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Get Ready For Great Walks Bookings To Open

The Department of Conservation has announced bookings for New Zealand’s Great Walks will open from 28 May to 6 June for the next season.

“Last year, Milford Track booked out on opening day, and by the end of July the number of people who’d booked a Great Walk had reached pre-pandemic numbers,” says Director of Heritage and Visitors Cat Wilson.

“This year we have combined the bookings systems for Great Walks, and other huts and campsites to make booking more straightforward for users. This means people will only need a single account to book the Great Walks and all other accommodation next season.

“Users who don’t already have an account on DOC’s existing huts and campsites booking system will need to create a new log in and account at”

New Zealand’s Great Walks offer diverse experiences across spectacular landscapes, on well-formed tracks. They are hugely popular, and spaces have been limited to provide a great experience and protect biodiversity. This round of bookings applies to the July 2024-June 2025 period.

“Great Walks are a big driver for international visitors,” says Cat. “In a pre-pandemic survey 1 in 10 visitors to New Zealand said they did a Great Walk on their holiday.

"However, even with international visitors returning over the past year, the Great Walks continue to attract high levels of New Zealanders, who accounted for 70% of bed-nights booked last year.

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“2023/24 statistics show total Great Walk bed-nights were up 7.7% on the previous year with 128,115 bed-nights compared to 118,921 in the previous year.

“The numbers were also up 7.1% compared to the pre-COVID summer of 2019/20 of 119,581 bed-nights.

“Abel Tasman Coast Track bed-nights were up 11.2%, Tongariro Northern Circuit was up 10% and the Heaphy Track bounced back to 88% of pre-COVID levels despite only reopening as a full walk in October 2023 following storm damage.

“This year, we recommend people have their online login sorted in advance to book their preferred walks on ‘bookings open’ day, so they’re all ready to go.”

Great Walks booking opening dates*:

DateTime (NZST)Great Walks
28 May 20249:30 a.m.Milford Track, Lake Waikaremoana Track
30 May 20249:30 a.m.Abel Tasman Coast Track, Rakiura Track, Whanganui Journey
5 June 20249:30 a.m.Routeburn Track, Paparoa Track
6 June 20249:30 a.m.Kepler Track, Heaphy Track, Tongariro Northern Circuit

*Hump Ridge Track

The Hump Ridge Track is an existing multi-day walk that can be booked in advance through the Hump Ridge Trust. The track will become a ‘Great Walk’ in October 2024, and will continue to be booked via the Trust’s booking system.

Background Information

  • While the most popular tracks such as Milford and Routeburn book out very fast, walks such as Abel Tasman, Heaphy and Lake Waikaremoana have greater capacity. There are often cancellations following the bookings opening dates.
  • Bookings for other facilities (non-Great Walks) for 2024-25 opened earlier in the month, between 9-23 April.
  • Non-Great Walk huts, campsites and lodges were popular in 2023-24, with over 130,000 bednights booked in total on those opening days. This included over 40,000 bednights booked for Tōtaranui Campground in the Abel Tasman National Park alone – with summer holiday spots there selling out in minutes.

© Scoop Media

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