Man­gawhai Walk­ing Week­end to cel­e­brate 20th an­niver­sary

Walking New Zealand - - New Zealand Walks - By Mar­garet Smith

The March 2019 Man­gawhai Walk­ing Week­end is the 20th an­niver­sary of this great walk­ing event. The or­gan­is­ers be­lieve this will be the best yet and we do hope you are able to help us cel­e­brate.

Man­gawhai is renowned for its beau­ti­ful har­bour, beaches and Pa­cific and is­land vis­tas. Many of our walks ex­ploit this back­drop.

North­land has large ar­eas of beau­ti­ful na­tive bush and Man­gawhai is no ex­cep­tion. There are large ar­eas of un­spoilt bush, pris­tine spring-fed streams, wa­ter­falls and mag­nif­i­cent an­cient trees. Between the bush and the twin Kaipara and Man­gawhai Har­bours we are a farm­ing, hor­ti­cul­tural, wine pro­duc­ing and ar­ti­san com­mu­nity.

Many of the week­end events en­able par­tic­i­pants to go be­hind the scenes and talk to pro­duc­ers.

Many walks take place on pri­vate prop­erty, opened spe­cially for the walk­ing week­end in­clud­ing a se­lec­tion of blokes’ sheds.

Man­gawhai is just a 20 minute easy drive off State High­way 1 (about an hour north of Auck­land). It of­fers a year-round des­ti­na­tion for ac­tive vis­i­tors who en­joy par­tic­i­pat­ing in beach, bush and wa­ter-based ac­tiv­i­ties.

Abun­dant ac­com­mo­da­tion is avail­able along with cafes, fine and ca­sual din­ing, golf cour­ses, bowls, vine­yards, food and ar­ti­san mar­kets, mu­seum and art gallery.

The week­end be­gins on Thurs­day 28th March with a day-long tramp ex­plor­ing the out­stand­ing North­land for­est which pro­vides the green back­drop to Man­gawhai. The week­end closes with a cel­e­bra­tion lunch on Sun­day 31st March.

All told there are more than 30 events to se­lect from, with walks graded from one to four. Par­tic­i­pants can also se­lect from sev­eral wa­ter-based ac­tiv­i­ties and, of course, there is great food and en­ter­tain­ment aplenty.

Many of the walks ex­ploit the scenic

beauty of the east coast. One, the Man­gawhai Cliff Walk has an in­ter­na­tional fol­low­ing, but we would like to give a shout-out for: Te Arai Un­wrapped Satur­day - GRADE 2/3 Ex­plore Te Arai, an un­known gem in the Auck­land Re­gional Park net­work. Start­ing from the Te Arai Point car park we walk south over the head­land cap­tur­ing 360 de­gree panoramic views. We ex­plore parts of the land pur­chased in 2008, home to highly sen­si­tive dune lake ecosys­tems, wet­lands, coastal broadleaf for­est and re­gen­er­at­ing for­est cover, dis­cov­er­ing hid­den nat­u­ral trea­sures, be­fore emerg­ing at Te Arai south beach for lunch. Af­ter a short walk along the golden sands of Forestry Beach we re­turn via the head­land track.

“Loved the va­ri­ety, friendly well in­formed guides” – last year par­tic­i­pant.

De­gree of dif­fi­culty: Gen­er­ally easy walk­ing with two short steep climbs up to the trig and the head­land ridge, three to four hours.

Equip­ment: Boots rec­om­mended but good walk­ing shoes would be fine. Bring morn­ing tea, lunch and wa­ter.

Sun­day - fea­tures a se­lec­tion of short ac­ces­si­ble walks of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of ex­pe­ri­ences for all ages guided by knowl­edge­able and en­ter­tain­ing guides. These coastal walk­ways and tracks ex­plore pa sites, gi­ant po­hutukawas, po­hutukawa groves, ma­ture kanuka for­est, old gum lands, jointed rush wet­lands, lo­cal tales both fact and fic­tion and how Man­gawhai aims to sup­port New Zealand’s fu­ture Olympians. Sun­day Cel­e­bra­tion Lunch All walk­ers are in­vited to help us cel­e­brate “20 years of Walk­ing”.

We in­vite you to come along for a lovely BBQ lunch to share mem­o­ries and so­cialise with other walk­ers. This will take place af­ter the short walks on Sun­day 31st.

With a to­tal of 33 events over four days to choose from, please plan your book­ings and check out full de­tails at:­gawhai­walk­

Our book­ing of­fice is open on­line from 4th Jan­uary 2019.

Above left: The group that went into the Waipu Caves Walk. Mid­dle left: Walk­ing be­side the rocks on the Waipu Coastal Walks.

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