut

If you like dogs you will ADORE this walk. It’s one of the few walks on DOC land I’ve come across where dogs are allowed and because of that there were so many cute puppies around every corner (disclaimer: every dog to me is a puppy whether they are a couple of months old or not!)

Ridgeline Walk, Morere

I first went to Morere Hot Springs when I was a kid. In the decades since I last visited, it has changed from childhood memories but it still has great hot pools, incredible bush, and is a wee slice of paradise in the middle of nowhere!

White Pine Bush

White Pine Bush is home to Kahikatea, and not just any Kahikatea, but an 800 year old one! Thinking about the things has endured to still be here in our lifetime is pretty impressive.

Papatahi Hut

A hut where you are guaranteed to have the whole place to yourself? Where you have to cross a river numerous times to get there? Where you don’t have to carry crockery or cooking equipment, leaving room for a bottle of wine in your bag? Sign me up!

Red Rocks

I don’t know of many capital cities where you can drive 10 minutes from the city centre and see seals. And not just one seal, but heaps of seals, sunbathing themselves on rocks and generally just being rather adorable!

Kepler Track

We lucked out big time with this walk – a few days before we were due to start walking the middle section of the track was closed due to snow. And two days after we came off that section it closed again due to bad weather.

Ring of Fire – Mt Ruapehu

This wasn’t a typical walk. It was a 50km mountain race around a volcano, that started and finished in darkness. I’d gone into it knowing that I’d already completed a 50km before (and that included running and walking, whereas this one was only walking), so mentally I knew I could do it.

Polhill Reserve to Red Rocks

The number one reason I like this walk is because it starts in the heart of the city, but within 30 minutes you can look around and not see any sign of people. That’s my kind of walk! The second reason is that it ends at the beach. And not just that, but a beach with seals!

Paekakariki Escarpment Track

If you like stairs, you’ll really like this walk. There are lots of them. And they are perched on hillsides where if you slip, there is nothing to stop you until you hit the ground far below. So my hint for this walk? Take it slow going up and down the many, many stairs.