Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Great Walks bookings open this week

Great Walks 2019/20 bookings open over several days this week, starting with Heaphy and Milford tracks today. This includes bookings for the new Paparoa Track.

"New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk, the stunning Paparoa Track, opens on December 1 2019," says Department of Conservation heritage and visitors director Steve Taylor.

"The Paparoa Track has been designed to be used by both mountain bikers and walkers and you can secure your place on this brand-new experience from Wednesday this week."

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.

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.

"It’s fantastic to see the growing popularity of the Great Walks," says Steve.

"We can manage this growth, protect the surrounding environments and maintain a quality experience for visitors, as hut and camp spaces are limited.

"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."

When compared to the previous summer walking season (October to April), overall DOC-managed Great Walks bed nights are down 5 per cent this season. With a differential pricing trial in place on four of the Great Walks, there has been an increase in walkers who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand (up 27 per cent on last year) and their children (up 13 per cent). Revenue is also up 38 per cent and more people are undertaking some of the quieter walks such as Heaphy (up 11 per cent) and Rakiura (up 8 per cent) tracks.

Sign up or check prices and when bookings open for each Great Walk by visiting: www.doc.govt.nz/greatwalks

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