Get your boots on and book a walk

Get your boots on because the Banks Peninsula Walking Festival is now open for bookings. Birds, botany, camping, dogs, families, penguins, period costume, screenagers and the opening of a massive new tramp are just a few of the themes in the 2016 Banks Peninsula Walking Festival running over four weekends in November.

This year’s Festival targets ‘screenagers’ by encouraging children and teenagers to leave their screens behind and get out into nature on these special walks:

  • “My first overnight tramp” a gentle introduction to tramping for families with young children including an overnight stay at the cosy Rod Donald Hut, part of Te Ara Pataka;
  • “Quail Island Campout” – aimed at family groups adventuring to an island and camping overnight;
  • “Youthtown to Hinewai” – the11- 14 age group experience the concept of environmental stewardship with a tramp and overnight stay at wonderful Hinewai Reserve.

The Festival culminates with the formal opening Te Ara Pātaka /Summit Walkway – a new 2½ day tramp from Gebbies Pass to Hilltop – combined with centenary celebrations for Christchurch conservationist Harry Ell. 100 years ago Ell built Sign of the Packhorse Hut as a rest house on his proposed Summit Road – part of his dream for a recreational route from Christchurch to Akaroa via the magnificent summit ridgelines of Banks Peninsula and its first bush reserves. Now Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Department of Conservation have brought Ell’s dream to fruition completing the walking track Te Ara Pākaka / Summit Walkway linking Gebbies Pass to Hilltop. “Te Ara Pātaka is perfect for young people to learn the joys of tramping and about the environment right on the doorstep of Christchurch”, say Suky Thompson, Rod Donald Trust manager. A variety of walks on offer during the Festival enable walkers to join the celebrations on the top of Mt Herbert, the highest point on Banks Peninsula.

The full programme is available at www.bpwalks.co.nz/banks-peninsula-walking-festival/, on our Facebook page (Banks Peninsula Walking Festival).

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Book now through Eventfinda (search Banks Peninsula Walking Festival) or by calling Sarah on 021 08254 606. “Get in quick as places are limited and walks sell out fast”, urges Sarah.

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