New Zealand Guided Walk: Quirky and beau­ti­ful Wai­heke is­land 1-5 days of walk­ing in par­adise

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

Wai­heke Is­land is a place full of com­mu­nity spirit, gor­geous coastal vis­tas, ec­cen­tric and car­ing lo­cals, no traffic lights, safe swimming beaches, world­class winer­ies and cheer­ful vil­lage life where smil­ing is manda­tory.

Just 40 min­utes by ferry from down­town Auck­land, Wai­heke Is­land is loved by its 9000 res­i­dents, and ev­ery one that comes to visit.

Three years ago, with that elu­sive goal of find­ing pas­sion in my work, I started the is­land’s first multi-day walk­ing com­pany, iWalkWai­heke, of­fer­ing packages in­clud­ing gourmet food, ac­com­mo­da­tion, trans­port, full sup­port and lo­gis­tics to walk on Wai­heke, whether for one day or to tackle the 100km Te Ara Hura trail.

iWalkWai­heke an­swers all the usual walk­ing dilemmas of how far is that, how long will it take, is the track well marked, which track is best suited, where do we stay, where do we eat, and so on!

As a su­pery­acht chef (and later a natur­opath) I’ve called Wai­heke Is­land home since 1994, and I love to share it and host peo­ple who love to walk. The drive was to es­tab­lish an eco­con­scious multi-day walk­ing tour, show­cas­ing our fab­u­lous tracks and trails and blend­ing it with spec­tac­u­lar food, wine and scenery, giv­ing clients a fun, mem­o­rable, ac­tive and var­ied walk­ing hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence.

Clients have ranged from solo walk­ers who trek all over the planet look­ing to walk for the pure plea­sure of walk­ing, tramp­ing groups look­ing for a new ad­ven­ture com­bin­ing a walk­ing hol­i­day with com­fort and din­ing, and peo­ple chal­leng­ing them­selves for fit­ness.

One Aus­tralian cou­ple booked to walk the 100km with­out ever hav­ing

walked any­where. They were from a flat min­ing town in the out­back, and were ex­hil­a­rated by the hills and the un­du­lat­ing trails, and pushed t hem­selves be­yond their ex­pec­ta­tions to ju­bi­lantly com­plete the walk. An­other group wished to walk just the best of the best tracks for a cou­ple of hours each day and en­joy wine tast­ings and a long lunch! Each trip is cus­tom planned to suit what­ever you re­quire.

The trails and tracks tra­verse a fan­tas­tic mix of na­tive bush, coastal farms, look out points, for­est and bird re­serves, re­gional park, rights of way through pri­vate land, wet­lands, and beaches.

These gor­geous trails are joined up through quiet roads and vil­lage paths. My great­est sur­prise is how much ev­ery­one en­joys these parts of the track too, that wind through quaint baches and back­yards, the mil­lion­aire’s man- sions, the vil­lage shops, com­mu­nity halls and the art gal­leries, pro­vid­ing the won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­sect with the lo­cals go­ing about their is­land lives. For more in­for­ma­tion or ques­tions please contact vicki@iwalkwai­heke. co.nz and join us for a re­ward­ing and mem­o­rable walk­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The stun­ning coast­line beck­ons, the bird­song will wake you and the an­cient bush calls you to en­ter.

Above right: iwalk guide Vicki Eng­land. Above left: Ha! Here I am! Below left: This walk goes up and over a board­walk.

Above left: The sign point­ing out the route on the Te Ara Hura Trail. Above right:: Over­look­ing Palm Beach. Below left mid­dle: and below: Where you walk on Wai­heke Is­land you are never too far fom the sea.

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