New track delayed

The $10 million Paparoa Track under construction aloong the Moonlight tops with the Pike River...
The $10 million Paparoa Track under construction aloong the Moonlight tops with the Pike River Escarpment in the background. Photo: DOC
The opening of  the Paparoa Track  from Blackball to Punakaiki has been delayed by five months.

The Department of Conservation said last week  the track would now open in September 2019, rather than April.The Paparoa Track will be New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk and is  designed to be used by both mountain bikers and walkers.

The  55km track is costing  $10 million to build.

The date change is to align the opening with the other alpine "great walks" and the start of the summer walking season.

Paparoa Track project director Tom Hopkins said the new spring opening date meant the expected rush of people keen to experience the track when it  opened would have better conditions for their adventures.

"The new date allows us to comfortably finish the track in time for the start of the 2019-20 Great Walks season. People will be able to book their visit online when bookings open in 2019."

The Paparoa Track is being built in conjunction with the Pike 29 Memorial Track. This side track links to the Paparoa Track, taking walkers and riders to a memorial site and interpretation centre that will be built to commemorate the lives of the 29 miners who died  in the 2010 mine disaster.

The Pike 29 Memorial Track will open once efforts to re-enter the mine have been completed.

- Laura Mills

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