Whangārei woman Kathy Bennett has walked up and down popular Mt Parihaka more than 37 times in a month - the equivalent height of Mr Everest - to raise money for charity.

Bennett was taking part in the Summit Challenge, which raises funds for Sir Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust.

She heard about the challenge when she read a story about someone taking part in last year's event.

Bennett, who belongs to a walking group, decided to get involved this year which is also the year Sir Edmund Hillary would have turned 100.


"I needed a bit of a challenge and it's for a good cause," Bennett said.

The Summit Challenge requires participants to cover 8848m, the height of Everest, during the month of March.

Bennett chose to notch up her metres by walking up Mt Parihaka. She's only counted the metres on the way up not down. As Parihaka is 240m high, that meant making it to the top 37 times.

"Some days I've done it three times a day, [but] mostly two."

Bennett usually set out in the mornings. One trip up and down would take 40 to 50 minutes.

"Three trips is two to two and a half hours."

She would park in Mair Park, head up the Drummond track, down the Ross track, back up the Ross track and down the Drummond track. If she did a third trip, it would be up and down the Drummond track again.

Bennett has raised $616.80 in donations from family and friends.


"People have been really positive."

She achieved the distance on March 19 but did the walk a handful more times to get to 10,000 metres.

After more than 37 trips up Parihaka, Bennett now recognises all those who regularly use the tracks including the firefighters training for the Skytower Challenge with all their breathing gear.

"It certainly has upped the fitness a bit."

Participants can bike, hike, walk and run to complete the challenge. Bennett said she knew of one man riding a rickshaw up Christchurch's Port Hills.

Himalayan Trust general manager John Loof said Sir Ed's greatest achievement was not climbing to the summit of Everest but helping the people of Nepal.

"The challenge will raise funds for life-changing education and healthcare projects in the Everest region of Nepal."