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March 2018 Issue
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Not so ‘great’ walks

The Hooker Valley Track is among the short walks promoted in the campaign. Photo: Andrea Schaffer/Creative Commons
DOC has removed the ‘Great’ branding from its promotion of a series of shorter walks which were launched last year. Last September, in the midst of the election campaign, the government announced the new series of ‘Great Walks’, including 14 short walks and five day walks. The then Tourism Minister Paula Bennett said the walks would be an expansion of the Great Walks brand, aimed at attracting tourists into the regions. However, the ‘Great’ branding has since been dropped from the promotion. The 14 walks, promoted in collaboration with Tourism NZ, are now called ‘Short Walks and Day Hikes’. A DOC spokesperson said the name change was to avoid confusion. “Informed by extensive research, the Short Walks and Day Hikes were developed, in part, to help people easily identify the walks they most want to do – hence these straightforward titles,” the spokesperson said. “These walks are similar to the Great Walks in that they are networks or groups of our highly recommended tracks for each category.” The Short Walks and Day Hikes include the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Cathedral Cove Walk on the Coromandel Peninsula, the Fox Glacier Valley Walk and the Hooker Valley Track in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.