International and local walkers will soon be drawn to Rotorua to enjoy internationally accredited walks as part of the 25th Rotorua Walking Festival.

The festival, which takes place next month, has options to walk anything from 10 to 42km through the Redwoods, and around lakes and the city.

Organising committee chairman Deryck Shaw said special events were also being planned to mark 25 years.

He said almost anyone could walk at least 10km.


"It's not a race, it's a recreational event," he said.

"There are health benefits to walking. It's easy to do with family and friends, it's quite a social event. There's always a sense of achievement especially if you do two days."

Shaw said the event drew international walkers as the festival belonged to the International Marching League and International Federation of Popular Sports walking organisations.

Walkers can collect a stamp on their IML passports by participating.

Rotorua musicians will also perform at the start and finish lines during the festival, which is on the same weekend Crankworx starts.

Shaw said the committee was working closely with Crankworx organisers around running the events in the forest at the same time, but it would be exciting for walkers to see the mountain bikers.

He encouraged people to register for the festival even if they'd taken part before as the organisers tried to change the routes annually.

"For locals, 25 years, it's a pretty well-established event and a lot of people have not done it. They'll meet and walk with people from around the world and international walkers are keen to meet locals," Shaw said.


"They'll probably walk in places they've not walked before. I can pretty well guarantee that."

He said while it was possible to do the walks at any point, the festival also offered entertainment, a social aspect, and a chance to walk with people from around the world.

Early bird entry is open until Monday .

Event Details
What: The Rotorua Walking Festival, options for 10, 20, 21, 30, 42km walks.
When: March 17 and 18, from 8am.
Where: Around Rotorua and Whakarewarewa Forest.
How: Enter online before February 5 for an early bird rate or enter after at
Cost: $50 for one day of $80 for two for an adult or $25 for a child for one day and $50 for two. Entry for teams of six to 13 starts at $210.