Walking among some of the most spectacular scenery in the world has just got more expensive.

From this weekend, charges for staying in huts on New Zealand's world-famous network of nine Great Walks has increased.

They may not be five-star hotels, but they do come with million-dollar views.

And with overseas tourists willing to pay more to get away from it all, the days of the bottom-dollar Kiwi tramping holiday may be over.

The Department of Conversation says the rising costs of servicing huts and facilities and transport for the walks have forced a fee increase.

In the North Island the price rises apply to the Tongariro Northern Circuit, Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk and Whanganui River Journey. In the South Island, the rises cover the Abel Tasman, Routeburn, Kepler and Milford Tracks. Stewart Island's Rakiura Track is also facing a price rise.

The Mountain Safety Council yesterday welcomed the increase.

The cost of Great Walk huts will rise $5 a night, but will continue to be free for under-18s.

The huts have mattresses, water supply, toilets, hand-washing facilities and heating with fuel. Some also have solar lighting, cooking facilities with fuel and a hut warden.

They cost between $15 and $50, depending on the season.

The annual hut pass for back country huts will increase from $90 to $120 and the six-month pass from $60 to $90.

Fees have been held since March 2008, and they cover only a proportion of the costs of maintaining the hut network, a DoC spokesman said.

Mountain Safety spokesman Chris Tews, said the charges were justified and he didn't expect any impact on numbers.

"I'm very pleased the no charge for under-18s stays. It is a fantastic initiative and we've seen a definite increase in the amount of people going into the outdoors," he said.

Latest figures show that for the year ending June last year, around 87,000 people walked eight of the nine tracks. Figures for the Whanganui River Journey were not available.

Fee increases took effect from July 2.

The great walks:
* Tongariro Northern Circuit winds its way over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngauruhoe.

* The Lake Waikaremoana walk in the Te Urewera National Park is a 46km three to four-day tramp which follows the shore of the lake for most of its length.

* Whanganui River Journey wends from the mountains to the Tasman Sea through countless hills and valleys. The 145km journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki takes an average of five days to complete by canoe.

* Abel Tasman Coast Track extends for 54km on the South Island's northern shores.

* The 78.4km Heaphy Track is the longest of the walks and crosses a range of landscapes.

* Routeburn Track traverses 32km of Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks.

* The 53.5km Milford Track is in the heart of Fiordland National Park. The track starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes at Milford Sound.

* Kepler Track, a 60km circular track, traverses through Fiordland National Park and takes three to four days.

* Rakiura Track, 36km around Stewart Island, takes three days.