Doc tells keen adventurers to get in quick for Great Walks


The Milford Track is hugely popular. Photo: Doc
The Milford Track is hugely popular. Photo: Doc
Bookings for the upcoming Great Walks season are expected to be snapped up quickly.

Hut openings on the Milford, Heaphy and Rakiura tracks will open this morning.

The Department of Conservation (Doc) is advising people to be prepared to secure their place on a Great Walk when bookings open at 9.30am, as the most popular slots are expected to be booked out within minutes.

Director of heritage and visitors Steve Taylor said that even with border restrictions in place, the walks were likely to fill up fast over holidays and long weekends.

Part of the Heaphy track. Photo: ODT files.
‘‘Our advice is to get online when bookings open and have a couple of back-up dates if you aren’t able to secure your first choice.

‘‘Rather than just going for the usual suspects, like the Milford or Routeburn, consider the full network of Great Walks which are all incredible in differing ways.’’

The Great Walks season runs from September to April for the southern Great Walks (Milford, Routeburn and Kepler) and Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Outside the season, these four walks should only be attempted by fit, experienced and well-equipped people as facilities were greatly reduced and there were additional hazards such as ice underfoot, river crossings and avalanches, Mr Taylor said.

Bookings can be made on the Doc website.

Great walks

Opening dates (bookings open from 9.30am each day)

Today: Milford, Heaphy and Rakiura tracks.

Tomorrow: Routeburn, Paparoa and Lake Waikaremoana tracks and Whanganui Journey.

June 17: Kepler, Tongariro Northern Circuit and Abel Tasman Coast tracks.

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