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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: [table]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[/table]