Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 12:24 pm

International visitors will pay roughly double for DOC huts and campsites on New Zealand's four most popular Great Walks as part of a trial starting in October.

The increased fee aims to help DOC maintain the tracks and control visitor numbers.

A price hike would affect tourists using the Milford, Kepler, Routeburn and Abel Tasman Coast tracks.

Prices for huts for international visitors, including children, on the Milford Track will be $140 per night, on the Kepler and Routeburn $130 per night and Abel Tasman Coastal Walk $75 per night.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/arti ... d=12063439
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Lizzy » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 3:56 pm

Only $1680 for a family of 4 on the Milford... plus transport, food, etc. Ouch
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 4:25 pm

Lizzy wrote:Only $1680 for a family of 4 on the Milford... plus transport, food, etc. Ouch


they all get booked out over summer at present, massive no's of people competing for space. i've been on them and i often struggle to find another kiwi in my own country.... essentially foreigners are subsidised because long term local taxpayers are paying the majority of the money that maintains the track and huts and they struggle to get a look in to get on the track when they want to...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Lizzy » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 4:35 pm

It’ll probably still get booked out & you locals won’t get a spot anyway...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 4:41 pm

Lizzy wrote:It’ll probably still get booked out & you locals won’t get a spot anyway...


its a trial to see what the effect will be... watch this space... it will dent bookings, the question is how much... kids were all free so it was a good deal for families which it isnt anymore... especially youth groups..
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Lizzy » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 4:44 pm

I agree they should charge for kids- maybe not that much though!
Will be interested to see how it goes.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby izogi » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 7:19 pm

Lizzy wrote:It’ll probably still get booked out & you locals won’t get a spot anyway...


I've heard elsewhere informally that the redesigned system is capable of preserving space for New Zealanders to give them more opportunity to book... presumably freeing up the space for others if it's not booked by a certain time, if that ever happens. I'm not clear on whether there's a plan to implement such a system immediately, or if it's just available for the future.
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Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby RonK » Sat 02 Jun, 2018 8:41 pm

Since Aussies gain NZ citizenship rights on arrival, I presume we'll pay the normal rate. :wink:
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Sun 03 Jun, 2018 4:49 am

Lizzy wrote:I agree they should charge for kids- maybe not that much though!
Will be interested to see how it goes.


the system was being completely rorted by overseas youth groups since all the kids were free, and you're using up gas provided in the huts and all the human toilet waste has to get helicoptered out and in places fuel is flown in for fires...
when the free children system was started, it was started for NZers and they were teh majority of walkers, but that has completely reversed now especially during the holiday season...
NZers were complaining they couldnt get on the tracks. part of national parks was setting them up to make it easier for NZ kids to get into the outdoors and be able for nz families to get an affordable experience..
the track fees don't cover the full cost of running great walks... and no tourist will pay enough taxes to go towards the great walk to cover their costs...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Sun 03 Jun, 2018 4:52 am

izogi wrote:
Lizzy wrote:It’ll probably still get booked out & you locals won’t get a spot anyway...


I've heard elsewhere informally that the redesigned system is capable of preserving space for New Zealanders to give them more opportunity to book... presumably freeing up the space for others if it's not booked by a certain time, if that ever happens. I'm not clear on whether there's a plan to implement such a system immediately, or if it's just available for the future.


from the latest material put out by DOC the new booking system is going to keep changing over time,
i don't see any system to reserve spaces for NZers at present and theres no specific details if or when that will happen
for now they are using the higher pricing for foreigners as a test to see what the effect is and see if that enables more NZers onto the tracks or whether a similar no of foreigners will pay the higher fees and keep taking most of the spaces on those great walks...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Sun 03 Jun, 2018 6:17 am

there have been issues with Australian schoolchildren coming in and doing block bookings and then not always turning up,

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/104 ... reat-walks
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby izogi » Sun 03 Jun, 2018 2:28 pm

wayno wrote:from the latest material put out by DOC the new booking system is going to keep changing over time,
i don't see any system to reserve spaces for NZers at present and theres no specific details if or when that will happen


I heard it via FMC, which seems to have been consulting with DOC here and there over a long time. Here's the vaguely clearer description of what I heard about an intent to investigate preferential booking for New Zealanders. https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/104 ... i-trampers
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Mon 04 Jun, 2018 9:23 am

DOC to investigate preferential hut bookings for Kiwi trampers
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/104 ... i-trampers
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Warin » Wed 15 Aug, 2018 7:18 pm

I don't think doubling the fee will do much.
Foreigners have to pay for getting there, accommodation etc. They already pay more so the extra fee will simply be seen as a small increase.

