Earlier this week, it was announced that the Hump Ridge Track would be incorporated into the Department of Conservation’s Great Walk network.
This is good news for families and trampers who like the certainty of a bookable bunk, short days between huts and a track that’s easy to follow – especially as the Great Walk pricing structure is cheaper than the current private track pricing.
The practical implications of this decision are expected to be minor, but we will proactively engage with DOC to ensure that recreational access to the South Coast Track, and surrounding area, is not adversely affected by the track upgrades or construction work planned between now and 2022. We will also be pushing hard to ensure that the historic Port Craig Schoolhouse hut is left as a serviced backcountry hut instead of being absorbed into the Hump Ridge Great Walk.
We are also cognisant of the pressures that affect the other Great Walks, including applications for commercial activities and expectations of high standard facilities that aren’t necessarily congruent with the backcountry experience. We will continue to work with DOC to ensure that the Hump Ridge Great Walk is managed in line with the Fiordland National Park Management Plan and the Southland Murihiku Conservation Strategy.
Photo at top: Hump Ridge Track on the tops above Okaka Hut. Te Waewae Bay below. (c) D Hegg