The escarpment, Paparoa track
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


The Paparoa Track will now open on 1 December 2019, replacing the previous opening scheduled for the end of September 2019.

Date:  09 April 2019

The new opening date will allow more time for track construction crews to complete the 55 km track, which runs from Blackball on the eastern side of the Paparoa Range to Punakaiki on the western side.

Crews working on the track encountered more difficult terrain than expected on the Paparoa Tops. The revised opening date ensures these crews can complete the track’s construction safely. 

The Paparoa Track will be New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk, and the first Great Walk designed for both mountain bikers and walkers.

DOC Project Director Tom Hopkins says the new date still allows the track to open for the 2019/20 summer season. People will be able to book their visit when bookings open in June 2019.

The Paparoa Track is being built in conjunction with the Pike29 Memorial Track. This track links to the Paparoa Track, taking walkers and riders to Pike Valley’s memorial site and interpretation centre, built to commemorate the lives of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the 2010 Pike River Mine Disaster.

The Pike29 Memorial Track will open once efforts to re-enter the mine have been completed and the site is transferred from the Pike River Recovery Agency to DOC to manage.

The completion of the track will be celebrated in an event in Blackball on 30 November 2019


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