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


Budget 2020 sets aside $13.73 m as a contingency towards rebuilding vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by the severe floods in Fiordland in February 2020.

Date:  17 May 2020

This funding over 4 years is contingent on approval by the Ministers of Finance and Conservation of an action plan.

The funding package comprises:

  • $9.52 m of capital expenditure (material and labour costs of replacing assets including tracks, bridges and huts)
  • $4.21 m of operating costs for assets repaired or replaced.

The damage

The February 2020 storm brought 820 mm of rain – one tenth of the region’s annual rainfall – in 3 days. Landslips and torrential rain wiped out huts and damaged 440 km of walking tracks.

Infographic of DOC-managed assets damaged or destroyed.
Damage or destroyed assets: 79 tracks, 2 huts, 2 car parks, 500 predator tracks, 7 campsites, 4 boundary fences, 23 bridges, 2 stopbanks

The action plan

The plan includes repairs to the Milford, Routeburn and Rees-Dart tracks, bridge repairs and replacements, and rebuilding the Chasm Walk and car park. There is also flood protection work needed at Cleddau River to safeguard Milford village. This extensive programme of work includes engineering and geotechnical assessments, design work and evaluating long-term options for climate change resilience, while continuing to meet visitor needs.

Rebuilding our greatest experiences

This initiative will enable DOC to replan and rebuild the core infrastructure and visitor experiences at:

  • Milford Track – one of New Zealand’s premier walking tracks, attracting more than 14,000 visitors each year
  • Routeburn Track – one of New Zealand’s most popular Great Walks, attracting 15,000+ visitors each year
  • Milford Road (SH94) from Te Anau to Milford Sound – a scenic highway with 15 walking tracks along the way
  • Hollyford Track – a complex of multi-day hikes that receives 4,000+ visitors each year
  • Greenstone and Caples tracks – a multi-day experience that receives 10,000+ visitors each year
  • Rees-Dart Track – a multi-day track accessible from Glenorchy; 10,000+ visitors each year.

More information 

Great Walks recovery on track for summer Media release - Minister of Conservation

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