Waikaremoana great walk
Anyone know what's happening? Local water taxi and shuttle operators aren't responding to booking requests and claims parts of the walk are closed.
Comment here about poor track maintenance https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowUserReviews-g255105-d553002-r552144913-Lake_Waikaremoana-North_Island.html
Dunno, but DOC's description of Great Walks is that they are well formed, easy to follow, accessible and week serviced by local operators. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/things-to-do/walking-and-tramping/great-walks/ If that's not the case any more then maybe its status as a Great Walk needs to be reviewed.
I can't see a mention of Great Walks in the National Parks General Policy document, though, which seems surprising. Does anyone know of a formal description anywhere of what and why they're supposed to be?
I read one once, can't recall where l but it covers right down to how much mud is permissable, ideally very little... think it stated width of track, but from what i've heard waikaremoana has always been a rougher track than that in places
makes a mention about great walks tracks in here, but i havent read through it https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/about-doc/role/policies-and-plans/track-construction-maintenance-guidelines.pdf
The DOC site recommends checking the Ngāi Tūhoe website for alerts: http://www.ngaituhoe.iwi.nz/alerts-and-important-information A posting on 20-Dec confirms that parts are still closed.
There are some fairly grumpy people writing in @waynowski 's NZ Tramping News group on Facebook lately, including those who've checked that alerts site. https://www.facebook.com/groups/208124842637462/permalink/1938754562907806/ (FB group joining required.)
I've done Waikaremoana a few times, and I wouldn't describe the hike as a 'Great Walk' outside of the huts and campsites - which are very nice. The trail is very remote, in heavy canopy and receives tons of rain. Mud, slippery rocks and roots are very common, whereas something like the Rakiura Track on Stewart Island has thousands of metres of boardwalking to avoid mud. It's a beautiful hike, but I would put it in the same category as something like the Wangapeka Track. What's great about it is that you can get dropped via boat at one end and hike back to the car - that's just awesome. Also, for some very strange reason there is excellent Vodafone coverage at the main carpark, bizarre but true.
Did you have any trouble around booking recently? The main gripe from several people who've apparently abandoned their plans in the last few months is that some operators stopped operating without giving notice to booked customers. Furthermore with some new operators it's been challenging to contact and confirm with any confidence if anyone will actually be there when you show up. People have been throwing away a booked and sometimes paid trip to go somewhere else instead.
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