The Big Fib at the Heart of NZ Picture-Perfect Peaks

“Roys Peak in Lake Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s most Instagrammed day walks, a three-hour hike that offers sweeping views towards Mount Aspiring and the Southern Alps,” writes Eleanor Ainge Roy in an article for The Guardian. “This year alone, more than 73,000 people walked the hike.”

What you don’t see on the perfect Instagram shots is how the location “is buckling under the strain of selfie-seeking tourists, with lines of up to an hour to capture scenes of supposed isolation and peace.”

“A photograph has since revealed the long lines behind the #royspeak Instagram photos, as concerns grow among locals about the damage being done to once pristine alpine environments,” writes Ainge Roy.

“Aaron Fleming, an operations director at the Department of Conservation (DOC), said tourists were getting ‘fixated’ on the perfect Instagram snap, but ‘what you see on social media is the good times, it is uncommon to see the hazards or the bad experiences’”.

“One of the biggest challenges park managers face worldwide is the power of social media to create new visitor destinations at short notice, such as is the case with Roys Peak,” said Fleming.

“DOC is encouraging visitors to seek out new landscapes for their photos and avoid queues of this kind … there are many quieter parts of New Zealand people can discover on their visits if they do a little research.”

Article Source: The Guardian, Eleanor Ainge Roy, December 6, 2018

Image Source: Photo by Félix Lam on Unsplash

Tags: Guardian (The)  Roys Peak  Wanaka  

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