New Zealand’s South Island Offers Great Walks
New Zealand’s Great Walks are highly regulated by the Department of Conservation, which maintains the trails, checking for hiking passes and staffing the huts for nightly educational talks. Popular walks include the world-famous Milford Track, Routeburn and Kepler (pictured), and the quieter, less-advertised Rees-Dart, Greenstone and Caples.
If time is limited, many multi-day hikes can be broken up into day hikes or one-nighters, Carey Williams writes for Associated Press.
On Stewart Island, a small island that’s a ferry ride or short plane trip south of the South Island, you’ll find another Great Walk, the Rakiura Track. Rakiura’s 20-mile loop has huts as well as campsites.
Stewart Island is popular with wildlife watchers hoping to glimpse kiwis.
At some point, you’ll want to ditch the rancid hiking boots and exchange them for some sandals to walk the beautiful beaches in the Abel Tasman National Park – home to another Great Walk, the Abel Tasman Coast Track – on the northern tip of the South Island.
Original article by Carey J. Williams, Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, August 1, 2015.