The Department of Conservation (DOC) has had a wide response to its call for initial submissions for potential new Great Walks, with 30 tracks from across the country proposed.
Of the walks submitted, 20 were located in the North Island and 10 in the South Island.
“Our existing Great Walks are some of New Zealand’s most popular and well-known visitor experiences,” says DOC’s director of tourism, recreation and heritage Gavin Walker.
“With the increase in New Zealand’s population and rise in international visitor numbers, combined with more people seeking out stunning experiences in nature, some walks are reaching capacity at peak times.
“Through this public process we are exploring opportunities to expand the network in places where there is local support and showcase other beautiful but lesser-visited parts of the country.”
The next step for DOC is to take more analysis into the feasibility of the proposed walks and need to rate highly against selection criteria and offer New Zealand the greatest benefits from being including in the Great Walk network, it says.