Recreation or preservation? : visitor conflict on the Hollyford Track
Recreation conflict among visitors undertaking dissimilar activities in New Zealand's national parks can create dissatisfying wilderness experiences. Private jet boat activity in the vicinity of the Hollyford Track in Fiordland National Park has raised the ire of some trampers using the area, who have complained to the Department of Conservation about its impact on visitors' ability to experience natural quiet. Complaints have been fielded about the impact of large parties of private recreational jet boaters travelling with up to ten boats whose presence at the Department of Conservation huts on the Hollyford Track has created tensions with other visitors. This study aimed to ascertain the extent to which jet boating activity impacts on other visitors' experiences of the Hollyford Track. Facets of goal interference conflict, social values conflict and visitor satisfaction theory influenced the design of the research questions which examined visitors' motivations for going to the Hollyford, their level of satisfaction with the experience and the nature and extent of any dissatisfaction on the Hollyford Track. A survey administered on the Hollyford Track, interviews with key informants and an examination of submissions by jet boaters to the Draft Fiordland National Park Management Plan revealed a number of sources of conflict surrounding jet boating activity in the Hollyford area. A degree of annoyance at jet boat activity was indicated by 19 per cent of the 44 per cent of survey respondents that noticed jet boats. More significantly, the intermittent appearance of the large jet boating parties has created a considerable degree of goal interference and social values conflict for some other visitors. The heart of the issue may lie in significant disparities in opinion about how the natural environment ought to be used. Positively, overall levels of satisfaction with the Hollyford experience are high. A surprising degree of conviviality exists between trampers and hunters using jet boats. The activities of both hunters and jet boaters provide a degree of interest and entertainment for trampers, despite a small degree of concern about hunters having guns in the Department of Conservation huts. However, the impact of large jet boating parties has significant potential to create dissatisfying wilderness experiences for others. This finding has important implications for the Southland Conservancy of the Department of Conservation as manager of the Hollyford Track.
Advisor: Kearsley, Geoff
Degree Name: Master of Regional and Resource Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
x, 197 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Geography.