ECHO Walking Festival

POSTPONED - ECHO Walking Festival 2020

The ECHO Walking Festival organisers met on Friday, March 20th, 2020, regarding the impact of COVID-19 on this year's festival. Our regional representatives reported over half of our guides are now unable to participate in planned walks. We are also aware of a general reluctance of people willing to attend events which we completely understand.

In order to provide a fabulous festival with a full program of events, we have made the decision to postpone the event until such time as the COVID-19 threat has lifted and we can gather in groups in safety.

However, we would like to encourage people to continue to go out into nature on their own or in family groups.


Walks / Aongatete Forest Restoration Trust Walk

Aongatete Forest Restoration Trust Walk


Aongatete Forest Restoration Trust Walk

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Grade 2

Nearest Town: Katikati

Registration Region: Katikati

Duration: 2 hours

Start Time: 10:00 AM - Meet at end of Wrights Road at the Aongatete Lodge car park

Cost: Gold Coin Donation to the Trust

For a number of years there has been a bunch of volunteers working towards the restoration of wildlife and plant life in this part of the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.

To achieve this, volunteers are doing pest control. This involves poisoning ship rats and possums. Ship rats eat native lizards and invertebrates and raid bird nests for eggs.

These rats are prey for stoats and feral cats, so they attract additional pest animals to forest. Possums are also a problem in the Aongatete forest - they raid bird nests and strip the forest of much of its foliage.

Indeed, they have eaten so much vegetation that their favourite plants are now gone or going: tree fuchsia and broadleaf are gone, Raukaua, tree Rata and Kamahi are dead or dying , and Kohekohe is under attack.

With all these holes in the forest canopy, wind is knocking over the tall Tawa trees. As new seedlings and saplings grow deer mow the forest floor clean.

However pest control is already making a difference. Bird numbers are increasing, and the volume of insects and spiders has increased dramatically, which means more food for birds. With fewer possums, new green shoots and leaves are appearing on Kamahi and Kohekohe. Come and learn more about the work that they have been doing and have a great walk exploring through the bush.

This walk is very family friendly and will take about 1 ½ hours.

A gold coin donation towards the cause would be greatly appreciated.

Registration essential.


  • Bring Food and Drink
  • Raincoat
  • Sturdy Footwear Required

PLEASE NOTE: Participants are responsible for their own safety equipment, food, water, clothing and vehicles.

Click photo to enlarge: