It’s the sheer diversity of the North Island that will inspire you to want to explore on foot. From dormant volcanoes to golden coastline and native forests, we’ve put together a few of what we think are the North Island’s best day walks for you to enjoy when you visit.

Tongariro National Park - Taranaki Falls Loop

In the middle of the North Island lies the Central Plateau, and its volcanoes, plains of golden tussock and thundering waterfalls make visitors feel like they’re in another world. It’s one of the most beautiful and unusual places in the country to explore on foot, which is why the Taranaki Falls Loop has got to be one of the best day walks in the North Island. Visit the Taranaki Falls, where water rumbles down a 20m drop at the end of a huge lava flow, as part of a loop walk.

This track is around 2 hours’ return and is suitable for all fitness levels. 

Northland - Flagstaff Hill Loop, Russell

A subtropical region known for it’s stunning beaches, rich history and laid-back locals, Northland is a delight to explore on foot. We think the Flagstaff Hill Loop in Russell has got to be one of the North Island’s best day walks. Charming Russell is a small town on the edge of the Bay of Islands, steeped in whaling and kauri logging history. Stroll a well-formed track through lush native forest before exploring one of the country’s most historic sites – Flagstaff Hill.

This short walk is around 30 minutes return and is suitable for all fitness levels.

Rotorua - Waitawa Walk

Wander through towering groves of Redwood Trees on Rotorua’s Waitawa Walk. Located in the central North Island, Rotorua is most famous for its geothermal wonders, but its groves of enormous Californian Redwood Trees (Sequoias) are just as impressive. Surrounded by native bush and birdsong, the Waitawa Walk also showcases the famous New Zealand native Silver fern and the giant Mamaku fern up close.

This trail is around 1 hour return and is suitable for all fitness levels.

Auckland City - Mission Bay waterfront

A great way to get over jetlag when you arrive in Auckland is to take a stroll along the city’s beautiful waterfront. Starting from the ports, a flat pathway winds its way along the waterfront; passing golden beaches, a yacht club and plenty of cafes to stop for a drink along the way. The great thing about this walk is that you can go for as long as you feel like – it’s an out-and-back path.

Stroll the path for up to 3 hours’ return (or stop sooner). The waterfront trail is suitable for all fitness levels.

Easy going walking opportunities with MoaTrek

Because we know how rewarding it is to explore New Zealand’s landscapes on foot, we’ve tailor-made all of our small group New Zealand tours to incorporate as many opportunities for day walks’ as possible. Guests on our tours visiting the North Island have the opportunity to walk all of the tracks mentioned above. Does the sound of a waterfall tumbling over an ancient lava flow inspire you, or is it the groves of giant Redwood Trees that makes you want to lace up your walking shoes? With a MoaTrek small group New Zealand tour, you can experience all of these walks, and more.


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