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More New Zealanders walking Te Araroa trail

More New Zealanders walking Te Araroa trail
July 31, 2017

The number of New Zealanders walking the national Te Araroa trail is on the rise, with approximately one in five walkers hailing from cities, towns and rural communities across the country.

Te Araroa Trust Chair David McGregor said one in five of the 550 people who walked the full length of the 3,000 kilometre trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff over the past 12 months were New Zealanders.

Hundreds more Kiwis were in the process of walking the trail in sections over a number of years, and hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders were enjoying individual sections of the trail as day walks, he said.

McGregor explains “awareness of the Te Araroa experience is growing and people at many different stages of their lives are now walking it, from students and young people taking a gap year to retirees and workers taking an extended holiday.

“It’s a great way to connect with New Zealand and to really get to know the landscapes, people and climate that have shaped us as a nation.”

The popularity of the trial is also boosting business for cafés, dairies, campsites and other enterprises along its length.

Te Araroa Trust figures show that the growing number of walkers has contributed an estimated more than $5 million to the economy, with walkers reporting an average spend of between $7,000 and $10,000 throughout their four to five month journey.

The tens of thousands of other people walking individual sections of the trail on shorter trips were also providing a boost for businesses in many small towns through their purchases of coffees, ice creams and other ‘vital supplies’ before or after their walks.

Commenting on the value of the trail, McGregor adds “Te Araroa walkers are often spending money in places mainstream economic development initiatives don’t touch. The trail is giving businesses along its route a nice little leg up, and the number of walkers is just going to keep on growing.”

Among the many businesses benefitting are Main St Lodge, in Kaitaia, and the Mangamuka Dairy, in the township of Mangamuka on the eastern boundary of Northland’s Raetea Forest.

Main St Lodge Manager Suzie Clark said the number of Te Araroa walkers staying overnight at her premises had more than doubled in the past two years and she was now seeing walkers coming through in winter, as well as summer.

Clark explained “in the time I’ve been here it’s just exploded. Many of them start their journey at Main St Lodge before walking to Cape Reinga and then back through Kaitaia, staying here again before they continue south.”

Te Araroa Trust is the group responsible for developing, promoting and managing Te Araroa trail for the good of New Zealand.

The Trust’s focus over the coming year is to ensure the long term sustainability of the trail and embedding the trail experience into the hearts and minds of New Zealanders.

Image: Te Araroa walkers Anthony Behrens and Fiona Burleigh take a break on Mt Rintoul in the Richmond Ranges. Courtesy of Anna McNuff

15th June 2017 - RECORD NUMBERS TAKE TO NEW ZEALAND’S NATIONAL WALKING TRAIL

26th November 2016 - TRAIL BLAZING INITIATIVE TO BOOST RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES

4th September 2016 - AWARDS RECOGNISE NEW ZEALAND’S OUTDOOR ACHIEVERS AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS

5th April 2016 - SURVEY SUGGESTS NEW ZEALANDERS PREFER WALKING TO RUGBY

23rd February 2016 - RECREATIONAL RIDING CONFERENCE EXPLORES CYCLE CHALLENGES

18th April 2014 - MORE THAN A MILLION VISITORS PARTICIPATE IN WALKING AND HIKING IN NEW ZEALAND IN FIVE YEARS

5th February 2014 - CYCLE TRAILS MAKING POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE NEW ZEALAND ECONOMY

2nd June 2013 - OUTDOOR ACCESS PROJECTS TO RECEIVE WALKING ACCESS FUNDING


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The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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