Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Enabling Wilderness

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posted on 2021-11-22, 20:47 authored by McKone, Matt

Internationally known for its picturesque landscapes, New Zealand encourages both locals and tourists to experience them first hand by walking one of the many tracks around the country, an activity locally known as tramping. The Department of Conservation has identified a small number of these tracks as showcasing particularly picturesque areas; naming them the ‘Great Walks’ of New Zealand. These allow fit individuals to traverse unique landscapes over multiple days, staying over night in rustic huts. The relationship between healthy wellbeing and outdoor experiences is well documented; however, not every fit individual is physically able to experience some of New Zealand’s most significant landscapes due to the difficulty of access.  This thesis combines elements of landscape architecture with the existing practises of construction in a conservation area to propose a new ‘Great Walk’ for New Zealand that would allow athletes with a physical impairment to experience New Zealand’s unique landscapes. In doing so, it will provide the opportunity for physically impaired people to continue tramping, or discover a new outdoor activity that not only improves their physical and mental wellbeing; but also allows them to establish personal connections to the land they are from or visiting. Physically pulling/pushing and manoeuvring through ‘backcountry’ landscapes, this research-led-design encourages the physically impaired community to engage with difficult terrains in a multi-sensorial manner.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Landscape Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


McIntosh, Jacqueline; Marques, Bruno