It’s the great Kiwi tradition to doze off in front of the telly (Love Actually is playing yet again), bits of shredded wrapping paper are piled in the corner, you’re stuffed with ham and pavlova and another Christmas Day is done and dusted.
The next day it might be trifle for breakfast, but then that feeling hits you – you’ve succeeded in another festive blowout. You start stacking up the calories in your head, wondering how long you need to spend at the gym to burn off that extra Christmas mince pie, which you definitely didn’t need!
Well forget the gym (at least until those pesky New Year’s Resolutions kick in), walking off the Christmas lunch is not only an easy way to keep the calories at bay, it’s a good way for everybody to get together and take part in a healthy activity.
Here’s six perfect spots to walk off that Christmas lunch.
Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway
If you’re in Northland you just can’t go past the Mangawhai Cliffs. There’s a number of stairs along this track, so it’s a good cardio workout, and the breath-taking coastal views that extend from Bream Head are hard to beat.
Rangitoto Summit Track
If you didn’t manage to escape Auckland we’ve got you covered. Rangitoto, brimming with festive pōhutukawa, is only a short ferry trip from downtown Auckland. Once on the island it’s an easy climb through old lava fields up to the summit for panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.
Cape Kidnappers Walking Track
It’s one of our longer walks, taking around 5 hours return, but this journey along ‘Māui’s fish hook’ takes you to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony and past spectacular rugged cliffs. The views are well worth the effort — “do the mahi get the treats“.
Wainui Falls Track
If you’re enjoying a stunning Christmas at the top of the South Island this short walk is perfect for you. The track takes you through lush native bush leading to the cascading Wainui Falls, the largest falls in Golden Bay/Mohua – there’s also a long swing bridge which is great for kids (and kids at heart) to enjoy!
Kura Tawhiti Access Track
Canterbury locals and visitors can make the most of the majestic limestone rock formations at Kura Tawhiti/Castle Hill. These limestone rocks, eroded and sculpted by the weather, are of special significance to Ngāi Tahu. The formations can be seen from the highway but their size is best appreciated up close.
Blue Pools Track
Nestled amongst Mount Aspiring National Park’s mature beech and podocarp forest, these pools of deep, clear blue water flowing into the Makarora River offer a moment of tranquillity. It’s a perfect spot to reflect on the ups-and-downs of 2017, bring on 2018!
Short Walks and Day Hikes
These walks a part of our new set of Short Walks and Day Hikes that are being promoted to encourage more New Zealanders to get out and explore some of our natural wonders.
From native bush, to glaciers, urban volcanoes, lakes and coastlines, no matter where you are, or how long you’ve got, there’s a walk for everyone: www.doc.govt.nz/walks