Craigieburn Forest Park Camp Saddle

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


The results from DOC's visitor insights for the 2022/23 summer have revealed a few twists.

Date:  26 May 2023

DOC’s Heritage and Visitors Director Cat Wilson, says international visitors returned to nearly 65% of pre-Covid summer arrivals. “It was great to see people from overseas engaging with our natural and cultural attractions.

“Half of all international visitors went to a national park, 49% went to beaches and a quarter had experienced a geothermal park or glacier. Over a third went to a public museum or gallery and 25% went to a place significant to Māori.

“The number of people camping at DOC’s bookable South Island campsites more than doubled when compared to the 2021/22 summer.

“Unfortunately, this summer New Zealand saw several extreme weather events that damaged tracks, particularly across the North Island,” says Cat Wilson.

“As a result, many DOC tracks, facilities and sites are still closed by storm damage and flooding. In some places the damage has been significant, and includes some of our most popular sites, like Cathedral Cove.”

While the weather was terrible at times over the summer, short walks in the outdoors were still popular with New Zealanders and international visitors. Walking (of any kind) was by far the most popular activity.

Generally, over summer easy-access coastal areas near urban centres were popular with New Zealanders. Many of the most visited destinations were coastal areas and marine reserves located at or near the Auckland region, reflecting where New Zealanders live and travel.

The top heritage sites visited by New Zealanders were Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve in Auckland, Karangahake Gorge in the Bay of Plenty and Awaroa Godley Head surrounds in Canterbury.

For international visitors, the most popular national parks were in the South Island, including Fiordland and Aoraki Mount Cook. Nine out of ten (90%) international visitors reported being ‘satisfied’ or ‘very’ satisfied with their New Zealand visit.

Data was collected from staff, public surveys, plus DOC accommodation booking figures (1 December 2022 - 28 February 2023). In addition, the most up-to-date international visitor survey data used within this report covers Quarter 4 of 2022 (October to December 2022).

2022/23 visitor insights report (PDF, 6,953K)


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