Tramping Tracks Offer One Spectacle After Another
New Zealanders work hard to make tramping attractive, according to a travel feature on local tracks in the Korea Herald. The maintenance is “impressive: crushed-rock trail beds; comfortable clearance even in the most dense areas of the beech- and fern-dominated rain forests; boardwalks that meander over wetlands; and well-built, if sometimes unnerving, suspension bridges that span the roiling creeks.”
Richard Davies, a recreation manager for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, said about $65 million is pumped into the country’s park areas annually. Much of that money is devoted to trail development and making sure they are maintained properly.
“It hasn’t happened by chance,” Davies said of the manicured trails. “All our staff is working on certain service standards – how much vegetation is cleared, the gradient of the track, whether the watercourses are bridged or not. We can provide a really consistent service. Wherever you go in the country you get a similar experience.”
The dense, verdant forests filled with calling birds and towering giant ferns that make you feel as if you’ve stumbled into some prehistoric world. The glittering lakes, where the water is so clear you can see the bottom until reflection gets in your way many yards from shore.
All of these, and more, make this a country of constant surprises. And tramping is one of the best ways to see it.
Original article by The Korea Herald, March 25, 2016.
Photo by Orange County Register/TNS.