Mention of 'kiwi only' times .. I think is a little elitist. Perhaps reserve 50% of each days bookings for kiwis?
If they don't sell out then release then to everyone at some point.

As for 'too many people'.. well the limit is set for the Milford Track, if there needs to be less ...just reduce the numbers.

How many kiwis take the expensive option for the Milford Track? Very few I'd imagine,most will be foreigners who don't want to handle the booking system, or who simply missed out and take the expensive option to get it done.

Humm the Indians also charge more for foreigners ... 1,100rp vs 50rp for a local at the Taj .. 22 times ... not just double.
The DOC fees increase may put more people into the expensive option of the private huts.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 3:26 am

this year, all the popular walks charging double for foreigners, booked out every bit as fast as previous years. theres no shortage of people queueing up to pay the money and NZers just trying to get on the walks outnumbered by foreigners wanting to get onto them.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Aardvark » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 4:40 am

What's next...banning the muslims?
You should market them as 'NOT SO GREAT WALKS'.
It would be more honest anyway.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 5:17 am

Aardvark wrote:What's next...banning the muslims?
You should market them as 'NOT SO GREAT WALKS'.
It would be more honest anyway.


well no one has been banned at all, everyone can still walk those walks.
they are very well maintained tracks, they are extremely expensive to maintain in a conservation park, conservation parks are expensive to run, there are plenty of other tracks, you pay for the experience you're after, no ones stopping people going and tramping the rest of NZ for next to nothing... people have complained endlessly about FOUR TRACKS covering a couple of hundred k's...
shouldnt you be able to walk the best tracks in your own country or are you happy with foreigners getting all the places on the overland trail etc?
as said before people spend hundreds or thousands to get to nz and complain endlessly about paying a few tens of dollars a night for a great walk, get some perspective.
the rules are that all the sewerage and human waste and rubbish must be removed from the great walk... it has to be flown out at massive expense, but you have a much cleaner environment, no lingering smell or rubbish or contaminated water, with the exception of one hut.
storms wipe out the tracks pretty readily, at the start of each spring a massive amount of work is needed to clear slip debris and fallen trees from the tracks so people have an easy track to work on, that all costs $$ and its actually mainly paid for by the NZ taxpayer they are the ones who paid for the construction of the track in the first place. they havent been developed as a result of tourism at all.. they were preexisting to the tourism boom , if we only funded after the tourist $$ came in there would be very very few tracks to walk...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby izogi » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 7:09 am

Warin wrote:I don't think doubling the fee will do much.
Foreigners have to pay for getting there, accommodation etc. They already pay more so the extra fee will simply be seen as a small increase.


It's probably not a big thing for sporadic backpackers, but I think the biggest impact by far is likely to be for family groups. If you look at Abel Tasman as an example mum and dad and 3 kids might previously have planned to come over and spend most of the time on the walk. For 3 nights in huts, that'd have cost them $38*2*3=$228. Now, however, the adult prices have nearly doubled and furthermore they have to pay the same amount for each of 3 children. ie. $75*5*3=$1125, or an increase of $897. If the plan was for Milford or Routeburn, the increase is considerably greater.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next time around, when everyone knows what the rules are. The most irritated people I've seen this year were certain family groups who'd booked and committed to their flights and were hanging out to wait for Great Walk bookings to open. Then, a day or two before that happened, it was announced they'd have to pay a considerably amount extra for their planned holiday than they'd expected to. Some people simply turned up at the booking site and got a shock to find it'd changed. If you were in NZ with any interest in tramping or Great Walks then you'd probably have seen this coming, but my experience living in Australia was that, predictably, there's very little coverage or interest of stuff happening in NZ.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 7:20 am

that was the problem because kids from anywhere were free it used to be a good option to do, and NZ families were having to compete with the rest of the world to get on the great walks, and they still do, changing the fees hasnt put enough people off, it may have scared off a lot of overseas families but theres still plenty of other people from overseas willing to part with the money to get on the walks, its on a lot of peoples bucket lists
how many of theese people only know about the great walks, thats all they know about where to go tramping in nz?
, and opening up the cheaper great walks for booking before the popular ones didn't make a difference to how fast the popular ones booked out. so the policy has actually not achieved much, most people want to go on specific great walks, not all of them.. theres a big difference on popularity...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby izogi » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 7:29 am

The other thing to point out about this is that it's not a citizenship or nationality thing. It's a residency thing.

