When it comes to places to hike and explore out amongst the wilderness, visitors are truly spoilt for choice in New Zealand, especially in the South Island.
For those looking for some hiking happiness head to Hanmer Springs. Located just under 2-hours drive from Christchurch, the quaint township is famous for its natural springs, spas and forest walks.
There are an assortment of different walks in the area, but these three are ideal for all fitness levels and for those who may be short on time looking to get a taste of the local landscape. Let’s start hiking.
Allow: One Hour
An easy stroll that’s ideal for all ages and levels of fitness, the Woodland Walk will take you on an expedition of pine needle covered paths, flowing streams and a collection of pines, conifers and redwoods from all around the world. Feeling like a natural museum, if you look closely there are plaques on and trees which have details on the type of tree and its origin.
The Californian Redwoods are without a doubt one of the highlights of the walk, casting their impressive shadows across the forest floor. Take the time to feel the robust bark that encrusts these towering giants.
Views of the southern face of Mt Isobel are also visible during a clear day, making a stunning backdrop, among the flax wetlands which the track meanders around. A picture-perfect backdrop.
Plenty of picnic tables can be found scattered along the track, so be sure to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy dining out at one of the most scenic tables in town.
Toilets are located at the start of the walk near the carpark.
Jump back in the car, drive for about 5minutes and turn left on Mullans Road. From here you will enter the forest where several tracks start. Please be aware of large trucks, as the forest is still actively logged.
Park: In the picnic area car park on the left-hand side
Allow: 30min return
Diverse and scenic, this is another easy track that is great for everyone to explore. Families with young children should take extra care as there some sudden cliff edge drops which may also be very slippery in the rain. Ferns, mosses and mountain beech trees, the track is full of lush foliage.
There are waterfalls and streams with a footbridge going across the Isobel Stream. This track is a loop which also branches off to the Fir trail (details below) if you wish to extend your walking adventure!
Allow: 30minutes return
This is an easy track that takes you on a journey through the Fir forest which were planted as part of a rejuvenation plan for the area. Many a Douglas Fir can be found here, and the track meanders in and around open spaces and dark forest floors.
These tracks are a great way to get out and really experience the natural beauty of New Zealand’s varied and refreshing landscape. For more information about the tracks, their location and other tracks in the area, please go to Visit Hurunui.
About the Wild One Author
Chloe Grabham is a freelance writer, photographer and owner of food and travel website Clovar Creative. She has a ravenous appetite for travelling to new places close and afar and a collection of cookbooks that could sink a battleship.
Twitter & Instagram: @clovar