Things to do  |  15 Aug 2019

Get ready to stride into spring by booking a spot for The Breeze Walking Festival.

Festival programmes will be available at Christchurch City Council libraries and Service Centres or online from 19 August.

While about half the festival walks require bookings, you can simply join the other walks on the day.

Bookings open on 26 August as the festival steps up again this year with more than 50 walks on offer between 28 September and 13 October.

Council Head of Community Support, Governance and Partnerships John Filsell says “a wealth of walks are in our own backyards”.

“We literally have a Walking Festival on our doorstep, offering a path to exploration in a beautiful natural environment across greater Christchurch and Selwyn and stretching up to Waimakariri,” Mr Filsell says.

“People can walk while they talk, focus on fitness and saunter along some amazing tracks and pathways – all while staying close to home but learning more about their region.”

Among this year’s festival highlights are several family friendly feature walks, including a Dogs’ Day Out in the Zone on 29 September, Gruffalo Explorers (2 October), The Generation Game at Travis Wetland (6 October), Pukeko Stomp (8 October) and Adventure on Te Ara Ihutai Christchurch Coastal Pathway (13 October).

Dog treats, activities and stalls all add to the Dogs’ Day Out, with pets gathering at Richmond Community Gardens in preparation for putting their best paws forward.

With Gruffalo Explorers, youngsters can meet new friends as families enjoy a self-guided walk through Bottle Lake Forest. However, beware of the Gruffalo. You can easily recognise the forest dweller by his “terrible tusks, and terrible claws”.

All roads lead to McLeans Island for the popular Pukeko Stomp. Young adventurers can explore the forest and stomp their way through mud, or try their hand at hut building, flax weaving and mud cake creation.

You can also enjoy one of the festival’s special new walks with a wander along Te Ara Ihutai Christchurch Coastal Pathway towards Sumner Beach.

For more information, pick up a programme or check out the walks online.