Waiheke Walking Festival, November 2016

I’ve joined a number of online trail running groups, even though I doubt I’ll ever do a group run – as you all know, I’m not one for “group running” – well unless it involves food, then I may possibly be persuaded, but honestly, probably not.

I use these online groups for three things;

Firstly (and for me most importantly) – I can find out where all of the groups are doing their weekend group runs and then I can avoid the area like the plague.  I’m not a fan of being run down by a large packs of runners while out on the trail.  I’m a lot like a 2 year old, I dislike sharing ..

Secondly trail running groups are THE place to go for advice on shoes, clothes and gear.  I could have saved some big money if I’d asked about hydration packs instead of going with the prettiest.

And lastly it’s a great way to learn about up and coming events (which I will probably NEVER enter, but it does afford me the opportunity to investigate trails that I may want to do (solo) in the future – you know when there isn’t an event on and I therefore am probably less likely to have to share .. 😉

Just last week I found out about the Waiheke Walking Festival which is held for nine days in November and all of the guided walks (all 50 of them) are free!

Yep – Free!

The post that lead me to the Waiheke Walking Festival was about the Oxfam Trailwalker: Te Ara Hura 100km 4 day walk.

Join us for a four-day adventure completing the 100km Te Ara Hura loop. Local Sarah Gloyer will be your guide on this adventure that is perfect training for the one and only Oxfam Trailwalker.

DAY 1: Today begins at Matiatia and takes you around the northern coastline to Onetangi and beyond. A day of gorgeous beaches and coastal vistas with lovely bush and farmland to finish. Complete the day with well deserved refreshments at Charlie Farley’s Restaurant & Bar.

DAY 2:  This is the ‘bottom-end’ section, very scenic and rural, taking in plenty of coastal road and track around the eastern part of Waiheke. Today finishes at Passage Rock Vineyard where your efforts will be well rewarded.

DAY 3: This is the day where you really get to experience the beautiful Waiheke bush, including Whakanewha Regional Park. Another tough day but our latest award winning vineyard, Tantalus Estate, will be there to welcome your tired bones at the end of it.

DAY 4: Back in to urban lands to start before hitting the coast once more for your final, spectacularly beautiful, race to the finish line. 100kms right around Waiheke Island in four days, now that is something! End the day with prizegiving at Solar Eating House.

This 4 day walk has been billed as the perfect training opportunity for those nuts people doing the Oxfam Trailwalker event but there are far less exhausting events on offer some are even child and/or pet friendly!

I’d be quite interested in attending The Whakanewha Dawn Chorus even though it has a start time of 4.30am!

Join Regional Park Conservation Ranger Jonah Kitto-Verhoef for a magical Whakanewha dawn chorus experience. A walk that takes you from the shoreline to the bush and back, this is a birdsong lovers ‘must do’ walk. Remember a torch, warm clothing and binoculars for a spot of shorebird watching at the end of the walk.

James wouldn’t be AT ALL keen because even when he does get up to run with me, it’s pretty hard going to get him out of bed by 7am so there is no way in hell he’ll get up on a Sunday for a 4.30am start, but in saying that, he’s great with late nights so he’d be all over taking the kids to Glow Worm Adventuring for Families even I’d be keen on that one and it would be a great chance to try out the headlamp that currently sits in my trail running pack “just in case”.

I could see my cousin Donna being interested in one of the photography walks on offer and her sister, Helene enjoying one of the myriad of nature walks – perhaps even the ones where you finish at one of Waiheke’s wineries, I mean who wouldn’t. 😉

From what I can see there is truly something suitable for everyone and did I mention all of the walks are free?!?!  Sure you’ll have to pay for the ferry (but Fullers have a discount offer for those people doing the walks) and you may need to catch some transport on the island but that’s still far cheaper than if you signed up to do any of the running events on offer these days and if you do have a bit of discretionary income you could stay on the island and make the most of the events on offer!

Go here to see the full list of events or here to download a brochure.  Please, let me know if you sign up for any of the walks (especially if it’s the Whakanewha Dawn Chorus).

Till next time





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