Thirty tracks proposed for Great Walk status

Wairere Falls in the Bay of Plenty is one of 30 proposed trails for Great Walks status. Image: C. Rodliffe

PRESS RELEASE: Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has had a wide response to its call for initial submissions for potential new Great Walks, with 30 tracks from across the country proposed.

“We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to put together a submission. We received an extensive geographical spread of ideas, with 20 walks located in the North Island and 10 in the South Island,” says DOC’s Director of Tourism, Recreation and Heritage Gavin Walker.

“Our existing Great Walks are some of New Zealand’s most popular and well-known visitor experiences. They are a fantastic way to connect with our remarkable natural environments.”

“With the increase in New Zealand’s population and rise in international visitor numbers, combined with more people seeking out stunning experiences in nature, some walks are reaching capacity at peak times. Through this public process we are exploring opportunities to expand the network in places where there is local support and showcase other beautiful but lesser-visited parts of the country. We also want to give New Zealanders Great Walks options closer to home and at quieter times of the year,” says Gavin Walker.

A panel comprising representatives from our partners Federated Mountain Clubs, New Zealand Recreation Association, New Zealand Māori Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, as well as DOC, assessed all proposals in December. These organisations brought a range of knowledge and perspectives to the discussion which was informed by objective analysis of the proposals against the selection criteria (provided by consultants).

The panel has identified a number of walks that require further investigation and analysis. We are currently working with the new Minister of Conservation to confirm the approach to the next phase, and the timing of further decisions. Once this has been done we will be able to provide the next steps and which walks will be considered further. The Department is also working to keep those who submitted initial proposals updated on progress.

“The intention now is to undertake more analysis into the feasibility of those walks still under consideration. These need to rate highly against our selection criteria and offer New Zealand the greatest benefits from being including in the Great Walk network,” says Gavin Walker.

Walks submitted in initial proposals:

Walk Region
Hillary Trail Auckland
Aotea Track Auckland
Kaimai Ridgeway Bay of Plenty/Waikato
Tarawera Trail Bay of Plenty
St James Walkway Canterbury/West Coast
Lake Coleridge to Lake Kaniere (Pounamu Trail) Canterbury/West Coast
Akaroa (Christchurch to Akaroa) Canterbury
Ruapehu (Round the Mountain) Central North Island
Kaimanawa / Central Plateau Walkway Central North Island
Tongariro to Turangi to Taupo (T3) Central North Island
Coromandel Forest Walk Coromandel
Coromandel Coast Walk Coromandel
North Western Ruahines Manawatu
Queen Charlotte Track Marlborough
Waiau-toa/Molesworth Marlborough/Canterbury
Oke Bay to Cape Brett Northland
Te Paki Coastal Walk Northland
Kauri Coast Track Northland
Greenstone/Caples Track Otago
Rees-Dart Circuit Otago
Hump Ridge Track Southland
Rahotu Track Southland
Pouakai Circuit Taranaki
Taranaki Crossing Taranaki
Wairere Falls Waikato
Timber Trail Waikato
Tararua Range (Holdsworth to Kaitoke) Wairarapa
Tararua Range (Waiohine to Waingawa) Wairarapa
Tararua Range (Mt Bruce to Kaitoke) Wairarapa
Old Ghost Road West Coast
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