Walking is one of our most popular activities.

And when you consider how spoilt we are for choice of glorious walking tracks, it’s no surprise.

Short walks are particularly attractive. A little over 75% of surveyed Kiwis said they preferred short walks. They’re easy, they’re quick and they can be tackled relatively spontaneously. Woken to a nice summer’s day? Grab your walking shoes, a bottle of water, a sunhat and go. Getting a bit tired of the long-distance drive? Stop, lock your car, and take a short walk around a lake, to a waterfall or to a view.

The Department of Conservation calls tracks that take between 30 minutes and three hours short walks. Together with Tourism New Zealand, they’ve identified 14 of New Zealand’s best short walks, ranging from the three-hour return up Northland’s Mt Manaia, the bush walk to Wainui Falls in Golden Bay, the loop around Lake Matheson west of Fox Glacier and the half-hour walk to the Blue Pools in Haast Pass.

Reported for our AA Directions Autumn 2020 issue

More information

Look out for details of DOC’s recommended short walks due to be revealed in time for summer.

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