You'll need to rush to book accommodation for New Zealand’s newest Great Walk

If you were planning on doing New Zealand's newest Great Walk, you might want to get a wriggle on as accommodation booking is already hotting up.

Two people mountain biking or hiking the Paporoa Track
You can mountain bike or hike the Paparoa Track. Image: Jason Blair

In response to the growing popularity of hiking, the country's Department of Conservation (DOC) decided to expand its existing family of nine Great Walks. The Paparoa Track has been designated the tenth Great Walk and it will open on 1 December. The 55km track will run from Blackball on the eastern side of the Paparoa Range to Punakaiki on the western side, and is designed for both mountain-bikers and walkers.

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Walkers can see the Pancake Rocks in New Zealand. Image by ©Anna Gorin/Getty Images

It includes two 20-bed huts, and according to the Department of Conservation, 37% of available spaces for the 2019/20 summer season were booked out on the first day hut bookings opened. The Paparoa Track is being built in conjunction with the Pike29 Memorial Track, which takes walkers and riders to Pike Valley’s memorial site and interpretation centre. It is designed to commemorate the lives of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the 2010 Pike River Mine Disaster.

People walking on the Paparoa Track in New Zealand
The Paparoa Track is the 10th Great Walk. Image: Jason Blair

DOC has opened bookings for huts on the ten Great Walks on successive days recently. The walks are premier tracks that pass through diverse and spectacular scenery, and are well-formed and easy to follow. They take in native forests, lakes and rivers to rugged mountain peaks, deep gorges and vast valleys. While most people prefer to explore on their own terms, guided trips are also available. Great Walks are accessible from major towns that are well serviced by local operators and accommodation and transport providers.

The Paparoa Track is the 10th Great Walk
The Paparoa Track is the 10th Great Walk. Image: Jason Blair

For further information on the newest Great Walk, please see here.