Educate yourself, experience stunning scenery and wildlife, and socialise with others. That’s what The Breeze Walking Festival 2013 is all about, with 25 free walks over 10 days, it covers Christchurch’s best locations, from beaches to forests to city streets. For the second year, it offers a chance to explore the Garden City, starting with an opening event at picturesque Halswell Quarry on September 28. These school holidays, why not take a Christchurch car rental and head out with the whole family? The opening ceremony includes celebrity guests and spot prizes (bring a picnic or pick up some food onsite), and wraps up with a gentle stroll. Here are a few other highlights:
October 4, 10am–12noon, Nga Hau E Wha Marae, Pages Road
Whether you’re pushing a buggy, riding a bike or scooter, or powering along on your own two feet, this 6.5km stretch is a great opportunity to get the blood flowing.
October 6, 10am; 1pm, Band Rotunda, near Christchurch Hospital
Indulge your wild side! Get in touch with your inner animal on this comedy walking tour that’ll haveperformers re-enacting Hagley Park’s historic zoo.
October 3, 1pm–2pm, South Library entrance, Colombo Street
From the Heathcote River around Beckenham Loop via the Donkey Track, you’ll learn all about local historical places of interest along the way.
October 2, 4, and 5, 1.30pm–3pm, Outside Central Library Tuam, 121 Tuam Street
Familiarise yourself with the new central city on this walk. From new hotspots to popup community projects and guerrilla art, it’s a chance to see life springing up in vibrant corners around the CBD, and get inspired by recovery stories, redevelopments, and relocations.
October 1, 10.30am–12.30pm, Te Tai Kohaka Trust Office at Woodend Beach Domain
This guided walk takes in Tutaepatu Lagoon, and various habitat restoration spots, starting with a jaunt to Pegasus Beach car park before returning along the beach and meeting up with the inland track. Pack a picnic lunch and bikes for the kids.
October 1, 9.30am–11am, sign-posted car park on State Highway 75 (Christchurch to Akaroa Road)
This is not your typical nature walk. From Ataahua Point to Kaituna on the Little River Rail Trail, it’s all about exploration, fun and games, led by experienced ecologist Niall Mugan and suitable for children over six.
September 30, 10.30am–1.30pm, Bridle Path car park, Bridle Path Road
First point of order: catch a gondola to the top of the Bridle Path and soak up the views along the crater. Then it’s all downhill, with sweeping views of Canterbury, Christchurch and the ocean. Gondola cost is $10 per adult; school-aged children free (suitable for those over six)
September 30, 10am–11am, St Mary’s Church, 329 Halswell Road
Take advantage of a behind-the-scenes tour of the Halswell miniature trains before jumping on for a ride. One free ticket per person.