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Special Interest

New Zealand's walking and hiking offering includes three large world heritage sites - Tongariro National Park, Te Wahipounamu and the Subantarctic Islands - and nine Great Walks across the North and South Islands, as well as many one-day options. 

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We promote Walking and Hiking through our activity, highlighting our diverse landscapes, wildlife and environments are not found anywhere else in the world.

With hundreds of walks and hikes across the country to suit all abilities, including guided options, this sector can appeal to a wide range of international visitors.

What do we know about this sector of travellers?

  • Walking and hiking are popular activities for many tourists with a range of options from easy short walks to multi-day great walks.

  • 73% of holiday visitors participated in walking/hiking in the last three years or 1.1 million.  

  • 14% cite walking and hiking as a factor influencing consideration of New Zealand.

  • Those travelling to New Zealand for walking and hiking are staying longer and spending more than the average visitor: $4,100 compared to $3,900. On average they stay 19 days compared to 16 days. 

  • Most international visitors participate in short walks of up to three hours.

  • Walking is a popular activity across all major markets. longer walks are particularly popular among German and UK visitors.

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Read more about visitor walking and hiking activity in our full infographic. 

Who are we targeting?

  • Active Considerers aged 45 and over from Australia, USA, UK, and Germany who view nature/scenic attractions as key reasons for travel. Most of them are seasoned travellers with the time to enjoy themselves at their own pace. They may have walked or hiked many of the world's great walking and hiking trails already, heard about New Zealand's trails, but not visited yet.

  • People from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Japan and China who might consider travelling to New Zealand, and may participate in walking and hiking while they are here. Walking may not be their main hobby, but they are open to the idea of walking or hiking if it means they get to experience more sights. 

Key insight and our points of difference

These visitors want to immerse themselves in natural environments and travel through them at their own pace.

New Zealand's points of difference are:

  • Accessibility (to unique flora, fauna and wildlife and the ability to immerse yourself in nature)

  • Diversity (of landscapes and walking/hiking environments unrivalled anywhere else in the world)

  • People (friendly locals and guides who provide a helping hand and local expertise)

Key barriers

The key barriers for both target audiences is that there are other beautiful walking and hiking destinations these travellers also admire. Also, New Zealand is mostly only known for a few of our great walks, which are considered more extreme and only suited to a 'hard core' walker.

Therefore, the goal is to make walking and hiking travellers feel inspired to come to New Zealand for their next walking and hiking holiday.

Working with the the Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is New Zealand's largest tourism provider, and alongside managing the walking tracks, DoC promotes them in association with tourism partners such as Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. DoC and TNZ work in partnership to promote the country's most unique and iconic outdoor experiences directly to identified target markets and trade. Read more about this partnership here.  

See New Zealand's walking and hiking offering on newzealand.com.