On the Beaten Track - Hillary trail
Auckland’s west coast was where the late Sir Edmund Hillary would go to recharge. Now a five-day walking trail, named in honour of the great explorer, has been created there.
To walk the Hillary Trail is free, and it’s classed as a safe, accessible walk with some challenging sections. Safety is paramount: although it winds over hills and sand dunes, through valleys and gorges, the trail doesn’t venture near cliffs, and there are no major river crossings.
One of the features that sets the Hillary Trail apart, is that walkers can join the track at any of the beaches, and leave when they like. “It’s still close to Auckland, so you can walk for a day and then get transport back to a hotel in the city.
The trail is the only “big walk” in the North Island.
Outer Queen Charlotte Track
When my wife and I and our three daughters first came a remote Marlborough Sounds peninsula to farm, we hadn’t reckoned on nature teaching us a thing or two about how the world really worked. But day by day and little by little, living in this beautiful place showed us that the world was not just a matter of humans and highways but was instead an almost unimaginably complex interlocking system of natural elements all working together to provide the world we live in and depend on.
Once we had fully appreciated that we wanted to do everything we could to work with nature so we stopped farming, encouraged our paddocks to go back to bush, flashed up the shearer’s quarters a bit and established a network of walking tracks so that visitors could come and share our wonderful environment for a while. Now our daughters have their own daughters and everybody is involved in our Park and environmental work in various ways so not only am I the most well trained man in the world I am also the luckiest.Click here for rest of story
The Te Araroa Trail
Te Araroa – The Long Pathway – is a continuous 3,000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
Te Araroa will provide the ultimate 120-day New Zealand through-tramp, but will provide also section tramps lasting anything from a few days to a week or more, and many attractive day- or overnight walks. It is a different kind of trail from the traditional back-country tramping tracks. Te Araroa connects settlements, townships and cities, and is best conceived as a corridor that encourages social and economic transactions en route – for marae stays and other cultural experiences, also food and accommodation. The track corridor will showcase a wide variety of New Zealand experiences – natural, cultural, and historic.read more
Waikato River Trails
By Monique Balvert-O’Connor
Plump dewdrops drip from lichen, ponga unfurls and the alluring scent of native blossoms mingles with crisp country air.
A vibrant cloud of fantails flit by, bellbirds trill and up ahead expansive views of the countryside are reflected in lake waters.
I don’t remember the South Waikato ever seeming this good.
But then, it’s about 25 years since this farming and forestry district was my home … and that’s way before the Waikato River Trails were developed to reveal this plethora of hidden gems. These scenic South Waikato spots alongside the Waikato river and hydro lakes just weren’t so accessible back when I was a kid. In fact, public access is a recent phenomenon thanks to the construction of these Waikato River Trails.Click here for rest of story
Wilderness Walking in the Queen Charlotte Sound
MARLBOROUGH, AT THE NORTHERN TIP OF NEW ZEALAND’S SOUTH ISLAND IS A NATURAL WILDERNESS WITH UNEXPLORED WATERWAYS AND TRANQUIL SCENERY. A GET-AWAY-FROM-IT-ALL EXPERIENCE IS THE FOUR DAY INN-TO-INN WALK ON THE QUEEN CHARLOTTE WALKWAY.
The start of the walk is at Ship Cove, an hours water taxi from Picton and far into the Outer Sounds. James Cook made this snug cove his main base in the Pacific while circumnavigating the globe.
It’s easy to envisage the sight Cook first saw of the Maoris paddling their waka out to meet the Endeavour, immortalised against the splendour of the deep green, thickly wooded spurs, rising from the depths of the Sounds. The Queen Charlotte Sound has changed little in two centuries.Read more
"I live in Tauranga and have often driven past the Lakes Development in the Tauriko Valley.The valley has morphed from what was once grassy farmland into a bustling hive of activity.This is not just another subdivision in fact the mission is to create an urban oasis that is safe and secure.This is a unique and expansive residential community developed amongst park like surrounds. Better still if you don't want to leave home they have developed well lit walkways and cycle ways so people can get out and enjoy the community.Check out the walking maps and take a look for yourself."
You can visit www.bridgewatervillage.co.nz for more information.
Dame Susan Devoy
Abel Tasman Coastal Track
“Abel Tasman Coastal Track – the best bit of New Zealand” book
By Mike Crudge
Mike Crudge grew up in Motueka and goes back a few times every year to visit his parents. Every summer for the last eleven years he has walked the Abel Tasman Coastal Track and taken more than 60 of his friends through it with him, this summer he has 12 people walking it with him… He loves the place, and describes himself as a bit of a fanatic, he says walking the track each summer has become a tradition, “it’s four days of the year where I leave my laptop and cell phone behind and escape the national grid… I always tent it, there’s some great camping sites in the park, it’s like being on a tropical island.”Click here for rest of story