Culture

New Zealand’s South Island Is Getting A Glam New Great Walk

New Zealand is famous for a lot of things: Lord of the Rings, Jacinda Ardern, the accent, and its Great Walks. Ten magnificent hiking trails scattered across the country’s most gorgeous and iconic destinations — soon to be eleven.

Hump Ridge Track in Tuatapere is set to become the newest Great Walk. It will receive NZ$5 million (AU$4.79 million) in funding to be upgraded to Great Walk standard, and will change from a two-night walk to a three-night experience.

Hump Ride Track is a 61km hiking trail on the South Island. It crosses through Fiordland National Park, ancient and regenerated forest, Maori land and along deserted coastlines. The upgrades are expected to finish in 2022.

 

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“The Track provides access to a spectacular southern coastline and forests, dramatic alpine tops and historic viaducts,” said New Zealand’s Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Hump Ridge offers the walker remote and unforgettable beauty and history.”

For a track to be named a Great Walk, it needs to be one of New Zealand’s best trails, a premium multi-day hiking experience that shows off the best of the region. Other Great Walks include the famous Kepler Track, Milford Track and Lake Waikaremoana Track.

The Department of Conservation also announced that it’s progressing plans to upgrade the Te Paki Coastal Track into a Great Walk, and is working closely with the traditional owners of the land.

“The cultural value attributed to some iconic locations along the track would arguably exceed those found across other major tracks in New Zealand. It is clear, however, that this experience can only be truly ‘great’ if it is founded on a strong and meaningful partnership with iwi and is looked at as part of a considered and strategic vision for sustainable tourism development in the region,” Sage said.

(Lead image: Graeme Murray)