Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Who organises the Walking Festival?
A: The festival is an annual project organised for the community by the NZ Walking Association which was established in 2012 by Deryck Shaw (chair). Enlisting help from private individuals and organisations, the event has been able to continue with enthusiasm and commitment ensuring the Rotorua Walking Festival continues to be a quality event that encourages New Zealanders and international visitors to develop friendships and share their love of walking. Prior to 2012 the event was organised by the Rotary Club of Rotorua West.

Q: Can I register for the walks on the day?
A: Yes, but please note the conditions below.

- Yes you can register at Neil Hunt Park on the day but please arrive about 30 mins before the start time of the walk you wish to enter to allow time to complete your registration and attend the pre-start safety briefing.

Please note the following

Q: How far away is Neil Hunt Park H/Q?
A: It’s 2.5kms - 3.5kms approx from most accommodation properties and 3.5kms from the central city click here for map.

Q: Start times - Do I have to start at the scheduled times?
A: Yes - we use mass starts for each route because the route markings and station marshalls are temporary and arranged separately for each start time and will not be in place to guide you if you were to start earlier or later than the scheduled time for the route. It is also important that everyone is present for the safety briefing at the start of each walk.

Q: Start Times - What are the start times for the various routes?
A: Saturday - 42Km 8.00am, 21Km 9.00am, 10Km 10.00am.
A: Sunday - 30Km 8.00am, 20Km 9.00am, 10Km 10.00am.

Q: Safety Briefings - Why do I need to attend the pre-start race briefings?
A: It is a condition of our use of the private forests that we carry out a briefing for each route. Some routes go through very active geothermal areas that will be a new experience for some and are a specific safety hazard for everyone.

Q: Route Change - Can I change my walk distance after I have entered?
A: Definitely. We do not record the route participants wish to walk. However if you do change your plans remember to check the appropriate start time. However once you have started you should continue on the distance selected.

Q: Parking - Where can I park my car?
A: There is plenty of parking is available close to the H/Q, the parking lots by the Neil Hunt Park playing fields or near the clubrooms (very limited) or on the nearby streets.

Q: Children - Are children under 15 allowed to enter?
A: Definitely, however all children under 15 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

Q: Pushchairs - Can I take a pushchair?
A: The Saturday routes are on mostly well formed but at times uneven tracks and can include a short section of steps. Many people with the outdoor type of buggy participate regularly without difficulty. On a difficult section the child and buggy are simply carried separately over the traverse. The Sunday routes are all on street side quality pavement and formed tracks which are generaly suitable for pushchairs.

Q: Wheelchairs - Can I take a wheelchair?
A: In general the Saturday routes are not suitable for wheelchairs. See also comments above regading pushchairs.

Q: Dogs - Can I take a dog with me on the walks?
A: Definitely - The routes are classed as public areas where normal dog control rules apply and that require the dog to be on a leash and under full control at all times.

Q: Food & Drink - Where can I get something to eat?
A: Snack food and beverages (including alcohol) are available on site at the walk HQ. There is also a lunch bar/bakery and a coffee bar on Tarawera Road adjacent to Neil Hunt Park. Accross the road from neil hunt park is the Redwood Center shopping complex offering various options. On Sunday there are cafes and shops on the route.

Q: Taxis - Where can I get a taxi to go back to my accommodation?
A: Please ring for a cab on 348 1111.

Q: IML Routes - Which routes qualify for IML awards?
A: To qualify for IML stamps you need to complete 20km or better on both days (10km if you are aged 70 or older). Please remember to take your IML passport to the event.

Q: IVV Routes - Which routes qualify for IVV stamps?
A: All of them except the nocturnal walk. Please remember to take all required IVV documentation to the event.

Q: Can I pay with overseas currency?
A: Sorry our direct payment systems only accept New Zealand currency.

Q: Accommodation in Rotorua - Can you recommend a place to stay?
A: Hotel - Distinction Rotorua Hotel in Fenton/Sala Street 2-3 Kms from the city (overseas walkers stay there) or try the Sudima Hotel on Eruera Street in the city (walkers stay there too). Both hotels are 2.5 Kms approx from Neil Hunt Park.
Motel (self catering) – Motel Santa Maria on Te Ngae Road (walkers use this one too) and only 400 metres from Neil Hunt Park or Redwood Holiday Park in Tarawera Road directly opposite Neil Hunt Park.
Backpackers - Hot Rocks in Arawa St, Kiwi Paka in Tarewa Rd. Rotorua is not a large city so any where in town is handy to restaurants and can be walked to (2.5-3.5KMs) Neil Hunt Park. In any case taxis are cheap. We suggest you go to our city tourist office website for more information. www.rotoruaNZ.com

Q: Travel to Rotorua - What’s the best way to get to Rotorua from Auckland International Airport?
A: We suggest you travel by rental car or take a bus and see more of our green and beautiful country. You may like to include some sightseeing on the way (e.g. Waitomo Caves), Enquire at the information centre at the Airport.

Q: Touring NZ - Can you help our group from overseas to arrange a tour in NZ?
A: Certainly. We have an experienced tour organiser able to assist. Just contact us.