Praise for new great walk

A mini-digger works on Paparoa Track. PHOTO: DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
A mini-digger works on Paparoa Track. PHOTO: DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
It is still under construction and 10 months away from opening, but the Paparoa Track has made the New York Times list of the top 52 places to go in 2019.

Puerto Rico took top spot, with Hampi, in India, second and Santa Barbara, California, third.

The $10 million 55.7km Paparoa Track "great walk" between Blackball and Punakaiki is No17, the only New Zealand entry.

"Outdoor enthusiasts can head to New Zealand starting in October to trek the country's first `great walk' trail to open in more than 25 years," New York Times correspondent Nora Walsh says.

"Tracing the Pororari River along the West Coast of the South Island, the new Paparoa Track winds through Paparoa National Park, a reserve largely inaccessible until now.

"Built by the Department of Conservation for hikers and mountain bikers, the 34-mile trail (hiked in three days; biked in two) departs from a historic mining town and traverses epic limestone gorges, beech forests and sandstone bluffs before culminating at the renowned Punakaiki blowholes."

The Paparoa Track will be intersected by the Pike 29 Memorial Track, which honours the victims of the 2010 Pike River mine tragedy.

The 55km Paparoa Track will be New Zealand's 10th "great walk".

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