Construction of the next Great Walk is underway in Paparoa National Park and is expected to open in April 2019.
The $10 million, 55km Paparoa Track goes from Blackball to Punakaiki on the West Coast. It includes 15km of existing track and about 50km of new track. This will include the Pike29 Memorial Track, which will be a 9km side trip to the Pike River Mine.
Two 20-bunk huts are being built on the track – the Moonlight Tops and Pororari huts. Work on the huts is due to start this month [September], but the huts will be used by contractors until the trail is opened.
It is the first Great Walk to be purpose-built as a dual mountain biking and walking track and it will be the only one to have year-round shared use.
The walk will be two to three days hiking and one to two days mountain biking.
View a gallery of images below, showing some of the track highlights and construction progress.