New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has announced that the bookings for seven of the country’s ten ‘Great Walks’ will be delayed from April to June after technical difficulties with the website.

Milford Track Bookings

Last week, the DOC booking website crashed when around 10,000 people attempted to make a booking for the most popular of the multi-day walks, the Milford Track, at the same time. Despite the technical issues, spaces for the 2023/24 season were booked out by midday. 

Further Technical Issues

Bookings for another four of the Great Walks – the Kepler Track, Abel Tasman Coast Track, Rakiura Track, and the Whanganui Journey – were set to open today at 9:30am NZST. 

However, the site once again suffered technical issues, with users unable to make bookings for any of the trails. After around 45 minutes of failed attempts, the booking website was directed to a page stating;

‘Due to technical issues Great Walks will not open today. DOC will provide one weeks’ notice of the new opening dates via the DOC website.’


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Booking Dates Delayed

The Department of Conservation has since announced that bookings for seven of the Great Walks – including the Paparoa Track, Routeburn Track, and Tongariro Northern Circuit, which were supposed to open tomorrow morning – will be delayed until June.

‘Due to ongoing technical issues being worked on by our IT vendor, we have chosen to postpone the bookings opening dates rather than put people through the stress of dealing with delays and errors,’ said DOC Booking Services Manager Cameron Hyland.

The new opening dates for these bookings are yet to be confirmed, but will be announced on the DOC website.

Bookings for the partially closed Heaphy Track are still scheduled to open in May, with bookings for the whole track to be announced at a later date.