North Temple track

  • Bushwalk
  • Return — 10 km
  • 4 hours
  • Easy
  • 5/5
You’re tired of the tourists' crowds in Otago and want to enjoy a short and easy walk to an amazing place, only a two-hour drive from Wanaka ? This one is for you ! As Lake Ohau is not along the highway and as they have to do a little detour to get to the next cafe of their trip, people often bypass it. That’s a pity for them as it’s probably one of the most beautiful Southern Lakes but it’s a chance for the ones who want a bit of fresh air. This is not a difficult track and you should be able to return to the starting point in four hours, if you don’t take the time to (...)

Bealey Spur and Jordan Stream circuit route

  • Bushwalk
  • Loop — 27 km
  • 2 days
  • Hard
  • 5/5
Bealey Spur views This epic adventure takes you along the tops of Bealey Spur, down Jordan Saddle and to the Waimakariri River following Jordan Stream. In that journey you will pass an historic 1935 musterer hut, walk on a spectacular ridge up to 1,875 metres, with 360° views on Arthur’s Pass and Southern Alps peaks, and climb down rocks in a mountain stream. A true tramping adventure, requiring fine weather, good tramping skills and the ability to find an unmarked route through the landscape. Access Public transport: the TranzAlpine train operates daily from Greymouth to Christchurch, (...)

Kaimai crossing: Waiorongomai valley to Karangahake gorge

  • Bushwalk
  • One way — 28 km
  • 2 days
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Medium
  • 4/5
The Kaimai Range is a small mountain range between the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, between the Coromandel and Mamaku ranges. Just a 2 hours drive from Auckland, it offers a lot of great tramping options for weekends and even more. And in contrast with the Coromandel huts, most of the huts in the Kaimais are basic, meaning only $5 and no need to book. This place is often ignored by tourists who just drive from Coromandel to Rotorua, making it a perfect weekend escape, away from the crowds. Plus it has so many things to see, between old tramway tracks, tunnels, mountains, amazing bush and tracks, (...)

Pirongia / The Cone 2 days loop (via Bell and Tahuanui tracks)

  • Bushwalk
  • Loop — 28 km
  • 2 days
  • Hard
  • 3/5
We were wet, cold, and overly miserable after 3 hours of walking in knee-deep mud under light rain. Arriving at the summit of The Cone, we were in thick clouds. The supposedly magnificent views you should get from the 953 meters summit were nowhere to be seen, and we still had more than one hour of walking to get to the hut, continuously going up and down on the ridge, trying to avoid the deeper mud pools. But this is when, jumping from side to side, climbing steep wet roots, with no views, feeling the beginning of a blister on my left foot, laughing at those ridiculous short boardwalks (...)

Kohukohunui Summit Eastern Loop

  • Bushwalk
  • Loop — 18.5 km
  • 8 hours
  • Medium
  • 3/5
This is a nice day walk that will make you exercise with a tad more than 1,050 metres to climb and descend in the day, starting from sea level up to the summit of Kohukohunui at 688 metres. The main interest of this walk are the superb views you will get on the Firth of Thames, the Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland city and the Manukau Harbour. If the weather looks bad and you might get no views you can probably skip this one, as there’s 50% of wide, muddy, not too interesting tracks. Access This walk starts from the Waharau Regional Park visitor centre. Car: 1 hour 30 minutes drive from (...)

The Pinnacles Loop (Coromandel Peninsula)

  • Bushwalk
  • Loop — 17 km
  • 2 days
  • Medium
  • 4/5
Access Car: 2 hours (135 km) drive from Auckland CBD to the end of Kaueranga Valley Rd. Bicycle: train to Papakura train station, cycle 85 km to Thames (6-8 hrs), then 22 km along Kaueranga Valley Rd (gravel), lots of paid campsites along this road. Public transport: poor, you can take the bus (InterCity, Naked Bus, etc.) to Thames, but you will still have to do the 22 km of (mostly gravel) road to the start of the walk. You could hitch a ride, especially on Saturday mornings with all the people going there, or you could try to contact local tour companies, like CanyoNZ, they usually go (...)

Cradle Mountain—Barn Bluff in 3 days

  • Bushwalk
  • Loop — 36 km
  • 3 days
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Medium
  • 5/5
The Overland Track is one of the best tracks of Australia, but its popularity makes it harder to access now. First you usually have to book months in advance to be able to do it, and second, the hefty price of $200 per person for 6 days makes it a walk accessible only to the wealthiest visitors. But there are other options which will make you enjoy most of the Overland highlights in a shorter time, a bit further away from the masses, and for free. Awesome! This three days loop will let you see the best of the northern part of the track, including the summits of Barn Bluff and Cradle Mountain. (...)

Gladstone, Lindeman and National Pass

  • Bushwalk
  • One way — 14 km
  • 7 hours
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Hard
  • 5/5
From the privacy of remote passes to the crowds of the main attractions of the Blue Mountains, this nice day-walk will be a great adventure ending with an easy stroll. A very nice hike for a hot day as you will be under the shade of trees near running streams much of the way. Access The Blue Mountains are extremely well served by train from Sydney, it is reasonably cheap and practical. Check the hours and rates on Transport NSW website. The trip from Sydney Central station takes a bit less than two hours and costs $12 to $15 return (depending if you ride off-peak or not). The cheapest (...)

South Australia

40 Great Short Walks There is a small guide named « 40 Great Short Walks », published by Trails SA, and it has good ideas and is well made. You can get it at the Adelaide Visitor Centre or just download it online: PDF, 10 MB. Most of the walks in the guidebook are around Adelaide or in the south of SA, but you’ll find some walks around the Flinders Ranges too. The guidebook is well written, with different kind of walks, most of them are easy to medium, and tracks are well signed and easy to access.

Gear

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