Southern rata in bloom at the Hump Ridge Track
Image: DOC


DOC says the project to upgrade Tuatapere’s Hump Ridge track has been slowed by supply chain delays, weather conditions and arduous terrain.

Date:  29 September 2023

“We’re over the halfway line to bring it up to Great Walk standard,” says Southern South Island Director of Operations Aaron Fleming, “but there’s still a lot to do. All project partners have agreed more time is needed for construction, so the end date has been pushed out to October 2024.

“The track is already open and in use, managed by the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Charitable Trust. Bookings are still open during construction, with public access given priority.

Bookings for the Hump Ridge Track can be made on the Trust’s site:

The Hump Ridge track is 61kms and takes about three days. Trampers are treated to an alpine environment with soaring limestone tors, uphill sections through coastal forests, expansive beaches, historic viaduct bridges, old timber settlements, and the longest tramway sleeper walk in the southern hemisphere.

“Great progress has been made to date and visitors walking the track this summer season will notice obvious signs of improvement, even if this is their first time on the Hump Ridge,” Aaron Fleming says.

Three sections of the track have clearly been upgraded and realigned, with new steps installed to cross over rough terrain. Other parts are still under construction, but accessible.  The Rarakau carpark redevelopment has also started.

"We are also working with mana whenua Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka and Rowallan Alton Inc to develop storytelling and interpretation for the track. Significant headway has been made in construction of the Waharoa (gateway) for the track entrance.”

“When the Hump Ridge Track upgrade is finished it will be safer and more accessible to more people. Tricky gradients are being eased, boardwalks have been put in over mucky ground, sections of the track have been future proofed against climate change and natural hazards and emergency alternative routes and new swing bridges are being constructed,” says Aaron Fleming.

“Improving the Hump Ridge Track means this place steeped in cultural and historical significance becomes more of a drawcard for a larger pool of kiwi and international visitors.”

Background information

  • The Hump Ridge is considered a challenging track, walkers need to ensure they plan and prepare well for their trip and have a reasonable level of fitness.
  • For more information about the upgrade see: Hump Ridge Track map (PDF, 3,700K)
  • The project has a budget of $7.9 million and is currently running to budget.
  • The time extension is not expected to impact the budget.


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