Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Mackenzie Basin’s transition from wilderness to tourist place
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The natural landscapes of New Zealand are a key attraction for domestic and international visitors for a variety of recreation and leisure purposes. This paper explores the interactions between heritage and recreational values for a region in New Zealand known for its sublime landscape (Bell and Lyall 2002). The paper discusses the transient movements and activities of visitors encountering this sociocultural landscape, often seeking to view the iconic landmark - Aoraki/Mt Cook – part of the Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage area – which is accessed via the Mackenzie Basin. Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park is a wilderness region that has significance not only for local inhabitants but also for travellers sightseeing and recreating in the area. Early inhabitants of the region – Māori from the Kai Tahu iwi (tribe) - visited the Mackenzie Basin‟s numerous waterways and lakes to gather mahika kai (traditional foods) and continue to have strong associations with the area. Since European settlement in the mid 19th century the Mackenzie landscape has been shaped by human activities, particularly farming, tourism and recreation.
Thompson-Carr, A. (2012) 'Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Mackenzie Basin’s transition from wilderness to tourist place', Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice, 4(1), p.30-58
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