Newest Great Walk explores undiscovered terrain
The Paparoa Track explores some of the most rugged, diverse and untouched environments in the country.
The tenth Great Walk and first to be constructed in 25 years will take in stone cliffs, beech forest and glades of subtropical nīkau palms at one end, while climbing to a unique alpine setting with incredible views out to the Tasman Sea.
The 55km trail is designed for both walkers and mountain bikers. Accommodation is provided in the form of huts (featuring bunks, mattresses, heating, gas cooktops, toilets, and a water supply), bookable through the Department of Conservation website. There are no campsites on the track.
West Coast locals, or ‘Coasters’ as they are colloquially known, are infamous for their hospitality and extremely passionate about their home. The community have been preparing to welcome visitors to their precious part of the world since the announcement of the track in 2017.
The Paparoa Track is of significant meaning to the locals and will act as a tribute to the 29 Pike River miners who lost their lives in the 2010 disaster.
The West Coast is home to the spectacular Haast World Heritage Area, five of New Zealand’s 14 national parks and five marine reserves. Conservation and sustainability are important to the West Coast, where 86 per cent of the land is administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
The Paparoa Track was officially opened at an event in Blackball on 30 November 2019 before the first walkers and bikers took the maiden trip on 1 December.
Due to a recent land slip in the middle section of the track, the Great Walk will only partially be opened until 1 March 2020. Walkers can still reach the Moonlight Tops hut from the east or the Pororari Hut from the west. More information here.
Day 1: Smoke-ho car park to Moonlight Tops Hut
Time: 7–8 hr
Distance: 20 km
Day 2: Moonlight Tops Hut to Pororari Hut
Time: 5–7 hr
Distance: 19.1 km
Day 3: Pororari Hut to Pororari River car park
Time: 4–5 hr
Distance: 16 km
- Moonlight Tops Hut (20 bunks)
- Pororari Hut (20 bunks)
- Ces Clark Hut (16 bunks)
Huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, gas cooktops, toilets, and a water supply. A DOC ranger may be present. The huts do not provide food, cooking utensils or showers. Backcountry Hut Passes can be used at Ces Clark Hut but not at Moonlight Tops or Pororari huts.
Bookings and more information
Department of Conservation - Paparoa Track and Pike29 Memorial Track