The Department of Conservation are looking to transform two existing New Zealand tramps into Great Walks. “Our Great Walks are world-famous,” says DOC’s Tourism Manager Tinaka Mearns. “By developing two new walks we want to showcase the best of New Zealand, and to support communities to benefit from the increased visitation these walks bring.”
As part of the decision process, DOC are welcoming input from iwi and local communities. “We’re just under half way through the period for submitting initial proposals,” Mearns says. “So far, we have received 24 full and partial submissions, and we’re keen to hear from anyone else who feels their walk should be included.”
To qualify for consideration, suggested walks must offer a multi-day walking experience that provides the extraordinary views and landscapes New Zealand’s current Great Walks are known for. With most Great Walks located in the South Island, DOC hopes to locate one of the new tracks in the North Island. This will enable easier access as well as the potential to use the track year-round due to weather consistency.
The addition of two Great Walks will bring the total amount to 12. DOC are taking proposals until November 30, a media release reads. A panel will consider the suggestions and a decision is expected to be made by July next year. “Working with New Zealanders, through a fair and transparent selection process, we aim to select the best two new locations and ensure these have local support,” Mearns says.
Once a decision has been made, the new Great Walks will be updated to meet DOC’s standards, and opened to the public by 2021.
Go to www.doc.govt.nz/newgreatwalks to make a submission or find out more.