ECHO Walking Festival

Walks with unconfirmed dates

These are upcoming events that (for now) have no confirmed dates. As soon as the dates are confirmed, these events will appear on our calendar.

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Aongatete Forest Restoration Trust Walk & Easter Egg hunt

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.

Katikati Photowalk

Katikati Photowalk

The Haiku Pathway is the only such path in the Southern Hemisphere. This peaceful path wanders along the Uretara Stream, showcasing nature in the heart of town. Bird life is quite varied here, including Tui, Heron, Swallows, Duck and of course Pukeko.

Following the pathway, we cross the Uretara Bridge and wander past Humphrey to the Katikati Bird Walk. The Bird Walk is an ongoing sculpture project that is dedicated to Katikati photographer Brian Chudleigh. It is a peaceful walk provides many photographic opportunities as you wander through the saltmarsh and estuary.

Reaching the end of Park Road photographers can either decide to end their walk and head back into town, or continue along the newly built walk that winds its way along the waterfront behind Summerset by the Sea.

Photo Credit 2019: Sue Crompton - If you have any further interest in these photos please let us know


Tuahu Trail Run

Tuahu Trail Run

Park your car at the end of Hot Springs Road (suggest car pooling as there is parking for around 10 cars) and hop on our bus, with all your gear. We will provide you with numbers to make recognising you easier for Checkpoint Charlie. The bus will take you to the beginning of the track on the Te Aroha side of the Kaimais where we will set off onto Wairakau Road. We will run up the Waihou Valley Pine Forest where the views over the Waikato become more and more breathtaking as we continue to rise around the steep western escarpment. At the North South Track at the summit, there will be a checkpoint Charlie (Annabel) where your name will be ticked off. We then head downhill sidling in and out of gullies and down and through the Te Reratukahia Stream along the Tuahu track before coming out at the Hot Springs Road carpark. As well as stunning views of the Waikato and Bay of Plenty we will encounter stunning bush, kauri and other native trees as well as birdlife including Piwakawaka (fantail), (Toutouwai) North Island Robin, Kereru (native pigeon), Tauhou (wax-eye or silver-eye), Tui and Miromiro (tomtit).

Good fitness required, the track is mostly formed with steep, rough sections. Good strong running shoes recommended.

Please note: We need a minimum of 22 people to register and there is a maximum of 30 people.

Tuhua/Mayor Island Day Tripper March 2020

Tuhua/Mayor Island Day Tripper March 2020

Please note: Registrations open January 2020

Tuhua is the ancestral home of the Te Whanau A Tauwhao ki Tuhua. Tuhua is also the Maori name of obsidian and is one of the few places in Aotearoa where this important pre-colonial resource can be found. Te Whanau A Tauwhao consider themselves the guardians of the island’s resources and prohibit the unauthorised removal of the jet black glassy stone.

Kaitiakitanga or guardianship is a concept that is deeply embedded in Maori lore. The Trust takes this responsibility seriously and is actively involved in maintaining the island’s natural character as much as possible.

Manaakitanga or hospitality is another important concept that easily aligns with guardianship. The Trust welcomes visitors to share the unique experiences associated with the island. Its pristine waters and rugged natural environment are available for everyone to share and enjoy.

This trip to the island allows time for the group to walk around the island. This takes about 8-9 hours and is one of the most stunning walks in the country. Please be aware that this walk is most definitely a grade 5 walk and not for the faint hearted. In the past, people have had to turn back rather than continue on as the steep areas became too challenging.

Then it’s a nice trip back to the mainland.

There are 25 spaces only for this trip so be in quick!

Date: Saturday 28th March 2020

Start/Meet time: 8.00am

Duration: 10 hours

Meet at: Tauranga Bridge Marina, Pier J6

Please note: This trip is very much weather dependent, confirmation will be the Friday 27th March 2020 the day before the trip, based on the weather forecast.

In case of bad weather, a reschedule date will be made. If you are unable to make the reschedule date please contact us for a full refund.

Postponement date: Saturday 18th April 2020

Registration must be completed, please click below. Your registration is only confirmed once payment has been received.

For payment please follow this link:


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, first aid kit and torch.
  • Stay with the group and follow any instructions given by your walk leader.

Download Safety Plan