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Hump Ridge Track set to be New Zealand’s next Great Walk

Hump Ridge Track set to be New Zealand’s next Great Walk
July 15, 2019

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation today announced their plans for developing Southland’s 61 kilometre Hump Ridge Track into the country’s next Great Walk.

New Zealand Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage noted "this will be a fantastic addition to New Zealand’s Great Walks network. The Track provides access to a spectacular southern coastline and forests, dramatic alpine tops and historic viaducts. Hump Ridge offers the walker remote and unforgettable beauty and history.

“This is a significant investment in Southland tourism and the Tuatapere community. Great Walk status can draw more visitors to this beautiful part of the country.

“Great Walks showcase some of the best parts of our country and are a great way to enable more people to enjoy and be inspired by nature to help protect it.”

“The Department of Conservation will now work with the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Trust to bring the walk up to Great Walk standard and change it from a current two-night walk to a three-night experience. Approximately $5 million of funding is dedicated to the upgrade.”

Today saw Minister Sage sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Trust to progress this work that will see the new Great Walk  open in late 2022 after the track upgrades are complete.

Hump Ridge Track is one of three finalist walks (the other two being Te Paki Coastal Track and Queen Charlotte Track) identified through DOC’s search for potential Great Walks, which began in 2017 with a call for public nominations.

Minister Sage went on to state “I would like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the proponents for all three tracks.

“DOC will also continue its work in the far north to progress plans for what is currently Te Paki Coastal Track, becoming a Great Walk.

“Te Paki Coastal Track showcases a highly significant part of Aotearoa. 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,” she concluded.

Image of Hump Ridge Track courtesy of NZ Department of Conservation

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