People who live in New Zealand get the cheaper rates. Even people on work visas get the cheaper rates, as long as they've been in NZ for at least 6 of the past 12 months. There are at least a couple of states or territories in Australia which do similar things, for local residents, when it comes to things like park entry fees. The only exception to this is NZ citizens living overseas, which is probably there for politics.

There are a bundle of narratives about why it's being done depending on whom you speak to. I don't really subscribe to the "we pay tax and they don't" mantra because I think taxes are more complex than that. I still see some logic in trying to weight the system so that people who live in NZ, and contribute directly back to the society they're living in, can still get some benefit from some of these places that have recently become so swamped by international tourists that it's getting increasingly difficult for local people to access. Whether this is the best way to do it is another question, but it's certainly the most immediately easy way to try.

In the end, though, Australians can get cheaper rates --- just as anyone else can. They just have to choose to live in NZ and contribute part of the benefit they get back to society. (Not as easy as it sounds, but the rest of us manage it.) Muslims from overseas can come and live here, too, and if they do they get cheaper rates. Australians can probably do this even easier than people of most other nationalities given the automatic non-expiring visa. Australians, and anyone else who lives in NZ with no expiry date on their visa, even get to vote here if they choose to.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Aardvark » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 12:21 pm

I've never disagreed with the principle of a Great Walk. It is a reasonable approach to handling numbers and providing infrastructure to cope whilst minimising impact elsewhere.
The word GREAT is what i find curious. Anything that attracts a greater volume of people is going to provide me with a disincentive. Twenty years and over forty visits to NZ and i think i may have touched on a couple of Great Walks or part thereof. Charge $10000 a night for all i care.
Numbers from overseas have obviously increased with the reference to Great Walks and i say jokingly to market them as NOT SO GREAT WALKS and maybe numbers will drop.
My concern is over the way it is marketed.
It is provocative to suggest foreigners pay double. That's like a newspaper headline. Designed to grab attention.
Why focus on the negative when you might simply gloss over the increases in price and highlight the discount for Kiwis. Particularly in light of no decrease in demand.
One needs in these times to not be seen to discriminate.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 12:31 pm

yes a mistake was made in marketing them worldwide, and word of mouth and the internet have made them far to popular, air NZ got in on promoting them as well and featured them on their preflight safety videos...
marketing 9 walks to the world is asking for trouble and thats wht they got, meanwhile most of the other tracks will only become well known if they are mentioned enough on the internet, as some of them are,
meanwhile a lot of the 1000 huts in NZ dont get visited much as the rest get more overloaded and theres still countless places to pitch a tent but a lot of trampers seem to want huts because they've heard we have so many, backpacking tourists have delved into tramping as a result...
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Warin » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 12:50 pm

wayno wrote: backpacking tourists have delved into tramping as a result...


That there is a good thing.
The need is to 'promote' the less 'popular' tracks to the backpackers so they don't got to the overloaded tracks but spread the demand around.

Perhaps when things are sold out there should be a random walk suggested as an alternative on the website?

-------------
I note that it is still possible to book spots on the expensive walk ... for this year, even on the Milford Track. ~$500 per night keeps them away.
How high will it go before people shun the 'cheaper' option? ~$400 difference per night and you only have to carry your clothing?
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 12:56 pm

backpackers wont go to the less popular rougher tracks that have small huts few and far between if at all...,, its all viral they tend tofrequent the same tramps, they just do what the masses have done before , or they end up out of their dept and need rescueing because they arent that skilled and its easy to get out of your depth when you dont understand the risks of whre you are going
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby izogi » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 12:58 pm

I don't think marketing in itself was necessarily a mistake. In many ways it makes easier to try to attract the masses to the same small number of places. That way it becomes much easier to manage a concentrated set of facilities, add a few safety factors, and so on. There doesn't seem to be much planning having gone into it, though. International Tourism interest has hit the capped upper limits of legislation and management plans for several Great Walks, which were never really designed with a surge of international tourism in mind. The result is that tourists are popping up elsewhere all over the place. DOC has to try and guess where to spend on its facilities and has often been playing whack-a-mole depending on whatever was posted last month on TripAdvisor or whatever other forums people use for this stuff these days.

