Hundreds from around the world beat path to festival

By Shauni James

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Yvonne Morris (left) and Jamie Stewart visited Rotorua from Melbourne for the Rotorua Walking Festival. Photo / Stephen Parker
Yvonne Morris (left) and Jamie Stewart visited Rotorua from Melbourne for the Rotorua Walking Festival. Photo / Stephen Parker

Hundreds of walkers from all around the world were out around Rotorua this weekend, as the 23rd Rotorua Walking Festival took place.

Organiser Deryck Shaw said people came from Norway, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan and Australia to take part, with between 250 and 300 people walking each day.

"The walks were really well received and it's been great having walkers from all around the world."

Mr Shaw said they had outstanding feedback on the marking of the tracks, which took hours for a group to set up, and said the drizzly weather had made good walking conditions.

Marshalls were members of local clubs and individuals, and many used the marshalling as a fundraiser, he said.

Mr Shaw said the festival had its official opening and walkers did a short walk around town, with the flags of countries taking part, on Friday night.

Saturday's walks involved 10km, 21km and 42km marathon forest routes, and Sunday's involved 10km, 20km and 30km walks through the city, parks, thermal reserves, the lakeshore and points of historical interest.

Walkers from Melbourne, Yvonne Morris and Jamie Stewart, came over for the festival and for their fourth time.

Ms Morris said the walk in the forest was beautiful and it was nice to catch up with both local and international friends .

"The whole time walking I was talking to someone."

The walk through town was interesting and with geothermal points and lots of different things to see at different points in the walk, she said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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