Bay of Islands Walking Weekend

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If you are looking for a goal to motivate, the beautiful Bay of Islands Walking Weekend (October 2-4) offers 20 walks to choose from, with something for all fitness levels and interests.

Whether you prefer the challenge of a heart-pumping hike or a slow meander, the choice is yours. Based in Russell, the walks are the perfect excuse for a weekend away in spectacular settings.

From a cultural history tour around Russell, to a vineyard visit and wine tasting at Omata Estate, to glow worms and stargazing, or an overnight stay at the lighthouse keeper’s accommodation as you trek the Rakaumangamanga walk, there are plenty of options to choose from. A number of the walks are also family friendly, with some even suitable for dogs to ensure no one gets left out.

Barbara and Ian Shirley from Alexandra have taken part in the BOI Walking Weekend for the past two years and are returning this year. This time, they’re planning to bring family from Dunedin including their five-year-old granddaughter, who is looking forward to going on the evening kiwi walk.

“We thoroughly enjoy the weekend as we’re outside, soaking up the beautiful scenery and getting some exercise at the same time,” says Barbara.

“We’ve made lots of new friends and part of the fun is the ‘happy hour’ back at The Duke of Marlborough Tavern, where you can relax with a drink and reminisce on the day with fellow participants. At the end of the weekend everybody is invited to the Duke to farewell new friends they have made and hear all the funny stories of the weekend’s adventures.

“Our first walk was at night so we could listen to all the birdlife like owls and kiwis. The guide was a local DOC employee and he had a wealth of knowledge about all the birds. We walked from the town through the bush to the flagstaff and it was great. Very steep and of course it was pitch dark as well, which added to the adventure.”

Jayne and Barbara Shirley.

Jayne and Barbara Shirley.

Last year Barbara and daughter Jayne went on the walk which involved sailing to Moturua Island in the R Tucker Thomson.

“That was a long but enjoyable and educational day. Lots of history and great views. We both enjoy walking and are reasonably fit but we would suggest if you are in doubt about whether you can do it seek and accept the advice of the guides that are on each trip. Also a walking stick is very helpful.”

This year’s walks include:

Urupukapuka Island
Travel by commercial launch to Otehei Bay and enjoy an historical archaeological walk over the largest island in the bay. Climb through regenerating manuka forest to catch amazing views along the coastline.

Omata Vineyard
Walk from Russell across the mangrove boardwalk and a brief climb out to Omata Estate. Be met at the gate by viticulturist Bruce Soland for some vineyard chatter as you tour the rows of next year’s harvest. An introduction to wine tasting then a glass of your favourite with a platter of your choice. Enjoy the best of vines and wine, walk and talk, sit and sip before returning to Russell by bus.

Numbers for each walk are limited to 20, so it’s best to book early. www.boiwalkingweekend.co.nz
Ticket prices from $20 per person.

WIN tickets Bay of Islands Walking Weekend

Experience the fun and adventure of the Bay of Islands Walking Weekend which is held in Russell from October 2-4. Grab a friend and choose the walks you prefer for fresh air, fitness, friendship and fun.

We have two tickets up for grabs for you and a friend to take part in one of the walks on each day. Check out the selection of walks at boiwalkingweekend.co.nz where you can read all about the Walking Weekend. (Travel and accommodation costs are not included in the prize).

To enter, simply fill in the form below. Entries close September 18.

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