One of the many views walkers can enjoy on the Mangawhai Walking Weekend

Walking weekend a social affair

by Jill Dickie

For 20 years the Mangawhai Walking Weekend has been a popular event for walkers, hikers and trampers, each enjoying the scenic views of ocean, beaches and bushland with old and new friends.

Without the foresight of a dedicated and determined lady in 1999, Jean Goldschmidt, the weekend may not have gained the success and popularity it now enjoys.

The Mangawhai Walking Weekend Charitable Trust was formed in 2015 to assist with track planning, maintenance and building. This team of volunteers continually seek out areas for future tracks and cycleways, making contacts through the local council and Department of Conservation.

The local community play a significant role in the weekend, with around 150 volunteers donating their time each year as enthusiastic guides and assistants, providing a unique experience for walkers to learn more about the local area.

This year visitors can choose between 30 different tracks with varying grades of difficulty, exploring the bush-covered Brynderwyn ranges or meeting new friends on an afternoon ramble around the picturesque estuary loop track.

The new Art ‘n’ Garden walk has been created to celebrate the 20th anniversary, strolling through local gardens and admiring the works of talented artists.

Entertainment from professional performers waiting in hidden locations along the trails should surprise and enthral before partaking in the organised social event of the 20th-anniversary celebrations.

Tickets are available at mangawhaiwalking.co.nz.