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June 2022 Issue
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Spades hit the ground for Hump Ridge Track upgrade

A rough section of Southland’s Hump Ridge Track is getting a makeover as work begins on turning the three-day hike into New Zealand’s 11th Great Walk.

Work on the 1.5km section of track from Edwin Burn Viaduct towards Okaka Lodge began in late April. It was estimated to take about a month, said Aaron Fleming, DOC’s Southern South Island director.

That section was prioritised as it was in very poor condition, while improvements to the rest of the Hump Ridge were in the tender process, Fleming said.

“We hope to have contractors on-site in spring 2022 undertaking work on the other sections of the track, specifically the climb to, and descent from, Okaka Lodge.”

The track will remain open during construction.

Plans to turn Hump Ridge Track into a Great Walk were announced in 2019.

It is hoped the upgrade, which includes easing gradients, installing boardwalks and future-proofing sections of the track against climate change and natural hazards, will be completed in time for the 2023/24 walking season.

Hump Ridge Track opened in November 2001 and is managed by a charitable trust.