Festival walking the talk on Wairarapa’s treasures
Wairarapa Walking Festival, from 10-19 November 2023
Organisers of the Wairarapa Walking Festival will be putting the region’s best foot forward with many walks that will celebrate local culture, scenery and community.
“There are so many great options, from short walks, family and buggy or wheel friendly options, to bush walks, cultural and history, early morning, or star gazing,” says event convenor, Celia Wade-Brown.
The festival runs from 10 to 19 November, with the majority of walks free, although prior registration is required.
“We’re excited to showcase some of the Wairarapa’s best known walks, as well as some hidden gems that aren’t normally open to the public.”
Whareama Coastal Walk is offering an afternoon taster of their popular private farmland track, offering spectacular views of the Wairarapa coastline. Astronomer Becky Bateman will lead a guided walk under the stars, on the Greytown Rail Trail. Go Carterton has organised a meander through vineyards, ending with wine tastings, olive oil, and platters at Leafy Ridge Olives. Pre-schoolers can use their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths with a guided sensory walk at Fensham Reserve.
Wade-Brown says the festival will also highlight local ecosystems with walks showcasing native species such as long-tailed bats, orchids, New Zealand dotterel, and Raukawa geckos.
“Walkers will discover cultural sites surrounding Hurunui-o-Rangi Marae, historical buildings, Masterton’s 1945 US Marine Corps camps, and the gravesite of the world’s first registered nurse.”
Most of the town walks are wheelchair and pushchair friendly, and – keeping it green – Metlink and Tranzit are providing free buses to a number of events.
“Our festival values are, learn, explore, and connect. Ako, hōpara, hono. We want to offer people the opportunity to learn about our history and our physical world.”