New Zealand is gifted with some of the most awe inspiring and trampable scenery in the world.

However, it's still a couple of months before New Zealand's Great Walks open in earnest.

When the hiking season begins and brings with it the inevitable tailback of trampers from base to tip of the Tongariro crossing, you might find your mind wandering in search of new routes to conquer.

If you're a hiker, looking to step out into new territory, you're in luck.

Advertisement

Writers for The Lonely Planet have compiled a list of their 50 favourite routes less travelled.

Chosen for their character and unique settings, the tracks are a collection of inspiring hikes from around the world.

Ackers point: Head straight to Stewart Island and the Rakiura Track. Photo / Getty
Ackers point: Head straight to Stewart Island and the Rakiura Track. Photo / Getty

The Epic Hikes of the World is a book that encompasses routes for both weekend wanderers, such as Scotland's 10 mile Ring of Steall, and hardened pilgrims, such as California's 215-mile John Muir trail.

While New Zealand's great nine are not overlooked, the Lonely Planet skips Milford and heads straight to Stewart Island's Rakiura Track. For their guides the stunning scenery is only heightened by the chance of seeing the elusive Stewart Island's kiwis.

If you're looking for the nocturnal birds, the guide recommends joining an over-night tour "wait until dusk then head for Ocean Beach in the Glory Cove Scenic Reserve."

Here's a sneak peak of the books most jaw-dropping routes:

Elves and Arctic energy: Iceland's colorful Landmannalaugar. Photo / Getty
Elves and Arctic energy: Iceland's colorful Landmannalaugar. Photo / Getty
Berber culture: Morocco's Mount Toubkal is an ancient African track. Photo / Getty
Berber culture: Morocco's Mount Toubkal is an ancient African track. Photo / Getty

Mount Toubkal, Morocco

45 mile hike into Africa's Atlas mountains, this ancient track provides a unique "insight into local Berber culture." Two day hike will take you to the top and back of Mt Toubkal's 14000 ft peak.

Australia at its most diverse: Victoria's Great South West Walk. Photo / Getty
Australia at its most diverse: Victoria's Great South West Walk. Photo / Getty

The Great South West Walk, Australia

155 miles circular track from Portland, this fourteen-day hike shows Australia at its most diverse. Walking through Victoria's "lush landscapes of forest, river, beach and bush," hikers will be spoiled for choice. Highlights include Swan Lake's giant dunes and the Petrified Forest of rock trees.

Advertisement
Choquequirao: South America for the romantic tramper. Photo / Getty
Choquequirao: South America for the romantic tramper. Photo / Getty

The Choquequirao trail, Peru

This 28 mile hike is the romantic's ultimate South American adventure. Cutting through a lost landscape of jungle and mountainous rope bridges, you discover your own lost city - a "citadel so far up in the Andes of Peru that archaeologists have only freed about 30 per cent of it from the jungle."

It's not far - but worlds apart - from the nearby Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Angel's Landing: This must for thrillseekers is only two hours from Las Vegas. Photo / Getty
Angel's Landing: This must for thrillseekers is only two hours from Las Vegas. Photo / Getty

Angel's Landing, Utah

From Zion's red rock gorge "views are spectacular, with rust-red mesas and buttes towering above a stippling of cottonwood trees, junipers and pinyon pines below that seem almost thirst quenchingly green in the arid surroundings." The Landing's exposed rock ridge is a must for thrill seekers. All within two hour's drive of Las Vegas and the other red stone national parks.

Terraced rice fields: The Kalinga villages are in some of the Philippines' most remote valleys. Photo / Getty
Terraced rice fields: The Kalinga villages are in some of the Philippines' most remote valleys. Photo / Getty

Kalinga villages, Philippines

Walking along Kalinga's terraced rice fields and its "villages of rickety wooden homes, wandering pot-bellied pigs, chickens and laughing children," you'll become part of the Philippian' landscape. These remote villages can be reached by a two-day trek from Tinglayan. Hopefully you will not encounter any headhunters, who were in the area as recently as the 1960s.

Nerves and legs of steel: Mount Kinabalu is Borneo's holy granite mountain. Photo / Getty
Nerves and legs of steel: Mount Kinabalu is Borneo's holy granite mountain. Photo / Getty

Mt Kinabalu, Borneo

Scaling one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia, the Lonely Planet includes Mt Kinabalu as one of its epic walks. "Incorporating tangled jungle, granite ridges and barren plateaux, traversing Borneo's highest and holiest mountain is a task that requires nerves - and legs - of steel."

Though a relatively short climb covers only five miles as the Indonesian crow flies, it's an extremely steep ascent. Best attempted between February and April, the book recommends packing many base layers for cold weather on top.

As close to nature as you'll want to get: A walking safari in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Photo / Getty
As close to nature as you'll want to get: A walking safari in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Photo / Getty

Zambian walking safari

Walking with the great beasts of Africa promises "electrifying encounters with elephants, lions and buffalo - and facetime with countless smaller species." With treks of under eight miles a day through the Zambian savanna is sure to be as close to nature as you'll ever want to get.

Lamington National Park is home to over 1200 indigenous species of flora and fauna. Photo / Getty
Lamington National Park is home to over 1200 indigenous species of flora and fauna. Photo / Getty

The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Australia

Linking two of Australia's national parks, the 34-mile walk links "dense rainforest, airy eucalyptus and even grasslands." You're sure to get your fill of waterfalls and ancient rainforests on this three-day hike. On your journey between Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park, the Lonely Planet expects you'll encounter over 1260 species of plants and animals.

Africa's great trophy: Mount Kilimanjaro from the Marangu Route. Photo / Getty
Africa's great trophy: Mount Kilimanjaro from the Marangu Route. Photo / Getty

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of Africa's great trophies, "rising isolated and enormous from the Tanzanian plains" the snow-capped giant is the continent's tallest mountain. From the Machame Gate to the Mweka Gate is a journey of 37 miles. It takes about a week to complete and the Lonely Planet advises is best tackled from June through October.