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Tuesday 14 May 2019

Exciting new wilderness track in New Zealand

There are few countries better for walking enthusiasts than New Zealand.

Opening in December 2019, New Zealand’s newest and 10th Great Walk - the Paparoa Track - will traverse the Paparoa Range, replete with limestone landscapes, verdant rainforest and astonishing views.

The rugged West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island draws travellers in search of the country’s wild heart.
Not only is the Paparoa Track New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the spectacular trail also features a side trip that serves as a memorial to the 29 men who lost their lives in the Pike River Mine tragedy.

Māori for “Long Place”, this spectacular mountain range looks out over the South Island’s dramatic coast, punctuated by peaks and threaded with rivers.
Hardy hikers will experience the Pororari River Gorge, towering limestone cliffs, remnants from the region’s mining history and ever-changing forest that transforms from beech to rainforest, studded with nīkau palms.
A standalone walk is the Pike29 Memorial Track, an 11km (one-way) tribute to those who died in 2010 mine disaster.
The Paparoa Track starts near Blackball. The ideal time to walk is between September and May, but all hikers are advised to check the weather forecast before setting out.
At 55km from end to end, the trail takes three days to complete. It’s also open to mountain bikers.

There’s a strong chance visitors will hear - or even see - roroa (great spotted kiwi). Other birds unique to New Zealand that live around these parts include the ruru (native owl), korimako (bellbird), kereru (pigeon), whio (blue duck) and tūī.

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