Rotorua Walking Festival

18th - 19th March 2017

Welcome to the Rotorua Walking Festival


2016 was the 23rd year of the festival, and the weather held out which was great, particularly for the walkers that came from place like Finland, Belgium, Netherlands and other northern hemisphere countries that are just getting through their winter. The international walkers always appreciate the Mayoral welcome and powhiri from Te Arawa on the Friday evening and this created the right atmosphere for the walks on Saturday and Sunday. The local walkers really enjoy the event and the opportunity to meet international walkers and over the years some great friendships have come from the festival. The next two years will be important as these will be the 24th and 25th years of the event and we are expecting a lot of interest. In 2016 we created medals for all participants who walk for both days and some of our walkers have been involved in the event for over 20 years.

Just a brief note to advise that the next Rotorua Walking Festival (New Zealand) will be held on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March in 2017. This will be the 24th year of the festival.

We have a 20 year pictorial history of the Rotorua Walking Festival on YouTube. The link is here and it has been added to the IML Walking Association Website as well - click on the link.

The link for the pictorial history of the Rotorua Walking Festival is on our page of IML’s website -

Please contact me if there is any further information you require.

Kind regards


Rotorua Waking Festival


The event celebrates walking in the beautiful Rotorua landscape which includes forest, native bush, lakes, parks and our distinctive geothermal features.

The walks are conducted over two days and walkers can participate in one or both days.

Details to walks are as follows.

Saturday 18th March 2017:

  • 8am - 42km Whakarewarewa Forest Walk
  • 9am - 21km Whakarewarewa Forest Walk
  • 10am - 10km Whakarewarewa Forest Walk

    Sunday 19th March 2017:

  • 8am - 30km Challenge Town Walk
  • 9am - 21km Town Walk
  • 10am - 10km Fun Walk

    Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you over the weekend!

    Rotorua Walking Festival Committee


    The Rotorua Walking Festival is an exciting and vibrant annual event. There are walks that will suit everyone, from old to young, fast to slow. For all walks you will only need a comfortable pair of shoes so it is the easiest form of exercise to get involved in. We want to encourage as many people as possible to enter along with friends, families, and workmates to find out how beneficial it is to be outdoors and active.

    While there are walks on two days available, you can walk either day or both days. From 10km to 42km walks, from the forest to the geothermal parks – there is a distance which suits every fitness level. The Walking Festival is non-competitive and provides walkers with great scenery, fellowship, and a real sense of achievement upon completion.

    The walk attracts an enthusiastic group of walkers from New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Japan and the wider Asia area. On the first day, the three distances are based in the Whakarewarewa Forest – which contains a contrast of tree types from majestic redwoods, to a number of exotic forestry plantings. The redwoods are great, as they appeal to every level and ability – and also have many great vantage points were walkers can look over Rotorua and see the stunning lakes and geothermal areas.

    Day one has three walks – a 10km walk, 21km walk (half marathon), and for the keen walkers out there the 42km (Full marathon) walk – all which show off Rotorua’s amazing trails amongst dense bush and overlooking the lakes.

    Day two has a completely different feel to it – with walkers following routes through urban environments, past cafés, the beautiful lakefront and past Rotorua’s world famous geothermal hot spots. The distances on day two include 10km, 21km, and 30km walks.

    The Rotorua Walking Festival is a great weekend out for all – with the added benefits of being active in a beautiful non-competitive environment.

    Register today. Cheque payable to: NZ Walking Association Inc.

    Post to:
    NZ Walking Association
    PO Box 1715
    New Zealand
    Direct credit to Bank a/c 03 1552 0446953 000

    Link to online registration