Do you have a forest hike in mind? Navigating through a dense forest, seeing the magnificent beauty of nature in all its glory, its creation i.e. the beautiful birds and animals that aren’t seen in cities at all, is indeed a heartening experience. The forest biodiversity of New Zealand is so rich and enchanting that it feels like a fairy tale sometimes. If you have seen the classic superhit ‘Lord of the Rings’ you would know what the forest scenery of the country is all about. Going on a camping trip and spending time with your friends and family in tents in NZ, set up in a pristine forest, is the stuff of dreams and one that is cherished by hikers all over the world.
If a forest camping trip is what occupies your mind right now then you’re at the right place. In this article, we would talk about some of the most popular forest hiking trails in New Zealand and what sort of camping gear you would need to make your trip a memorable one. Here are the 5 popular forest sites in the country that you must not miss at all.
- Wairere Falls Track: Known for its undulating track filled with moss-covered rocks and beautifully descending waterfalls, the Wairere Falls track is located on the North Island’s Bay of Plenty region. In Maori, ‘wai’ mean water, and ‘rere’ means to flow. This is an apt description of the tallest waterfall on the North Island that falls overlooking the majestic backdrop of the Waikato plains. You would feel all your stress and worries just melt away when you get a look at this scenery. Although a beautiful spot no doubt, you should realize that the path is not simple and it is recommended that you have good shoes to complement your hike as the path can be a little steep sometimes and may involve some minor climbing. The track would take 3-4 hours to complete and you could relax inside tents as well as gazebos in New Zealand after completing the hike. Having a gazebo with you would be a good way to enjoy the view of the area.
- Tongariro National Park: The Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site and has special significance for the Maoris as the Park has some sacred mountain peaks like Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ruapehu. The site is well known for its alpine crossing. Also, the Blue Lake and the Taranaki Falls walk are considered the world’s best one-day hikes. You would need decent fitness levels to cover the hike but the breathtaking views of the lakes and mountains and the vegetation cover make it all worth it. You could park your vans in the camping ground and set up your tents in New Zealand by renting suitable tent sites from the park management. The diversity of views inside the park makes it ideal for spending a relaxing time with your loved ones.
- Tiki Walking Track, Otago: Located near Queenstown, the Tiki Walking track is moderately challenging and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. Unlike the Tongariro Alpine crossing, this trail is open the whole year and you can check it out whenever you like. The trail is a little rocky so get proper footwear for the hike and make sure you leave early in the morning as the place may get crowded after that. You are likely to encounter mountain bikes along the way so look out! The trail is covered by lush forests all around and thus making it a wonderful hiking spot. If you want an even better hiking experience then you should consider the hike from the gondola to the Ben Lomond summit a little away from the Tiki walking track as seasoned hikers like it even more.
- Ben Lomond Track: If you’re one of those who doesn’t shy away from a challenge then the Ben Lomond track is the right place for you. It is a difficult forest track and you should make good provisions of food and water along with waterproof gear to complete the trail. You would also need to have good fitness skills to cover the track as the elevation is quite steep when it approaches the summit at 1748 m. When you reach the summit, the panoramic view of the surrounding is simply stunning. There are a few good locations near the track where you could park and even set up tents for accommodation.
If you like walking through the forests and enjoy spending time in nature’s lap then New Zealand has some fine forest locations for you. There are some amazing forest tracks all over the country where you can have an amazing hiking and tramping experience. Places like the Wairere Falls track in Otago which is famous for its cascading waterfalls and breathtaking sights and the Ben Lomond track, the favorite destination of hikers who like a good challenge are a good way to explore the forest biodiversity in the country. Just have your tents and gazebos in NZ ready and plan the forest getaway soon.