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Great Walks sell out in record time

Abel Tasman Coast Track hopefuls were left disappointed after DOC's booking system crashed. Photo: Matthew Cattin

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world. 

With Kiwi trampers still stuck in Aotearoa, the Great Walks are enjoying another bumper season.

International news outlets have picked up on the booking madness of last week, with The Florida Star reporting the Milford Track to sell out in less than an hour. 

“It is our biggest seller, and of course, there are limited spaces,” DOC’s Lizzy Sutcliffe said. “Indications show that it has sold out faster than ever before.”

Days later, technical issues on the booking website left many frustrated.

“Just a few minutes before bookings opened at 9.30 the site crashed and stayed down for over an hour,” photographer Mark Scowen told New Zealand Herald.

Scowen was hoping to secure bunks on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, but when the website resumed, his dates were no longer available.

Culling mammals for climate change

Culling invasive mammals could be a great thing for climate change, Forest and Bird reports.

The conservation group believes the culling of deer, possums, goats and pigs could allow the forest to recover enough to recycle 15 per cent of New Zealand’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Invasive mammals consume a significant amount of foliage, as well as destroying seedlings and young trees.

Read the full story on Stuff.

Mainland island sanctuary proposed near Hutt Valley

Plans to bring kākāpō to the hills above the Hutt Valley are proceeding, but not without funding, Stuff reports.

The Wellington Regional Council has proposed creating the Wainuiomata Mainland Island Sanctuary, which would encompass 3310 hectares of native bush.

If funded, the fenced sanctuary could become home for kākāpō, hihi rowi kiwi, and more.

Initial cost predictions include $13m for fencing, $2.5m for pest eradication, $1.5m for equipment, vehicles and buildings, and $7.5m for five years of operational expenditure. 

Newlywed decapitated by gate at Arches National Park

An unlatched gate has caused tragedy at Utah’s Arches National Park.

A newlywed couple was driving through the park, when wind caught a gate and swung it against the car, slicing through the cab and killing 25-year-old Esther Nakajjigo.

Husband Ludo Michaud called the accident the “worst thing I hope I will ever see.”

Nakajjigo’s family has now sued the National Park Service for the incident.

Read the full story here.

Troubleshooting your camp coffee

Outside magazine has published a handy barista’s guide to brewing coffee in the outdoors.

The guide covers the finer points of brewing with a French press, AeroPress, filter and cowboy coffee, and includes additional tips and tricks for making the perfect brew.

Read the story here.