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Katie KesselExplorer

An avid hiker and backpacker who most recently lived in Melbourne, Australia for four years and completed the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019.

This was definitely a highlight of my trip to the south island last summer. The walk itself was stunning and the glacier was breathtaking. If you're using a rental and wary of taking it along the long gravel road, there are places in town that rent 4x4s specifically for this trip.



Since it was the Great Walks season and most huts were booked we stayed at Brod Bay and Iris Burn campsites - a long middle day but some amazing views and incredible ridge hiking! Would have loved to stay at Luxmore but unfortunately it was booked out (and we had to keep going right away since some lightning storms were threatening the ridge later that day). It looked like a great spot to stay. All of the rangers we met along the way were extremely helpful (I believe they're only there during Great Walks season). Definitely an awesome walk - if you have time Te Anau is a great spot to stay and refuel before/after your hike as well!

This hike is definitely going to rest your legs but was well worth all the uphill! Definitely recommend - you get amazing views the whole way up!

This was such an amazing hike with so many picturesque spots to stop and soak in the mountains, especially in the last 10 kms of the Hike. Definitely make sure to pick a good time to go on the hike - if it’s raining there are lots of land slip areas along the way that have a higher risk of slipping further in the rain. The swing bridges along the way are super fun and take you across a few areas of the trail fairly high up! If you really want to treat yourself at the hut, the Sierra Room is a separate area in the hut for up to four people (3 single, one double bed) with its own shower, stove and kitchenette set apart from the hut. Beautiful hike overall and was a great introduction to overnights in NZ!

This is a great short walk with some beautiful views of the water and mountains around the area. I walked here in the winter, but looks like it would be a great place to swim during the summer. Definitely a place to check out if you're in Wanaka

This was a great hike and a fantastic way to spend a day in Queenstown. The views were spectacular as soon as you reached above the bush line. I definitely recommend crampons even as you approach the saddle as there was lots of ice and slippery snow when I was up there! You can also start from the west of Queenstown of the roundabout where Lake Esplanade turns into Fernhill Road. This portion of the track takes you through the forest and along a river where you can see some waterfalls, though it adds some kms if you're starting from Queenstown.

If you're in the Margaret River area I definitely recommend stopping in! The waves are tame so it's easy to wade in and see the Rays that swim right up to you. The beach itself is also stunning - you can take a small cliff side walk if you look for some wooden stairs to the right of the boat ramp (looking up from the beach). The lookout also looks over at the neighboring beach, which is a bit more secluded.

A beautiful, wild hike with so much variation and stunning views. Definitely at least head in for the day if you're in the area!

This view is just as amazing as the pictures - we ended up spending over an hour just taking it in.

Great views of the Grampians at several different sections of the trail as well as a great opportunity to scramble.

Between the white sand and cliffside lookouts, this walk is well maintained and offers amazing views.

The beach at Gunnamatta can be busy, but there weren't any people on the walk, which had amazing cliffside views.

If you find yourself on Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase, especially Cape du Couedic, is a must see! Stunning natural beauty and it's amazing to watch the seals!

For a short hike, you climb fairly quickly and get to see some great views. Lots of kangaroos as well in the second section.

Such an amazing place to visit and not far away from Hobart.

Between the beachside camping areas, abundant wildlife, and stunning mountaintop views, this park had it all!

This hike has everything and, being so close to the city, is so accessible. This is also my favourite park in Victoria, with all its different landscapes and stunning views.

The views are amazing and the walk secluded for a place right outside the city.

A great spot for a two-day adventure with so many places to enjoy the views from the mountains

Since the first day is scrambling on the ridgeline, the views are unreal.

A great place to head to in the summer to cool off! The water is always clear and refreshing, but is definitely cold so bring a towel to dry off afterwards.

We canoed in and camped overnight - it's a great spot that was quiet when we were there! The campsite has a few pads you can pitch your tent in, but a large lawn you can use as well. Definitely need to be wary of the tide - we had to lift the canoe a few times on the way in for certain stretches. The swimming hole is beautiful and a great place to relax at the end of the hike, especially on a summer day!

We went a a few years back and rented a kayak right on the water then headed out. I would recommend spending a few hours out there - we only rented for an hour and had to turn back before we wanted to! We hugged the side of the cove to the left, taking a look some of the extremely nice houses that are along the water there, but further along you can work yourself into more forested areas. Afterwards, spend some time in Deep Cove while you're out there as well - they have some great spots for food (and desert - try out Honey's Doughnuts they're delicious!).

Grouse has amazing views of Vancouver, and is definitely worth a visit any time if the year if you visit the city. Though the mountain can get quite busy (if you can, try to go mid-week), there's so much to do outside snowshoeing, including ice skating, skiing/snowboarding, food in and out of the chalet (Beavertails!) and Theatre in the Sky. Take a look at all the activities they have going on on their website www.grousemountain.com to make a day out of it!