If your New Year resolution was to get more exercise, it's time to walk the talk this weekend.

The annual Rotorua Walking Festival is on and if you've never taken part before, or you are a newcomer to exercise, there are opportunities for people of all fitness levels, said organiser Deryck Shaw.

This year is the 23rd anniversary of the festival, attracting between 300 and 600 walkers.

"The Rotorua Walking Festival is on the global calender of events and it brings people from all over the world into the city to walk," Mr Shaw said.


While boots are made for walking, mouths are made for talking, and Mr Shaw encourages locals to take part and meet some of the international walkers.

"I have done festivals in other parts of the world and you meet some interesting people. Overseas walkers are really interested in meeting local people as much as seeing the scenery."

Whakarewarewa Forest is the focus of tomorrow's walks where people can choose between the 42km marathon walk, 21km half marathon or 10km walk.

Walkers get to experience the different aspects of Rotorua's geography as day two has a completely different feel to it.

Sunday will see walkers following routes through urban environments, past cafes, the lakefront and Rotorua's famous geothermal hot spots. The distances on day two include 10km, 20km and 30km walks.

Registrations will be taken at the Netherland Society Club, Neil Hunt Park, where people receive maps and information, between 4pm and 8pm.

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* What: Rotorua Walking Festival

* Where: From Neil Hunt Park

* When: Tomorrow 8am - 4pm, and Sunday 8am - 3pm