Date: 18 June 2019
“While these figures will change over the coming year, bookings are up 10% on this time last year and bookings by New Zealanders also up by 10%, making up about 70% of bookings so far,” says DOC Heritage and Visitors Director Steve Taylor.
“The Great Walks are the rock stars of the walking world and not everyone was able to secure their preferred time or walk. However, there is still lots of room across the network of nine tracks and one river journey for people to secure a spot.”
The Paparoa Track had 564 bookings in the first day of bookings opening, 91% of which were made by New Zealanders.
“It’s good to see New Zealanders excited about their newest Great Walk. The track opens to walkers and bikers on 1 December and is already becoming pretty full for those first opening months,” says Steve Taylor.
“Another notable result is, while there was a 9% decrease in first day bookings on our most famous Great Walk, the Milford Track, there was a significant rise in bookings on lesser known gems, the Rakiura Track (up a whopping 129% on last year), Whanganui River Journey (up 83%) and Heaphy Track (up 46%).”
Milford Track received 2,000 bookings in the first day and is currently 80% booked up.
The Great Walks are premium multi-day tramps (and one canoe journey) that showcase the best of New Zealand’s landscapes, and natural and cultural values. The walks are well-formed and have a higher standard of tracks and facilities than other tracks.
International visitor growth and promotion of the Great Walks through DOC’s partnership with Air New Zealand has led to Great Walk bookings greatly increasing since 2012.
DOC limits numbers on these walks to protect the surrounding environments and maintain a quality experience for visitors. This means it can be difficult for individuals and groups to secure bookings over peak times on the most popular walks. DOC is working to address this through expanding the Great Walks network and investigating the use of pricing as a tool to manage visitor growth.
|June 2018||June 2019||% change on last year|
|Opening day bookings||2,170||1,978||-9%|
|Opening day bookings||326||476||46%|
|Opening day bookings||1,477||1,404||-5%|
|Opening day bookings||0||564||N/A|
|Opening day bookings||945||1,000||6%|
|Abel Tasman Coast Track|
|Opening day bookings||829||954||15%|
|Tongariro Northern Circuit|
|Opening day bookings||306||336||10%|
|Opening day bookings||168||385||129%|
|Opening day bookings||75||137||83%|
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