Annual Shanks’ pony ride mounts up again
Lace on your walking shoes and get ready to leg it. The third annual Manawatu Walking Festival steps out this weekend with increased numbers wanting to enjoy a number of local walks and excursions.
‘‘We are excited about this year’s festival. With the new walks and bookings currently tracking well above previous years, it looks like it’s going to our best one ever,’’ says event organiser Frank Goldingham of Walking New Zealand magazine.
The festival offers much more than just a foot slog along Manawatu’s scenic tracks. Hosts provide historical, social and biological commentary en route.
Two new walks have been added this time – the six kilometre Arapuke Loop Walk is cohosted by Ian Argyle, a former resident and local historian.
‘‘Ian knows the area like the back of his hand,’’ Frank acknowledges.
The other is the Manawatu Estuary Walk, with members of the Estuary Trust providing commentary about the Ramsar Site, and the birds it provides a haven for.
‘‘There has been great feedback from walkers on their past festival experiences, and many are returning for their third year. We’re very thankful for the large group of passionate volunteers who host these walk and really make this event something special for all those participating.’’
Walkers have to register, with costs depending on transport hire to the venue. Already the Manawatu Gorge Tawa Loop walk on Saturday is fully subscribed.
Opening on Friday evening with the popular Twilight Beach Walk from Foxton to Himatangi Beach, participants finish up with a fish and chip meal.
‘‘Another popular one is the Vineyard and Farm Walk and Herb Farm tour.
‘‘Walkers tour Manawatu’s award-winning Pohangina Estate Vineyard and enjoy a sitdown gourmet lunch on hay bales.’’
Making the most of the great outdoors and our scenic glories, the third annual Manawatu Walking Festival steps out this weekend.