Back of a woman with a cap in the woods

We reckon that the most wonderful energy is human energy, that’s why we’re encouraging and rewarding our customers for getting out and about and exploring our beautiful country. What better way to take in all the gorgeous sights and sounds NZ has to offer than by going on a good old-fashioned walk? 
With step challenges available on the Mercury App, you can win wonderful prizes and boost your points balance just by exploring your local neighbourhood, or by going on a grand adventure. Completing step challenges is the best way to fast-track earning rewards like Free Power Days and bill credits to spend on your Mercury bill!  

Needing some hiking inspo? We’ve got you covered! Here are some of the Mercury team’s favourite NZ Walks. 

Auckland is a massive city, so it’s no surprise that it's jam-packed with quality walks across a multitude of terrains. With hundreds of parks and beaches scattered around the various suburbs that make up this sprawling metropolis, there’s always somewhere new to explore! If you’re looking for the perfect day trip, or some picturesque locations to smash out those step challenges, some of our team’s personal faves include the gorgeous Te Henga Walkway, the iconic Rangitoto Island tracks, Duder Regional Park, or the Hibiscus Coast’s Shakespeare Regional Park.  

If you’re looking to get out of the city or suburbia, the mighty Waikato is a cornucopia of natural beauty and stunning vistas! Whether you’re a hiker, runner or cyclist who wants to chart the course of one of NZ’s most iconic rivers, our friends over at the Waikato River Trails have something for everybody. Wild about wildlife? Maungatautari’s Sanctuary Mountain is not only one of the country’s oldest ecological reserves but is chock full of exciting hikes and guided tours designed to educate visitors about some of our country’s most endangered species. From ancient Tuataras through to feathered icons like the North Island Kaka and Kiwi, this mystical mountaintop is a nature-lover’s paradise. 

An unmatched geological wonderland, Rotorua is regarded as one of NZ’s most iconic tourist destinations for a reason! As anyone who has visited Rotorua knows, the region is filled with exciting outdoor activities and locations of interest, just waiting to be explored. Some of our favourite spots to get our step-count up include the rugged yet beautiful Mt Kakaramea (Rainbow Mountain) summit track, which rewards walkers with spectacular 360° views of untamed native bush and countryside, and the spectacular Redwoods Treewalk where walkers can admire the 75m redwood giants from suspended bridges and platforms, high above the forest floor! 

#LoveTaupo? We sure do! Blanketed with natural wonders, the picturesque town of Taupo boasts the perfect backdrop for any hiking adventure. From the ancient forests and thundering torrent of the Huka Falls through to the otherworldly calderas and geysers of the Craters of The Moon, you’re surrounded by history and beauty wherever you go. BONUS: If you’re finding our step challenges too easy, and you really feel like pushing yourself to the limit, you’re in luck – Taupo is also the hometown of New Zealand’s annual IRONMAN triathlon, the ultimate test of grit and endurance. Find out how you can register to race today! 

The Windy City is as beautiful as it is blustery, and as the old saying goes; “you can’t beat Wellington on a good day!”. For a pleasant and easy walk to rack up those steps, we recommend strolling through the city’s iconic Botanic Gardens – with 25 hectares of charming plant life and 150 years’ worth of history, most Wellington natives would agree that the Gardens are definitely a day well spent.  For those wanting a bit more of a challenge, the Ahumairangi Loop offers a tough but rewarding experience with all your hard work being capped off with a sweeping panorama of the harbour and heart of the city – trust us when we say it’s worth it! 

Nelson Tasman 
The Nelson Tasman region is almost as famous for its wonderful walks as it is for its glorious sunshine. Home of the famed Abel Tasman Coastal Track, walkers can bask in the wonders of glistening beaches and prehistoric forests, the sights of which would rival any postcard. A mammoth walk that can take between 3-5 days to complete the whole track, ticking up those points in the Mercury App – they’ll be yours in no time! Fancy more of a casual stroll? No worries – we recommend exploring the crystal clear Te Waikoropupū Springs loop, or immersing yourself in the calls of native bird-life as you make way through the Wainui Falls Track.  

Rugged and beautiful, the alpine plains and icy glaciers of Fiordland are home to some of the New Zealand’s last truly wild landscapes. Famed for being a key filming location in the original Lord of the Rings movies, and home of the mythical Fiordland Moose, the region is also home to three of our country’s Great Walks. Averaging between 3-5 days to fully complete, the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler Tracks are quite simply breath-taking, with some of the most awe-inspiring views that our slice of Middle-Earth has to offer. If hiking is your idea of fun, we can’t recommend these tracks enough – just make sure to come prepared! 

The Garden City is full of beautiful places to stop and smell the roses. Literally. Unashamedly, one of our favourite places to visit in Christchurch is the city’s quintessential tourist hotspot, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. A gorgeous spot for simply taking a break from the hustle and bustle of life, you’ll find your step count quickly rising as you gently meander through the garden’s seasonal delights. For those wishing to venture out of the city and experience something a bit more remote, our team greatly enjoyed the Harry Ell Walkway, which offered stunning views of the Southern Alps, and the local favourite, the Old Halswell Quarry Loop, which was perfect for walkers of all levels and ages. 

Where’s your favourite place to step-out and explore? Head to our Facebook page and let us know by in the comment section. 

There are loads of wonderful ways you can get rewarded with us, wonderful human energy is just one of them – find out more at www.mercury.co.nz/rewards