New look Rakiura Track set to go online
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe Rakiura Track on Stewart Island/Rakiura is set to join the rest of the country’s Great Walks on the Department of Conservation (DOC) online visitor booking system from 4 October 2010.
Date: 28 September 2010
It will soon be even easier for trampers to book into New Zealand’s most southerly Great Walk on Stewart Island. The Rakiura Track is set to join the rest of the country’s Great Walks on the Department of Conservation (DOC) online visitor booking system from 4 October 2010.
This will enable trampers to book campsites or bunk space in huts although visitors will still be able to book in person if they prefer by calling into a DOC visitor centre.
“The advantage of the online booking system is that it reduces the risk of huts and campsites on many Great Walks being over capacity,” said DOC Southern Islands Programme Manager - Visitor and Historic Assets Dale Chittenden. “For the Rakiura Track, the booking system will enable us to manage use on the huts in particular, as this has been variable in the past, with facilities being full one night and empty the next. Visitors like to be confident that they will have a bed for the night and won’t have to top and tail with another tramper.”
The Rakiura Track is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks managed by the Department of Conservation. The Great Walks are the department's premier walking tracks, through areas of some of the best scenery in the country and the huts and tracks are of a higher standard than other tramping tracks.
The Rakiura Track offers a three-day easy tramping experience with magnificent coastal views. “This track is a superb introduction to the backcountry that will give visitors of all ages an appreciation of what makes Stewart Island/Rakiura so special,” said Mr Chittenden.
Hut fees will increase on the Rakiura Track from 1 October 2010 to help cover the increased cost of maintenance. “One of the biggest drivers for the increased cost is the remoteness; getting fuel for heating or the removal of toilet waste requires expensive helicopter lifting operations” said Mr Chittenden. The new rate will be $20.40 per adult per night. However, youth/children (0 -17 years) will continue to be free.
From 4 October, you can see online the full schedule of fees, information to help plan a trip, or to make a booking or call into a DOC visitor centre.
The Track is currently undergoing a major realignment and upgrade between Port William and North Arm huts to improve access to historic sites and other places of interest. This section is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
A final stage of upgrade is planned between North Arm Hut and Kaipipi Bay with an expected completion date of Christmas 2011.
Online booking system Rakiura Track available from 4 October 2010