Great Walks began in the 1990s as a mostly domestic thing. It was mostly about being a different management system for a handful of places that were very high interest. Somewhere along the line they became the focus of international interest. Probably because it was the most obvious thing to happen when NZ tripped and fell into its ad-hoc international tourism strategy. ("Just make them come, take their money, and we'll sort out the resulting problems when we're no longer running the government.") Now we're at the point where new Great Walks are being manufactured, and local regions are fighting each other to try and have the next one built in their back yard to try and attract more tourists. Yuck.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 1:11 pm

it wasnt emphasised enough that bookings are essential over the summer season a lot of people just turn up wanting to get on the track without a booking , and tend to flood neighbouring tracks when they can't.
they get all sorts turning up expecting that the huts are serviced and that they can buy food there or that food is cooked and served by staff as it gets done in a lot of mountain lodges in europe...
even people turning up with suitcases. streetwear. people using down jackets as raincoats,,, they marketed it and they got a lot of the lower skilled hikers, i spoke to an aussie with no raingear,and wearing jeans, because to him summer meant the dry season.... there is no dry season in nz, it can rain heavily anytime... see people walking round with half their gear including sleeping bags outside their packs with no waterproof covering... people just using a day pack and strapping everything that doesnt fit on the outside, the odd person carrying supermarket bags.. they just work it out at the last minute what gear they are going to use on the track from whatever they can grab...
a lot of NZers who were in youth groups often get bushcraft training as part of a standard course in the organisation because so many nzers can access the mountains , safety gets drummed into them, you get told point blank what gear to take, what to avoid, to always watch the weather... etc etc... if you didnt have all the right gear they might not let you go tramping. most guys i grew up with had been tramping at some stage. and someone in the group would have enough knowledge to keep the group out of trouble, usually. or they had enough knowledge to not get into so much trouble that there was a serious incident.... a lot of foreign tourists don't have that education and experience... its a different story at the end of the day if you get to unserviced accom or have to camp out in the bush when its wet and cold and windy and theres no drying room to dry everything out or you may not have a change of dry clothes. yo're in amassive hut where the fire does little to warm things up. the bunk room is often in an unheated area... all your gear is wet....
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby Warin » Thu 16 Aug, 2018 8:53 pm

izogi wrote: new Great Walks are being manufactured, and local regions are fighting each other to try and have the next one built in their back yard to try and attract more tourists. Yuck.


:evil: I can see some cable cars in your future. A 'Great Walk' that everyone can do in jeans. And get to a 5*hotel with room service and a dry cleaning service.
Yep .. a cable car for Milford track ... :shock:
Just let me get there before they start building these things?
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Fri 17 Aug, 2018 4:22 am

cablecars have been attempted and may yet happen, the local iwi will be allowed a development if another company is allowed a similar development on conservation land, the iwi have tried to get a gondola above the greenstone,
the worlds longest monorail at 40km was proposed further south to te anau downs. a road tunnel proposed under the routeburn also proposed.
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby north-north-west » Fri 17 Aug, 2018 5:04 pm

wayno wrote:cablecars have been attempted and may yet happen, the local iwi will be allowed a development if another company is allowed a similar development on conservation land, the iwi have tried to get a gondola above the greenstone,
the worlds longest monorail at 40km was proposed further south to te anau downs. a road tunnel proposed under the routeburn also proposed.


The discoonnect here is mindboggling.
Don't the people pushing these proposals - and those who would, presumably, use this infrastructure - realise that this will destroy what they are supposedly trying to access? Or don't they care as long as they can make a few bucks out of it (proponents), and get that Instagram photo (the visitors)?
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Re: Foreigners to pay double to tramp Great Walks

Postby wayno » Fri 17 Aug, 2018 5:15 pm

$$$$$$
its about cashing in on the scenery, the three proposals i mentioned are about trying to get a big slice of the business that transports hundreds of thousands of people a year from queenstown to milford sound for day trips, circumventing the 600km round trip on the road. there isnt nearly enough accommodation for people to stay at between qtown and milford sound, so its done as a day trip for most people going by public transport and a lot by private transport.. big business is just fallig over itself to shorten the trip, BUT what actually happens is, a company wants the right to the shortened trip , once they have it all they have to do is sell it to the highest bigger to take over control of it and develop it... its a cash cow in more ways than one... the road and the monorail at least would have ended in disaster, its the hardest rock in the world, drilling the manapouri hydro tunnels went well over time and budget because it kept breaking the tunnel boring machine...
ALso they wanted to dump the tunnel tailings on the hollyford riverbed because there was nowhere else nearby you could put them and transporting them out of fiordland park would have made the project unprofitable. the first decent flood would carry them into the river, poisoning everything downriver...
the plan for the monorail was laughable, they were asking to clear a path through the forest a few metres either side of the monorail. where a lot of the forest is 25m tall, meaning to avoid trees falling on the monorail line and damaging it, approval would be needed for a 50m wide belt....
queenstown airport is expanding its operations massively to bring in as many tourists as they possibly can to make as much money as they possibly can more hotels will go up, the roads will get more clogged...
from the land of the long white clouds...

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wayno
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