We haven't tried to figure out how many people walked the trail in the 2014-15 summer season, but if we had to make a guess we'd say there were about 250 Through Walkers - people who walked either one island or both islands. Sectioneers - people who only walk small sections of the trail at a time are impossible to gauge. Mostly New Zealanders, these people aren't confined to walking in the summer, and will often walk in the weekends. Many of them are retirees. We reckon there are hundreds of these walkers, ticking up the trail in small chunks.
Maths isn't my strong point, but I'm pretty sure these figures are accurate:
We met 147 walkers altogether. 90 percent (at a guess - I couldn't be bothered figuring this stat out) were Through Walkers.
Country of origin:
34 from the US of A, 30 from New Zealand, 27 from Germany, 12 from France, 9 from England, 7 from Belgium, 5 from Canada, 4 from Switzerland, 3 from Czech Republic, 3 from Aussie, 2 from Ireland, 2 from Austria, 2 from Scotland. One each from Holland, Norway, Israel, Belarus, New Caledonia, Italy.
This gallery is the reason we chose the Nobo route. We walked up the island with the goal of meeting as many walkers as possible. We took a week off when we hit Arthur's Pass, as the Sobo flow peaked. It was great visiting Christchurch, but we missed heaps of walkers. Having said that...if we hadn't stopped we wouldn't have met the small and perfectly formed group of walkers from the season's end.
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