The first summer without the Waitakere Ranges is well on its way and outdoorsy Aucklanders are left wondering where they can go for a wander while the ranges are closed to the public.
The closure, which affects most of the Waitakere Ranges and some of the Hunua trails, for Kauri dieback management, means Aucklanders are hungry to get back into the bush to keep in shape and also help with mental wellbeing.
A new trail series aims to showcase some of the lesser known Auckland trails and prove that there is a lot more to Auckland trails than the Waitakeres.
The Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland trail series, organised by Lactic Turkey in conjunction with the Auckland Council, is a series of four trail runs/walks that introduce Aucklanders to little explored trails all over the city.
Launching this year, there will be one event per month for the next four months, exploring those lesser known Auckland parks and trails.
According to event director Shaun Collins, the goal is to get Kiwis of all ages and fitness levels out there exploring. Whether you are a runner or a walker, there is something for everyone in the series.
The first event of the series happens on September 23 in Tapapakanga Regional Park, just one hour out of the city centre.
Other event locations will include Tawharanui Regional Park on October 21 and Te Rau Puriri on November 11 before the final event of the series, on December 9, at Muriwai.
Competitors can sign up for the whole series or just sign up to run an individual event.
Distances range from the wee 2-3km dash for the kids, right up to the 20-25km Expedition course for true trail enthusiasts. Entry per event costs between $10 and $50, depending on the distance. Collins says the series is "priced and measured to make sure you have no excuse for not getting out there and giving it a bash".
"As the team behind The Hillary ultra run event and many other events that cross the Waitakeres, we are acutely aware of the impact the loss of access to our beautiful bush has had on all of us Aucklanders," he said.
"The Wild Auckland Trail Run/Walk Series has been greeted with great support from Auckland Council and Bivouac who could immediately see that these races would help many people get out there, get fit and have fun."