New Zealand Walks for Wimps: Knuckle Hill Track and Kaihoka Lakes

The panorama from the top of Knuckle hill is incredible; from 342 metres above sea level you can see most of Whanganui Inlet, and in the other direction nothing but trees. The drive to get here isn’t too shabby either. The road winds around the inlet, crossing streams and small bays. At low tide it is stunning with tiny channels snaking their way through the mud flats and seaweed and the late afternoon light giving it all a silvery glow.

New Zealand Walks for Wimps: Hooker Valley Track

The Hooker Valley Track in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is one of New Zealand’s most popular, and I can see why. Winding between towering mountain peaks covered in snow, the track is easy, relatively flat, and well-maintained. Only taking a few hours, it’s one of the easiest ways to get to the spectacular alpine views New Zealand is famous for. No strenuous uphill hike, no climbing, no helicopters needed.

New Zealand Walks for Wimps: Big Totara Walk

I followed the short loop track along a boardwalk, between trees hung with moss and jungle-like ferns, the sunlight from above barely visible, the green of it all barely penetrating the dark mood the forest creates. And then, finally, I reached the Tōtaras. The trees towered above me, their hulking bodies dwarfing my existence, making me think of all the changes they must have witnessed in New Zealand over the past millennium.

New Zealand Walks for Wimps: Horseshoe Point Track

It was pretty hard to get up. Why would I even want to? Sitting on the pure white sand with my legs stretched out before me, facing the ultra-clear blue water of Dead Man Beach and basking in the warm sunshine, I was very content.. Why move? But I had to, because as glorious as that was, I still had a walk to finish by the end of the day, and I had no idea how much further I needed to go.