New Zealand Is Getting a New Great Walk

It will be the third Great Walk to traverse the country's Fiordland region

New Zealand Great Walk

Courtesy of the Department of Conservation

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of its Great Walks, New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) has teamed up with the Tuatapere community to establish an 11th Great Walk—and it's giving us yet another reason to plan a trip to Aotearoa.

Called the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, the new walk will be a three-day, 38-mile (61 km) trek in the country's Fiordland region, best-known for Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. It will traverse New Zealand's southern coast, ascending 3,280 feet up to the sub-alpine Hump Ridge. Along the way, trampers will hike through stunning scenery—a combination of beach, native forest, and mountain views—and over historic viaducts.

Hikers will stay in private backcountry lodges with hot showers and king-sized beds. For wheelchair users who would like to experience the region, each one also offers accessible facilities and wheelchair access from a helipad.

“The outdoors and nature are a core part of our identity as New Zealanders, and the origins of these walks are testament to this," said Kiri Allan, the country's minister of conservation, in a statement. "Over the years, I have spent many, many hours tramping and overnighting on these walks. Doing so has enabled me to take time to just be and to discover and connect with the magnificence that is our backyard."

Established in 1992 to preserve the biodiversity of the country's landscapes and curb overtourism, New Zealand's Great Walks are multi-day hikes that navigate the country's national parks and culturally significant protected areas. There are currently 10 Great Walks, each managed by the DOC, which oversees more than 950 huts, 300 campsites, and 870 miles of trails.

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track will be the DOC's 11th Great Walk and the third to travel through Fiordland.

“There are many different ways to experience a Great Walk," said Allan. "You can hike, run, bike, or paddle; camp or stay in a hut; do the whole thing or just a part of it. Whichever you choose, it’s an experience you’ll never forget."

The new track is expected to be available to book next year, in time for the 2023/24 walking season. Trekkers hoping to embark on one of the country's other Great Walks will be able to register for the 2022/23 season from May 3 to May 6, 2022.

Article Sources
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  1. Tuatapere Humpridge Track. "3-Day Loop Walk in Fiordland, NZ." Accessed April 26, 2022.

  2. New Zealand Government. "Celebrating 30 Years of Great Walks." Accessed April 26, 2022.

  3. New Zealand Government. "Celebrating 30 Years of Great Walks." Accessed April 26, 2022.