Hump Ridge joins Great Walks


Great news for the community of Tuatapere in Southland… the area’s 61km Hump Ridge Track has been unveiled as New Zealand’s next Great Walk

Hump Ridge’s new status as the country’s 11th Great Walk will mean a $5 million upgrade for the track, and a significant boost for the area.

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"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," said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage when he made the announcement in Tuatapere recently. "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." The upgrade will involve the Department of Conservation working with the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Trust to change the tramp from a two-night walk to a three-night experience.

The Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Trust to progress the work, and the new Great Walk is scheduled to open in late 2022. 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.

The minister added that DOC will continue its work in the far north to progress plans for Te Paki Coastal Track to also become 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," she said.

However, the minister emphasised that the walk can only be truly ‘great’ if it is founded on a strong partnership with iwi and is looked at as part of a considered and strategic vision for sustainable tourism development in the region. It’s been decided to shelve Great Walk plans for Queen Charlotte Track due to challenges around permanent public access across all sections of the trail.

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