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.