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30 contenders for next Great Walks

The proposed Great Walks span the length of the country

DOC has released a list of 30 options for the next two Great Walks it plans to build by 2021.

In total, 20 of the proposed walks are in the North Island and 10 in the South Island. The proposed walks include the Te Paki Coastal Walk at Cape Reinga, the Hillary Trail in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges, Coromandel Forest Walk, the Kaimai North South Track, and tracks  in Taranaki, the Tararua Ranges and Akaroa. Popular Glenorchy tracks the Greenstone Caples and Rees-Dart have also been proposed.

DOC director of tourism, recreation and heritage Gavin Walker said the Great Walks network was reaching capacity and more options were needed.

“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,” Walker said. “We also want to give New Zealanders Great Walks options closer to home and at quieter times of the year.”

A panel including Federated Mountain Clubs, New Zealand Recreation Association, NZ Maori Tourism, Tourism NZ, Air New Zealand and Tourism Industry Aotearoa planned to whittle the proposals down to a shortlist of about 12 options, which would be consulted with iwi. The shortlist would be released later this year.

In its call for proposals, DOC said North Island walks would be given preference and the new walks had to be upgrades to existing trails, not entirely new tracks.

The department has $12.7 million to develop the walks.

Walks submitted in initial proposals:

Track Location
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