Day Walking

Day Walks are a fantastic way to explore New Zealand's outdoors within a few hours. They are perfect for beginners and young families to feel a sense of adventure within a short time. From a simple boardwalk loop in the native forest just off the main highway to the challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand is overflowing with great day walk options.

Watch and learn how to pack for a day hike

Choose Your Walk

Ben Lomond Track is a popular day walk that requires fitness and planning

Ben Lomond Track is a popular day walk that requires fitness and planning

Tracks here can differ dramatically and will require different levels of fitness, equipment and planning. It's important to recognise that the perceived risk of a day walk can be very low, where as the potential risk can be surprisingly high. 

  • Consider your ability, skills and fitness of everyone in your group
  • Think about how long it will take you
  • How will you get there?
  • How will help find you if something goes wrong? Will there be cellphone signal?
  • What is the terrain like? Will there be rivers/bridges? Can you use a buggy?

You can find out more about how to choose a track on our Trip Planning Section of our website. Excellent sources for local track information are DOC Visitor Centres and I-sites.

Prepare for Your Walk

It doesn't take a big injury to slow you or your group down considerably and there are plenty of people who've got lost at a track junction. If you do have an 'incident' in the outdoors and you end up spending an unexpected night out, the temperature can drop dramatically and its often damp as well. You'll be thankful you planned accordingly.

Take the Basics to Keep You Comfortable and Safe

What you take with you will make all the difference if something were to go wrong such as getting lost, delayed or injured.

Day Walking Essentials:
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Headtorch
  • Cellphone or Emergency Communications device
  • Warm Clothing (Not Cotton)
  • Hat and Gloves
  • Sturdy Footwear
  • Water and Food
  • Emergency Shelter

pdf Basic Gear List for outdoors pdf – 207 KB

or you can find more on our Supplies section.

On Your Walk

  • Be aware of the weather - you can learn how to do this on our weather page
  • Take regular breaks - use this time to check in on your group and have a snack + drink
  • Stick together - wait for each other at track junctions and communicate along the way
  • Check the time - are you running late? When will it get dark? Consider turning back. 

What to Do Next

Continue your preparation with our online resources, there is still plenty to learn to ensure for a safe and enjoyable trip!

Explore Our Resources

  • Plan My Walk app | Use our free planning tool to choose tracks, get alerts, build a gear list and share your plan with others before you go.
  • Plan a Trip like a Pro Etool | Here you can learn how to plan for your walk
  • Watch our how-to videos | Learn how to pack for a Day Walk and many more useful tips
  • Day Walking Activity GuideRead our online guidebook to learn how to plan
  • Read our manuals | Access the NZ Bushcraft Manual and other digitised resources here
  • Department of Conservation Tracks | Find Day Walks near you

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