Steal a ‘March’ with Manawatu’s Walk­ing Fes­ti­val


Manawatu’s great out­doors beckon. Walk­ers and tram­pers from through­out New Zealand are primed to visit the re­gion from March 10 to 12 for the 11 in­spir­ing walks on the third Manawatu Walk­ing Fes­ti­val.

With walks for all ages and fit­ness lev­els, there are plenty of op­tions to choose from, in­clud­ing sev­eral new ex­cur­sions.

To en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence, each walk is hosted by ex­perts who range from tramp­ing guides, ex­pe­ri­enced walk­ers and na­ture ex­perts, to his­to­ri­ans, sto­ry­tellers, and pho­tog­ra­phers.

The fes­ti­val opens on Fri­day, March 10 with its most pop­u­lar ex­cur­sion, the Sun­set Beach Walk from Fox­ton to Hi­matangi.

The sec­ond most pop­u­lar walk is the Sun­day, March 12 Po­hang­ina Es­tate Vine­yard and Farm Walk, which in­cludes wine tast­ing, a gourmet pic­nic lunch, the Po­hang­ina Wet­lands, and ends with a stop at the Herb Farm Cafe above Ash­hurst

New this year is the Pet­ti­far & Gilchrist Loop Tracks walk along­side the Po­hang­ina River with a bar­be­cue lunch at To­tara Re­serve.

An­other new walk is Feild­ing’s Kowhai Park to Kitch­ener Park - where there is a kahikatea tree es­ti­mated to be about 700 years old. Walk­ers are then bussed to a walk through Mt Lees Re­serve and a pic­nic lunch in the sum­mer house.

On Satur­day morn­ing March 11, Manawatu Strid­ers are guid­ing a walk around the Sum­mer­hill area which starts in the Es­planade and of­fers mag­nif­i­cent views of the Manawatu River.

Re­turn­ing walks from last year are the his­toric Sledge Track Walk on Satur­day, led by Ian Ar­gyle, and Sun­day’s Hori­zons Fern Walk in the Po­hang­ina Val­ley.

Mem­bers of For­est & Bird will conduct two walks in the Manawatu Gorge. On Satur­day there’s the fam­ily ori­ented Te Apiti Tawa Walk, and on Sun­day the full Manawatu Gorge Walk.

On Satur­day evening, gallery owner Bron­wyn Zim­mer­man will guide the Pub­lic Sculp­ture Walk around The Square and cen­tral Palmer­ston North.

The long­est event in­clud­ing the bus ride, is the Rangi­wahia Hut Tramp on Sun­day, March 12 led by Dave Grant, which of­fers mag­nif­i­cent views over Ran­gi­tikei.

Places on the walks are lim­ited.

Nick Dy­mock ad­dresses a group dur­ing the Manawatu Walk­ing Fes­ti­val’s Po­hang­ina Val­ley Es­tate Vine­yard and Farm Walk.

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