Something for everyone during Parks Week

7 March 2016

Parks Week 2016 has kicked off with a programme full of exciting events.

Photo of direction signs at Makara Peak with the hills in the background.

From guided walks on some of the city’s most stunning tracks, to outdoor yoga, four-wheel driving and a film presentation and Q & A session with an award-winning UK filmmaker, Parks Week is all about celebrating the role parks play in keeping our communities and natural environment healthy. Parks Week is a highlight of the Council’s Summer City programme.

Mayor Celia Wade Brown is enthusiastic about the busy and diverse Parks Week programme.

“One of the things that make Wellington so special is our accessible natural environment,” she says. “We are a compact city close to the Town Belt and lovely beaches and it is so easy for people of all ages to enjoy a daily dose of nature.

“Wellington leads the way for city populations to co-exist with nature,” she says. “Parks Week is a chance to step out and experience Wellington at its best.”

According to Tim Park, the Council’s Environment Partnership Leader, this bigger-than-ever Parks Week is off to an amazing start.

“Our weekend events were booked out, says Tim of the guided walks on Matiu/Somes Island and around Red Rocks, “There is still time to get involved, but you’ll have to be quick, people have been waiting all summer for Parks Week and registrations are flooding in.

“I’d recommend going on one of our guided walks. They’re a fantastic way to get a new perspective on Wellington. You’ll literally see the city from a different angle – but you’ll also hear some fascinating local stories along the way.

“Parks Week offers something for everyone, not just those who are passionate about the outdoors.”

Early birds will love the Rise and Shine event at the Wellington Botanic Garden. A gentle 7am family-friendly yoga class will morph into an outdoor dance party for a unique Sunday morning experience that kids and adults alike will enjoy. The Picnic Café will be open for coffee and breakfast.

For the history buffs, there’s a tour of Wellington’s oldest cemetery at Bolton Street, where the guides will breathe life into the fascinating stories behind headstones. While Wellington photographer and City Councillor Simon Woolf is offering a two-hour, on-location photography workshop at Wright’s Hill for local creative types.

On Wednesday night, the Friends of the Wellington Botanic Garden present an evening with international filmmaker David Bond and a screening of his film, Project Wild Thing. Bond was worried about how much time his children were spending in front of a screen and hatched a plan to get them outside and into nature. The film he made about his journey has led to a worldwide network of parents and grandparents on a mission to “re-wild” childhood.

And speaking of films expounding the appeal of the great outdoors Council staff have banded together to create a special Parks Week music video (a parody of Blur’s Parklife) which has racked up 24,000 views in less than a week.

With warm weather forecast for the rest of the week, Parks Week is also the ideal week to complete a #peakbragging challenge. Hikers who use the #peakbragging hashtag to join in on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook go in the draw to win a scenic helicopter flight.

For new peakbraggers, the Parks Week team recommend starting out with the Southern Walkway. The easy-to-access trail includes Mt Victoria, Mt Alfred, and Mt Albert. A free guided walk on the Southern Walkway takes place on Sunday, and is still open for bookings.