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Kiwis outnumber tourists on Te Araroa Trail

The season for walking Te Araroa Trail – the length of New Zealand – has kicked off. And for the first time Kiwis outnumber international walkers as they set off from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

Te Araroa executive director Mark Weatherall says it's an exciting time for the trail.

"We've obviously lost almost all our international guests to COVID-19 and the closed borders. But we also have a bunch of Kiwis who have decided to walk the length of their country for the first time."

Mark says tens of thousands of New Zealanders walk segments of the trail each year. But when it comes to through-walkers, the people who walk the entire trail in one four-to-five month block, internationals have always outnumbered Kiwis.

"For most Kiwis, Te Araroa is something they can walk over their lifetime rather than over a single summer," says Weatherall.

But this summer is different. Intrepid Kiwis are exploring their country in a new way. And, in doing so they are helping keep alive the many tiny businesses along the trail that rely on tourists.

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