Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


More people taking on DOC’s Great Walks

1 February 2013

More people taking on DOC’s Great Walks

This summer points to a significant rise in the number of people doing the country’s Great Walks, the Department of Conservation says.

December figures for seven of the Great Walks – Lake Waikaremoana, Whanganui Journey, Abel Tasman Coast Track, Heaphy Track, Routeburn Track, Kepler Track and Rakiura Track – show an increase in visitors of between 7% and 32% compared to the same month in 2011.

Both the Heaphy and Kepler had a quarter more walkers over this peak period than the previous year. Only numbers on the Tongariro Northern Circuit were down due to the Mount Tongariro eruptions closing part of the circuit. The Milford Track was at capacity both years.

More than 80,000 New Zealand and overseas visitors took themselves on a Great Walk last year benefiting local communities, conservation and the economy, DOC Director of Commercial Business Dave Wilks says.

“Not only are these walks a great way to experience some of the best New Zealand has to offer but the Great Walks also play a significant part in their local economies.”

While it is difficult to provide exact figures, every walker is spending money on transport, accommodation and provisions so increased track traffic will have positive spin offs for related businesses, Mr Wilks says.

“A number of things probably contributed to the December increase including promotions from DOC’s new partnership with Air New Zealand with the new Great Walks website and travel and accommodation packages. The settled weather prior to Christmas probably also helped.”

“It’s great to see more people than ever out doing the Great Walks. They’re our best tramping tracks with stunning scenery and comfortable and well-equipped huts. And they are still not crowded.”

Use of the nine Great Walks has steadily increased over the last 20 years but there is still plenty of room for more people in the huts and campsites of nearly all the Great Walks, Mr Wilks says.

The huts on the Tongariro Northern Circuit, Lake Waikaremoana, Whanganui Journey, Heaphy Track and Rakiura Track on Stewart Island have the most room, while the more-popular Kepler, Routeburn and Abel Tasman Coast tracks also have spare beds although you need to book further ahead. Only the Milford Track is nearing capacity.

The nine Great Walks are multi-day walks (and one paddle – the Whanganui Journey) through awe-inspiring scenery on conservation land.

Background information

In 1992 DOC classified eight of the finest and most popular multi-day tramping tracks on conservation land as ‘Great Walks’. Most were in national parks and all had outstanding scenery. Rakiura Track on Stewart Island/Rakiura was the newest track – completed in November of that year. Several years later the Whanganui Journey was added.

Over the last 20 years, the tracks, huts, campsites and other facilities on Great Walks have been considerably improved.

The most popular Great Walk is the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, followed by the Routeburn, Kepler and Milford. The least well used is the Rakiura, although numbers on this track have increased significantly in recent times due to track and hut upgrades and its inclusion in the nation-wide booking system.

More New Zealanders than overseas visitors enjoy four of our Great Walks – Lake Waikaremoana, Whanganui Journey, Heaphy Track and Rakiura Track. Conversely, the Tongariro Northern Circuit, Kepler, Routeburn, Milford and Abel Tasman Coast tracks are more popular with international visitors.

This year Air New Zealand and DOC entered into a three-year commercial partnership, which includes support for new biodiversity programmes around the Great Walks network and promotion of the Great Walks themselves.

Next month the four winners of the inaugural Air New Zealand Great Walker competition begin their challenge of walking all nine Great Walks in nine weeks. More than 1000 people from 45 countries entered.

See the Great Walk videos on www.greatwalks.co.nz and follow the journeys of the four Great Walkers on www.greatwalkernz.com

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news