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New Zealand Unveiling Epic New Hiking Trail | Frommer's Stewart Nimmo

New Zealand Unveiling Epic New Hiking Trail

New Zealand's officially designated, government-maintained Great Walks give hikers access to the country's premier scenery—and that's saying something in New Zealand, whose North and South Islands serve up enough ruggedly beautiful landscapes to put even watercolor virtuoso Bob Ross to shame. 

On December 1, the 10th Great Walk—and the first to receive that designation in more than 25 years—will open to trekkers and mountain bikers on the west coast of the South Island. 

The 55km (34-mile) Paparoa Track winds through the remote Paparoa National Park, which encompasses mountains, mossy rainforest, and a coastline bordered by limestone rock formations that look like gigantic stacks of pancakes.

Traversing the trail should take 2 or 3 days. Along the way, you can sleep at summer-camp-like huts; there are three of them, with around 20 bunks apiece.

There are no campsites, so leave your tent at home.

Rates for huts are $45 per night for adults, free for kids ages 17 and under—but youngsters will need their own reservations.

Bookings are open now for stays through June 30, 2020.