DATES: 1-16 APRIL 2023

Kicking off in 2003, the ECHO Walking Festival is organised by town promoters in the participating towns and districts.

With 32 walks to choose from, we have something for everyone.

Read on to discover what we have planned.

ECHO Walking Festival Objectives:

  • To enable local residents to take part in walks in their local parks and reserves.
  • To highlight the benefits of regular exercise.
  • To increase awareness and use of local parks and reserves.
  • To promote local tourism.

Through the Festival, we want to encourage all New Zealanders to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, to appreciate the attractions of our region, and to keep fit and active.

Registration Policy: You must book any walk or activity that you wish to participate in.

Health and Safety:

For your health and safety please:

  • Wear suitable shoes/boots and clothing.
  • Register for all walks at least three days prior to the walk and declare any medical conditions/medication when you register.
  • Bring your own wet weather gear.
  • Bring a water bottle, snack food, and any medication needed for all walks. For longer walks, please be prepared to bring lunch, a first aid kit and a torch.
  • Stay with the group and follow any instructions given by your walk leader.


Owharoa Falls Heritage Bike and Train Ride - Grade 2-3

Take a scenic bike ride to the Owharoa Falls and explore some of the area’s rich heritage along the way. Follow the stunning Ohinemuri River through gentle farmland as it flows from Waihi to Waikino and beyond. Then return to Waihi on Goldfields heritage railway. Trail bikes, helmets and a local guide will be provided for the adventure. A moderate level of fitness and good bike riding skills will be required for this event. Please bring snack or a light lunch and water. The adventure will start and finish at Waihi Bicycle Hire and is limited to a maximum of 14 people.

Waihi Beach North End Mining History - Grade 3

Discover the history of Waihi Beach Gold Mining and the Treasure Island Reef. Our guide is from the Robinson family and has a wealth of knowledge and has some fascinating stories. Bring food, drink and appropriate shoes. Children over the age of 10 years welcomed with parent or guardian. Some dangerous areas close to cliff edges. There are 25 spaces only for this trip so be in quick!

North Shore Wander Whangamata - Grade 3

Along Beach Road, to the Marina, Waireka Reserve, headlands of the harbour, to Harry Watt Drive at Durant Drive intersection, we all walk back to Waireka Place. Grade 1 group then goes back to our meeting place at their leisure and finishes. Grade 3 will walk to Brenton Place, then through the forestry to Pa Road cell site to View Whangamata, and return via Highway 25 and Port Road to our Meeting place.
Grade 1 Ramble 2 Hours. Grade 3 Ramble 3.5 Hours.

Papakura Bay Shipwreck - Grade 3-4

A fabulous walk that starts at Whiritoa Lagoon then over to Waimama Bay and then heads up into the bush and over to Papakura bay (Shipwreck Bay) and takes in the shipwreck of the “Hipi” from 1976. Experience some truly amazing coastal views out to The Alderman islands, beautiful Pohutakawa trees growing on the cliffs and native birdlife. Be prepared to wade through the lagoon (knee to thigh deep depending on tide). Bring food and drink including lunch, wear appropriate shoes. Children of all ages welcomed with parent or guardian.

Don’t forget we have some great little easy to handle walks too!

Backways around Katikati

An informative walk through the reserves and streets of Katikati. Everyone is welcome to stay for lunch at the end of the walk at a local café.

The Blade Carpark Walk & Puketoke Reserve - Katikati - Grade 1-2

Starting at the a Kereru Loop track, then turn onto the Leyland O’Brien tramway track. Walk down to a spot by the river and return the same way and then continue on the Loop track. Lots of lovely bush to see and birds to hear.

Register for these or check out the vast range of other walks and activities on offer: