For today’s edition, we want to share with you 6 different must-do trails. They are all quite challenging but extremely rewarding. So, if you are a hiking lover like us, then that’s the perfect article for you.
We’ve been doing a lot of trails since we started traveling, as a solo travelers or together, but in this Gazette, we will talk only about our favourites with you.
Hiking is such an incredible experience, where you overcome your limits while taking the most scenic routes. Hikes take, both literally and metaphorically, your breath away and leave you with unforgettable memories.
Like Jack Kerouak once said : “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent in an office or mowing your lawn. Climb that damn mountain“.
So let’s tackle it, shall we ?
↠ Craddle Mountain, Tasmania – Australia
For my first big trail, I’ve decided to set the bar pretty high by doing the first part of the Overland Track. The Overland Track is an 80 km bushwalking track, traversing the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage Site. It takes about 7 days to achieve it.
The part I’ve done was “only” covering 16 of the 80 km of this trail, which was more like climbing at times. But once I raised the summit, I could witness the most wonderful view of the St Clair Lake, the largest and deepest lake in Australia.
As far as the eye can see, I was able to admire numerous other wild lakes and gorges, scattered into the vast green forests. This view stole my heart.
Not surprising that this trail has been classified in the “Top 10 of the most wonderful hiking trails in the world”, alongside the Great Himalaya Trail or the Machu Picchu Trail.
↠ Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island – New Zealand
The Tongariro National Park is located in the North Island of New Zealand, near the city of Taupo. If you are a Lord of the Rings fans (like most of the people traveling in New Zealand), you’ve got to go to this trail and walk in the footsteps of Frodo and Sam. Indeed, the Tongariro Mount is also known as the legendary Mordor – The mountain of fate, by all the Lord of the Rings lovers.
But above that, this beautiful 20 km trail of volcanic land is famous for its Emerald Lakes as well. Their brilliant colors are partly caused by dissolved minerals, washed down from the thermal area of nearby Red Crater. I’ve never seen anything like this before.
The way down is as challenging as the way up, you must be prepared with a good pair of hiking shoes.
↠ Abel Tasman National Park, South Island – New Zealand
Another treasure of New Zealand, this time located at the northern tip of the South Island : The gorgeous Abel Tasman National Park. This national park is a pure gem of the South Island, representing accurately the beauty of this country.
We left at dawn for a 28 km trail, winding over spectacular beaches, waterfalls and a lush forest. We started this trail with the sunrise and ended it up with the sun setting on the Tasman Sea, offering us one last colorful show.
On your way, you can discover a teaser of New Zealand’s impressive variety of vegetation and birds. A pleasure for the eyes, but for the ears as well. One of the most emblematic tree you will find along your trail, it’s New Zealand’s own version of a palm tree, that has ferns as leaves. The variety of scenery will leave you speechless.
New Zealand has such a fragile and unique ecosystem, which makes hiking through this national park quite magical, like if you were in the middle of a fairyland.
↠ Lac Blanc, Chamonix – France
This one takes place in a completely different environment. Welcome to the French Alps, in the beautiful Alpine city of Chamonix. The possibilities of trails are countless over there.
But here is one of the most popular among the hikers of the region : the Lac Blanc trail, from the Col des Montets.
Let us first warn you, it’s a difficult trail. It takes 4 to 5 hours (way return). We recommend you to go there from June to October included. After, the access to the lake can be impossible due to the weather conditions.
Despite the challenge that this hike can be, you will be rewarded when you arrived at the Lac Blanc (White Lake). Its clear water comes straight from the glaciers. It’s a preserved natural reserve offering a panoramic and stunning view over the Mont-Blanc range. That’s one of those views that instantly lifts your spirit.
Related article about Chamonix : Chamonix, the Pearl of the French Alps.
↠ Waimea Canyon, Kauai Island – Hawaii
Kauai Island is definitely the paradise for hikers. It’s the guarantee of sensations and unique scenery. But hiking ain’t a joke over there. Indeed it’s pretty epic and challenging, but the beauty of nature makes it so worth it.
The Waimea Canyon is a must when you are exploring Kauai Island. It’s also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. This incredible place is full of challenging hikes but also short walks to lookout points with the most breathtaking views.
I went for one through the Kalalau Valley. This valley and surrounding coast have served as the backdrop for countless films including King Kong (the original), Jurassic Park, or also Six Days Seven Nights. In this trail, it feels like you are touching heaven with your fingertips. It was an impressive trail, along the majestic and typical mountains of Hawaii.
This place is surreal, that’s no coincidence that it’s been the shooting place of so many movies.
↠ Hanakapiai Falls Trail, Kauai Island – Hawaii
Hanakapiai Falls Trail is one of the most popular hikes on Kauai. Located on the north shore, this 13 km trail (way return), leads you towards Hanakpiai Beach, before heading to the booming 90 meters high Hankapiai Waterfall, in the depths of the jungle.
Slippery mud, boulders and tree roots are just a few of the obstacles you will encounter on the winding path that switches back and forth as it leads you along the Na Pali Coast.
Before the arrival on the beach, the red rock path contrasts dramatically with the striking blue of the Pacific Ocean far below. When you add the vivid greens from the jungle and the deep blue sky into this picture, you got yourself the best reward a hiker can have : A spectacular frame of nature’s masterpiece.
And you, what would be your favourite trail ?
Thanks a lot for reading today’s article, hoping you had a good time.
See you next Monday, for a new Wanderers Gazette.