Prices being hiked on our most popular hikes

DOC is increasing fees at the most popular huts and campsites to help pay for better upkeep and infrastructure.

Great Walks like the Milford and Kepler tracks are some of New Zealand's flagship hikes,  and some of our biggest draw-cards for adventurous tourists.

 "They've got a massive name recognition, fantastic scenery. And they're the place that lots of kiwis get their first overseas experience," says Peter Wilson of Federated Mountain Clubs

But their increasing popularity is putting pressure on DOC's limited resources.

Today the department announced increases in hut and campsite fees aimed at bringing in an extra $900,000 a year.

"It'll ensure that staff are in the huts at the time that they need to be, that toilets are clean, that the tracks themselves are well-managed" explains Gavin Walker from DOC.

The most popular tracks will be hit with the biggest price rises.

An overnight stay on Fiordland's Milford Track will increase to $70 per person. Hut fees on the Kepler and Routeburn go up to $65 a night, with smaller increases for the Abel Tasman and Tongariro tracks, and some campsites.

Mr Walker says they've tried to choose prices that are still affordable for families, and keep the 'kids go free' policy in place.

An option to charge overseas visitors more than kiwis is also still being considered by DOC for the most popular tracks.