Evaluation of the New Zealand Cycle Trail – Counter data analysis, 2020

An evaluation of the counter data of the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails was conducted over 12 months from 1 March 2019 to 28 February 2020.

About the evaluation

The report analysed trail counter data from counters on all 22 New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Rides (the Great Rides). 

The main aims of the data analysis project are to:

  • gather counter data from all 22 Great Rides for the 12 months – beginning 1 March 2019 to 28 February 2020
  • develop a consistent methodology for collecting and analysing trail counter data (ie, develop weightings and formulae relative to each Great Ride).
  • provide an estimated number of trips/visits for pedestrians and cyclists for all counters on each Great Ride.

Key findings

Following the installation of eco-Counters on most Great Rides, there is now a wealth of counter information on the New Zealand Cycle Trails, including splits between pedestrians and cyclists, and the direction of travel, for almost every day of the year. Key findings are as follows:

  • Over the 12 months from 1 March 2019 to 28 February 2020, there were 1,985,600 trips on the New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Rides (compared with 1,300,000 estimated trips in 2015).
  • 1,025,000 of these trips were by pedestrians.
  • 960,200 of these trips were by cyclists.
  • At 188,000 cycle trips and 220,000 pedestrian trips for the year, the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trail was the most popular.
  • The venerable Otago Central Rail Trail recorded 68,000 trips, with 13,000 of these being people riding the full trail (similar to 2015).
  • At only 1,822 cycle trips for the year, the St James Cycle Trail, in the South Island, was the least popular of the Great Rides (unchanged since 2015).
Last updated: 22 December 2020