As the weather starts to warm and days grow longer, there are more opportunities to explore the island’s wild spots. The Waiheke Walking Festival returns on Monday 23 October, giving hiking enthusiasts the chance to take to the island’s many pathways and enjoy its beautiful landscapes.

The 11-day celebration will kick off with the Waiheke Community Walk. The free two-kilometre walk will start at 9am at Onetangi Sports Park. Walkers will be welcomed with a pōwhiri from Ngāti Paoa mana whenua.

Walking Festival manager Vicki Angland says  it’s no easy feat organising such a big community event and takes up most of her year. “I love Waiheke and walking, so it’s a dream job for me. I really enjoy the connection to the community and fabulous people I meet and work with – and the rewards of working for a not-for-profit and sustainable community event.”

This year the festival’s tagline is World’s Friendliest Walking Festival and it offers more private-land walks than ever before. These new lands include Lady Jennie Fenwick’s property, revealing some rarely seen parts of Te Matuku, and Sunshine Valley Farm on the Orapiu road. • Silvia Massa

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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