The Best Backpacking in New Zealand

Looking for the best backpacking in New Zealand? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around New Zealand. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near New Zealand

  • Kinloch, New Zealand

    Backpack the Routeburn Track

    5.0
    12.5 mi
    If you're looking for the best the Routeburn Track has to offer but only have one night to spend - hike from the Glenorchy side Routeburn Shelter to Lake Mackenzie in 12.5 miles (approx. 3,500 feet of elevation gain) and stay at this stunning hut location before backtracking over Harris Saddle th...
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  • Glendhu Bay, New Zealand

    Hike Roys Peak Track

    5.0
    6.8 mi / 4127.3 ft gain
    This is a very strenuous uphill hike, with very few level stretches along the way, so make sure you have a good level of fitness, and wear sturdy shoes to avoid blisters, as the way back down will be hard on your knees and feet. The track begins on private land, which is grassy with lots of sheep...
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  • Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

    Climb to Mueller Hut

    5.0
    6.4 mi / 3000 ft gain
    This trek begins in the gateway town of Mount Cook Village, which is a must-visit destination in its own right, and serves as the jumping off point for most Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park ventures. Drive to the White Horse Hill Campground (follow the signs for the Hooker Valley) and park in the ...
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  • Te Anau, New Zealand

    Backpack the Kepler Track

    4.3
    37.3 mi
    Important: In the Great Walks season (October till late April) bookings are required for campsites and huts - huts have gas cooking stoves and resident wardens. Check with local DOC before you go. Outside the Great Walks season facilities are greatly reduced and there are additional safety hazard...
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  • Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand

    Backpack the Brewster Hut Track

    5.0
    11.2 mi / 5656 ft gain
    Twenty kilometers north of Haast Pass (568m/1864ft) there is a carpark for Fantail Falls, a beautiful waterfall with numerous rock cairns displayed at its base. From here, take a 3-4 hour hike along Brewster Hut Track (more like climb) through beech forest and then alpine tussock to reach Brewste...
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  • Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

    Hike Mt. Ngauruhoe & the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

    5.0
    14.9 mi / 4101.1 ft gain
    Starting at the Tongariro Crossing Alpine carpark Mangatepopo (1120 m) you walk passing by the Soda Springs (last toilet for a long time!) up to the South Crater which will take you about 2-2.5 hours. From here you can take a side trip to Mount Ngauruhoe summit (2287 m) which will take you about ...
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  • Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

    Overnight at the Barker Hut

    5.0
    29.8 mi / 3018.4 ft gain
    Begin at Klondyke Corner if the Waimakariri is low or at the O'Malley's Track if the river is too high to ford safely. After walking through the Waimakariri River to the Carrington Hut and on up the White River Valley you’ll reach this tiny red hut that stands out in its precarious position as a ...
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  • Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

    Backpack the Tongariro Northern Circuit

    5.0
    26.7 mi
    Most people visiting Togariro National park do the 1 day Alpine Crossing. I opted to do the full circuit, a 27 mile hike that takes you all the way around the prominent summit of Mt. Ngaroe.I traveled the trail clockwise, leaving from Whakapapa Village and heading to Waihohonu Hut on the first da...
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  • Cattle Flat, New Zealand

    Climb the Buchanan Peaks above Lake Wanaka

    5.0
    18.6 mi / 8202.1 ft gain
    From Wanaka-Mt. Aspiring Road, head west out of town and past Glendhu Bay (and Roy's Peak). Go right on West Wanaka Station Road and follow it until the obvious split towards the Homestead Bay / Minaret Burn Track parking area to the right.Take the Minaret Burn / Homestead Bay track approximately...
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  • Mount Aspiring, New Zealand

    Hike to the Rob Roy Glacier

    5.0
    6.2 mi / 1625 ft gain
    Follow the Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Rd. west of Lake Wanaka. The pavement turns into a dirt road shortly after you drive around the lake. You will drive for about an hour, then park at Raspberry Flats in the Matukituki Valley. From the Raspberry Flats lot, the trailhead begins at the swing bridge ab...
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  • Egmont National Park, New Zealand

    Backpack the Pouakai Circuit

    5.0
    15.5 mi
    The track starts at Taranaki / Egmont National Park Visitor Centre (North Egmont) and can be walked in either direction. Two serviced backcountry huts (15$ each) provide overnight accommodation (equipped with woodburners, toilets, water, bunks and mattresses) and are first come first serve. The t...
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  • Bealey, New Zealand

    Hike Arthur's Pass' Bealey Spur

    4.5
    7.5 mi / 1720 ft gain
    This moderately difficult climb affords amazing views of the Waimakariri River Valley as well as Bruce Stream. It is not an incredibly difficult hike, although in winter and early spring there will be snow and ice on the ground, making it more challenging. There are few vertical cliff faces, and ...
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  • Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

    Backpack to Lake Mavis

    16.8 mi / 3937 ft gain
    DAY 1Greyneys Shelter (SH73) – Goat Pass - 5h / 9km (5.6mi) / +400m (1300ft) The route starts here, near Greyneys Shelter on SH73, 5 km (3.1mi) south of Arthur’s Pass Village. You will need to cross Bealey River after it meets the Mingha River, but don't try to cross the river if the Bealey Rive...
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  • Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

    Backpack to Tama Lakes

    5.0
    10.6 mi / 1312.3 ft gain
    The Tama Lakes trail can be walked easily as a day hike but we chose to overnight to escape the crowds (very popular hike) and fully enjoy the landscape, as well as the beautiful stars, sunrise and sunset. We walked the track in early winter (June) which I think is the prettiest time to explore t...
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  • Bainham, New Zealand

    Backpack to Boulder Lake

    22.4 mi / 3937 ft gain
    The common route to Boulder Lake - via Brown Cow Ridge - begins at a small and slightly obscure trailhead near the town of Bainham which is approximately a 20 minute drive from the coastal town of Collingwood in the Tasman region. The trailhead only accommodates parking for perhaps two vehicles -...
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  • Mount Earnslaw, New Zealand

    Climb Mount Earnslaw, Mount Aspiring National Park

    5.0
    16.8 mi / 8000 ft gain
    Start at the Rees Valley Trailhead, approximately 30 minutes from Glenorchy. The trail begins as a dirt road that passes through grazing land and small tributary creeks that flow into the Rees. The first 4.4 miles (7 km) of the trail hugs the Rees River and stays in the grassy and often boggy riv...
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