Multiday Hiking Tours in New Zealand Milford Track vs Routeburn Track

Multi-day hiking tours in New Zealand offer the ideal way to take in some of New Zealand’s stunning landscapes. These trips typically include accommodation at backcountry huts, cabins or camping sites for those seeking an authentic New Zealand experience.

The Milford Track is widely regarded as one of the world’s most picturesque hikes. It begins in Te Anau’s township and concludes at Milford Sound.

Milford Track

The Milford Track is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest walking trails and a must-see on hikers’ bucket lists. From its stunning scenery and historic significance to its rich Maori culture, this trail makes for an unforgettable journey in New Zealand.

The track begins with a boat ride across Lake Te Anau to an isolated shore in Fiordland. This first leg provides an unforgettable glimpse of the breathtaking adventure that lies ahead.

Once ashore, DOC staff will assist you with your gear and guide you towards Glade Wharf, where your four-day hike begins through some of New Zealand’s most stunning regions.

On day three of the trail, you’ll pass Mackay Falls – a stunning waterfall. Additionally, Giant Gate Falls is another popular hiking landmark in this region; walk right beneath these natural wonders for an insight into what awaits along the rest of your journey.

After day three, the track will lead you past several stunning waterfalls and lookout points. You’ll be surrounded by majestic Fiordland peaks as well as plenty of native birds and animals along the way.

On day five, you’ll have reached Sandfly Point and can enjoy a moment of peace before boarding a boat back to Milford Sound Village. This is the ideal way to cap off your hike and take in all that the emerald green waters have to offer in this breathtaking fiord.

Depending on your budget, you can either tackle the Milford Track independently or as part of a guided walk. Both options offer an exhilarating challenge.

Independent hikers must carry everything they need on their backs, while guided walks provide the added luxury of huts that offer services and facilities. New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) huts are of high quality by backcountry standards and many hikers agree they provide great value for multi-day hiking tours in New Zealand.

Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is a world-class hike that traverses Fiordland National Park and Mount Aspiring National Park, graded ‘intermediate difficulty’ by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Perfect for multi-day tramping adventures, this trail boasts stunning landscapes featuring alpine lakes and snow-capped mountain peaks along its route.

The Routeburn Track is a 32 km/20 mile point-to-point trail that begins near Routeburn Shelter near Glenorchy and ends at The Divide Shelter along the road between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Though you can walk it either way, this trail offers some spectacular day hikes along its course.

Experience the splendour of Mt. Aspiring National Park by joining a guided day hike along its iconic Routeburn Track from Queenstown – part of UNESCO-listed Te Wahipounamu National Park.

This small-group tour from Queenstown includes transportation, lunch and snacks, as well as an experienced guide who shares stories about New Zealand’s landscapes. As there is a minimum number of participants required for this experience, it’s best to book in advance.

If you’re short on time and want to explore the Routeburn Track without worrying about accommodation, book a shuttle bus between The Divide and Routeburn Shelter for around NZD125 per person. This service is available from Queenstown, Te Anau or Milford Sound.

You could also stay at Lake Mackenzie Campground, situated just past The Divide Shelter on Highway 101 between Te Anau and Vancouver. This campground is often unbooked, making it a great spot for exploration.

Another option is booking a private day hike, ideal for travelers wanting to cover the entirety of the Routeburn Track in one day. This experience takes you along the first section near Glenorchy and also features Bridal Veil Falls and a swing bridge!

Hiking the Routeburn Track can be an amazing adventure, but it’s a long trek. To prepare for this long trek, it’s essential to plan ahead and gather all necessary gear. Additionally, know if the weather forecast calls for rain or cold temperatures; New Zealand’s climate can be unpredictable! So be ready with layers of clothing!

Greenstone Track

The Greenstone Track is one of New Zealand’s most beloved multi-day hikes. Stretching 86km from Queenstown through Glenorchy and into Mt Aspiring National Park, it offers breathtaking views of Lake Rere as well as plenty of wildlife including kiwis, possums and kkahi (tambourine birds).

It also offers stunning views of Mt Aspiring’s snow peaks and glaciers. Not only is the track an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors, but it is also an ideal introduction to tramping in New Zealand.

This trail is clearly marked and equipped with orange triangles to assist you in navigating the terrain. You can walk this track independently or join one of the guided hikes available during Great Walks season (September to March).

Along the Greenstone Track, visitors will discover plenty of stunning sights along the way – from picturesque lakes to lush river flats. Furthermore, this track is incredibly safe with DOC taking great care in providing support for all its walkers, regardless of whether they are on a guided or independent hike.

Another advantage of this trail is the abundance of huts along the way, all offering basic necessities like beds, fireboxes, toilets and drinking water. You can book your hut online or at any Department of Conservation office in New Zealand.

Be aware that these huts tend to fill up quickly, so booking in advance is recommended if you plan on staying. Furthermore, the avalanche risk on this trail can be high during spring and rainy weather, so check with DOC about its current condition and potential avalanche risk before embarking.

The Greenstone Track is ideal for new trampers, as it’s user-friendly and low in avalanche danger. This makes it a great track for novices or school groups since they won’t need to climb high alpine mountains, meaning the risk of avalanche is reduced. Furthermore, this multi-day hike offers breathtaking views of New Zealand’s Fiordland region.


When planning a multi-day hiking tour, make sure you have accommodation options both at the start and end of your trek. These may range from private lodges to shared public huts or campsites; depending on budget and whether traveling as part of a group or independently.

One of New Zealand’s most beloved hiking tracks, the Milford Track, is one of its most beloved trails. This trail boasts breathtaking scenery and legendary hospitality – it’s easy to understand why!

During peak Great Walks season (November to April), tickets for the Milford Track sell out quickly, so it’s wise to reserve your spot as soon as you know when and where you plan on hiking. This is especially true if travelling with kids in tow.

In addition to DOC-operated lodges, there are also private lodges along the Milford Track operated by Ultimate Hikes that offer an upscale experience during your trek.

Bring your own bedding and cooking equipment, as well as extra clothes in case it rains during the night. Additionally, pack food, water, and cooking gear for each day of your hike.

The Milford Track is an extensive tramping trek that can take up to 3 days and 2 nights depending on your fitness level. It begins in Te Anau and concludes at Milford Sound, with the option for a cruise upon completion.

When planning your trip to New Zealand, you have two iconic hiking trails: the Milford Track or Routeburn Track. Both offer breathtaking views of peaks and waterfalls within Fiordland National Park.

If you’re in search of a more leisurely stroll, the Routeburn Track is ideal. Not as tightly controlled as the Milford Track, this trail provides plenty of chances to stop and explore along the way.