Opened in 2020, this 55km great walk traverses diverse landscapes including alpine summits, limestone karsts, and lush rainforests, with numerous opportunities for side excursions and historical exploration.

For adventurers opting to walk the track, the journey typically takes three days/two-nights one way with the option of making it into a four day/three-night tramp by splitting the first section in to two 10km legs (and staying in Ces Clark Hut). Alternatively, experienced mountain bikers (advanced grade 4 level) can typically complete the track in two days one way, making for an exhilarating ride through the picturesque terrain – the super-fit have been able to do all 55km in one day!

Paparoa Track

The Paparoa Track starts at the Smoke-ho car park located 6 kilometres from the small township of Blackball, and finishes right on the coast in Punakaiki.

Leg one – Smoke-ho car park to Ces Clark Hut

10.3 km
Hiking 4-5 hours
Biking 2-3 hours
Ces Clark Hut – 16 bunks
Side trip option to Garden Gully (45 min return)

Leg two – Ces Clark Hut to Moonlight Tops Hut

9.7 km
Hiking 3 hours
Biking 1.5-2.5 hours
Moonlight Hut – 20 bunks
Side trip option to Croesus Knob (1 hr 1o min return)

Leg three – Moonlight Tops Hut to Pororari Hut

Hiking 5-7 hours
Biking 4-5 hours
Pororari Hut – 20 bunks

Leg four – Pororari Hut to Punakaiki

Hiking: 16 km to Pororari River car park (4-5 hours)
Biking:  17.1km to Waikori Road car park (2.5-3.5 hours)

Hut accommodation along the track is available at three huts: Ces Clark Hut, Moonlight Tops Hut, and Pororari Hut. It’s essential to pre-book these huts in advance through the Department of Conservation (DOC) website to ensure availability. Great walk huts typically go on sale in May each year – they book out fast so it pays to reserve your space immediately. The huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, gas cooktops, toilets, and a water supply. The huts do not provide food, cooking utensils, showers or bedding. Their are no campsites on the Paparoa track.

Since camping isn’t permitted at the Smoke-ho carpark, visitors will need accommodation the night before starting their Paparoa Track adventure. Various Paparoa Track accommodation options are offered in Punakaiki, providing a convenient base for relaxation and exploration before or after the trek with options to shuttle to the start of the track or use a car-relocation service from Blackball.

Read about a first hand experience walking the Paparoa Track from a Scenic Hotel Group team member here.

Pike29 Memorial Track

Opened in 2024, this track memorialises the 29 men who were killed in the Pike Mine disaster with a 22km out and back mountain adventure for hikers and mountain bikers if taken from the the Pike29 Memorial Track car park, or as an extension to the Paparoa Track (of which it connects to). Find out more at the DOC information page.

For further details and online booking, visitors are encouraged to visit the DOC website for comprehensive information on the Paparoa Track and Pike29 Memorial Track experiences.