Hut and campsite fees will be waived for under 18-year-olds on New Zealand's nine Great Walks, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.
Conservation week starts on August 6 and Mr Carter said he hoped the move would see more young people enjoying New Zealand's "spectacular tracks".
"As our population becomes more urbanised it is crucial we make it as easy as we can for young people to switch off the TV and the Playstation and discover the outdoors," he said.
"Only through first-hand experience will young New Zealanders fully appreciate the importance of preserving our natural environment and its significance to our national identity."
Mr Carter said the New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Summit last year recommended the move to improve access and it complemented efforts to tackle obesity and other Government goals.
The nine Great Walks are Lake Waikaremoana, Tongariro Northern Circuit, Heaphy Track, Abel Tasman Coast Track, Kepler Track, Routeburn Track, Milford Track, the Rakiura Track and the Whanganui Journey. Fees vary on the tracks.