Event: Which two will be the next Great Walks?

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

DOC Di­rec­tor Re­cre­ation Tourism and Her­itage, Jen­nie Marks says the cur­rent nine Great Walks are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar and, to meet grow­ing de­mand, Bud­get 2017 pro­vided $12.7 mil­lion to ex­pand the Great Walk net­work.

“This project is part of DOC’s work to ease vis­i­tor pres­sure at some high-use sites, fo­cussing on pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral her­itage and en­sur­ing New Zealan­ders con­tinue to en­joy their great outdoors,” says Jen­nie Marks.

“Our think­ing has evolved since the process be­gan last year when we were look­ing at two new Great Walks. Depend­ing on op­tions, we may still achieve two walks or de­cide to in­vest in only one Great Walk if it is an out­stand­ing op­tion that re­quires sig­nif­i­cant new tracks and build­ing up­grades.”

In Septem­ber last year, DOC asked the pub­lic which walks should join the Great Walks net­work. DOC re­ceived more than 30 sub­mis­sions, with 20 lo­cated in the North Is­land and 10 in the South Is­land.

These sub­mis­sions were as­sessed by a panel com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Fed­er­ated Moun­tain Clubs, New Zealand Re­cre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion, New Zealand Māori Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Tourism In­dus­try Aotearoa, as well as DOC. The panel se­lected the fol­low­ing walks to ad­vance through to the next stage:

Te Paki Coastal Walk, North­land Aotea Track, Great Bar­rier Is­land Tim­ber Trail, Waikato Tarawera Trail, Bay of Plenty Queen Char­lotte Track, Marl­bor ough Wa­iau-Toa/Molesworth, Can­ter bury Hump Ridge Track, Fiord­land.

Key con­sid­er­a­tions for any new walk in­clude op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­gage with Māori cul­ture; ac­ces­si­bil­ity for New Zealan­ders; and cost and environmental im­pacts to bring the track and fa­cil­i­ties up to the Great Walks stan­dard. Op­tions will vary in re­la­tion to the level of cost re­quired.

“Com­mu­nity sup­port is also a vi­tal part of choos­ing any new Great Walk and we’ll be en­gag­ing with com­mu­nity groups, along with lo­cal whā­nau, hapū and iwi. We’ll also talk with re­cre­ation, con­ser­va­tion and tourism sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives through this process,” says Jen­nie Marks.

DOC is cur­rently work­ing with pro­po­nents to col­lect fur­ther in­for­ma­tion to as­sess their suit­abil­ity as po­ten­tial Great Walks. An an­nounce­ment of the suc­cess­ful Great Walk or Walks will be

Photo by DOC

Above: The sand dunes on the Te Paki Coastal Walk.

Photo by DOC

Mid­dle: A bridge on the Aotea Track, Great Bar­rier Is­land.

Photo by DOC

Below: The Tim­ber Trail is pop­u­lar with cy­clists and walk­ers.

Photo by DOC

Below: An event on the Tarawera Trail, Bay of Plenty.

Photo by DOC

Above: Mag­nif­i­cent views from the Queen Char­lotte Track, in Marl­bor­ough.

Photo by DOC

Mid­dle: A track on the Wa­iau-Toa Molesworth Track in North Can­ter­bury,

Photo by DOC

Below: The Humpridge Track in South­land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.