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TRAVEL & LEISURE

The South Island's West Coast Is Home to a New Premier Short Walk

The track is a 40-minute drive inland from Hokitika.
By Stephen Heard
August 17, 2020
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The South Island's West Coast Is Home to a New Premier Short Walk

The track is a 40-minute drive inland from Hokitika.
By Stephen Heard
August 17, 2020
  shares

Keen explorers not quite ready to tackle one of New Zealand's Great Walks can now stretch their legs on a new short track on the South Island's West Coast.

Found a 40-minute drive inland from Hokitika, the new bridge and loop track in Hokitika Gorge creates a one-hour walking experience. It has been called a "premier short walk," by the Department of Conservation and takes visitors through the dramatic West Coast region.

The upgrade expands on the previously 15-minute experience, making its way through the granite gorge, over turquoise water and through bushland. The route also includes a new 90-metre suspension bridge.

From the car park, the walking track makes its way through dense podocarp forest before emerging onto a viewing platform. Curving boardwalks lead to the swing bridge, which offers views of the blue-green waters of the Hokitika River and the Southern Alps. Further, there's access to a small beach and waterfalls.

The Hokitika Gorge track opens in line with Conservation Week 2020 (15 to 23 August), which encourages communities to look at nature through new eyes. This year's focus is on the wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature.

For more information, visit the Department of Conservation website.

Published on August 17, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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