If you’re looking for a new adventure this year, look no further than New Zealand. The gorgeous South Island just opened its newest hiking trail, the Paparoa Track.
The Trail Through Paparoa National Park
55 Kilometers of gorgeous mountain scenery runs from Blackball on the east side of the Paparoa Range to Punakaiki on the west side of New Zeland.
It all culminates to a memorial site where 29 miners lost their lives in the 2020 Pike River Mine Disaster.
Designed for both hikers and mountain bikers, the trail is marked and easy to follow. The road winds through ancient forests, limestone karst, past rivers and lakes, deep gorgeous and towering alpine peaks.
Explore on your own or go with a guide.
Hiking: 3 Days one-way Intermediate
Mountain Biking: 2 days one-way Advanced
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Wildlife & Plants to Spot on the Way
Paparoa is a haven for ancient plants and animals. Mountain neinei or dragon leaf trees grow up to 13 meters tall. Look out for the alpine tussock, and thick nikau palms.
Hiking in New Zealand is a bird watcher’s paradise. The kereru or New Zealand pigeon with its iridescent green + purple feathers. The ruru or morepork owl with its haunting call. Keep your ear out for the calls of the kiwi at night. Listen for the distinct calls of tui and bellbirds. The region is also home to the endangered kea, mountain parrot.
How to Get There
The most spectacular route to the West Coast is via the South Alps from Christchurch to Greymouth. You can drive or catch the daily 5-hour TranzAlpine railway.
Download the Brochures
Paparoa Track brochure – with a map and profile.
Paparoa Track walking guide – with a map of section closed until 1 March 2020. Get a full hiking guide of each section of the trail.