New Zealand Walks: Get a taste of the Pa­paroa Track and Pike 29 Me­mo­rial Track

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion

New Zealand’s new­est Great Walk is due to open in 2019 but for those sali­vat­ing over the idea of a shared-use hik­ing and moun­tain bik­ing track across the South Is­land’s Pa­paroa Range, here’s a net­work of nearby ex­ist­ing tracks to ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Pa­paroa Track, Pike29 Me­mo­rial Track and two new huts be­tween Grey­mouth and Pu­nakaiki are cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

Once com­plete, these tracks will take walk­ers and cy­clists through the Pa­paroa Na­tional Park and some of the West Coast’s most stun­ning scenery and bush. It’s a place where ker­erū swoop low over­head in ver­dant forests and the ex­posed moun­tain tops are rugged and change­able.

To get a taste of what’s to come, check out the Croe­sus Track, an his­toric pack track that winds its way through mixed beech and podocarp for­est past rem­nants of gold min­ing’s early days in the area.

The Croe­sus Track, from the Smokeho carpark near Black­ball, to the Ces

Clark Hut on the tops will be­come the first leg of the new Great Walk but it’s al­ready an ideal track for begin­ner tram­pers, fam­i­lies and in­ter­me­di­ate to ad­vanced moun­tain bik­ers, and can be done as a day trip or overnight.

Ces Clark Hut*, with com­mand­ing views across the tus­sock-cov­ered tops, is one of the best places on the Coast to watch the sun­set! It’s a sunny, 16-bunk ser­viced hut that’s a des­ti­na­tion in and of it­self.

There are sev­eral op­tions for more ex­pe­ri­enced tram­pers to ex­tend their Croe­sus trip. From Ces Clark, fol­low a poled route along the tops to a branch track that heads down­hill to­ward Bar­ry­town through coastal for­est and nikau palms.

Al­ter­na­tively, start your tramp up Moon­light Creek near Ata­rau. The re­ward for this longer jour­ney is more time on the tops!

If tran­quil wa­ter and tow­er­ing lime­stone cliffs are more your flavour, head to Pu­nakaiki’s Poro­rari River Track for a re­lax­ing river­side stroll through sub-trop­i­cal for­est. This is a short, walk­ing-only track that can be made into a half-day loop trip by car­ry­ing on along the In­land Pack Track to the nearby Pu­nakaiki River val­ley. Both these tracks will be in­cor­po­rated into the fi­nal sec­tion of the new Great Walk.

The new Pa­paroa and Pike29 Me­mo­rial Tracks will soon link these ex­ist­ing tracks to cre­ate an out­stand­ing net­work of recre­ation op­tions on the Coast. In the mean­time, come and check them out!

Above left: Creek along Croe­sus Track. Photo by Bap­tiste Maryns Be­low left: Tramp­ing the Moon­light Tops. Photo by Neil Sil­ver­wood

Above right: Poro­rari River. Photo: Photo by Tom Hop­kins Mid­dle left: Open tops be­tween Moon­light Tops Hut and Poro­rari Hut. Photo by Ste­wart Nimmo Be­low left: Ces Clark Hut. Photo by Neil Sil­ver­wood

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.