The Great Walks - Aoraki Mt Cook
Two ‘‘spectacular’’ Aoraki/Mt Cook walking tracks are in a new group of Great Walks in New Zealand that will be officially launched in October.
Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry have announced the Great Short and Great Day Walks, an extension of the Great Walks brand.
Tasman Glacier View, Mt Cook is now a Great Short Walk. Such walks take from 30 minutes to three hours to walk.
The Hooker Valley is now a Great Day Walk. Such walks take from four to six hours to complete.
Department of Conservation tourism manager Tinaka Mearns said the Hooker Valley and Tasman Glacier View were ‘‘special places in New Zealand’’. .
DOC and Tourism New Zealand surveyed more than 6000 international and domestic tourists to track what their expectations of a ‘‘great walk’’ was.
People wanted something that was ‘‘not too far to walk to’’ that also had ‘‘spectacular scenery’’, she said.
Tasman Glacier Walk and Hooker Valley met both those expectations.
She hoped the new brand would encourage more people to visit the outdoors.
Bennett said the inclusion was a chance to draw more tourists ‘‘off the beaten track and enable more communities to benefit from tourism’’.
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said the two tracks deserved their place in the new Great Walks network.
‘‘Seeing icebergs floating in the Tasman Glacier lake during summer or the lake frozen over in winter is truly a sight to behold and well worth the short stroll.
‘‘The Hooker Valley Track is also incredibly popular for those keen to stretch their legs over a few hours, with breathtaking
‘‘Seeing icebergs floating in the Tasman Glacier lake during summer or the lake frozen over in winter is truly a sight to behold and well worth the short stroll.’’ Jacqui Dean
views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, the Hooker Valley and the Southern Alps.’’
She said ‘‘it was not hard to see why these two walks were included – they are real draw cards for international visitors and New Zealanders alike who want to connect with nature and experience our natural landscapes’’.
Lake Tasman and the Tasman Glacier, with Aoraki/Mt Cook in the background. The glacier walks will be classified as a Great Short Walk.