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, an incorporated society which was established in 2012 by Deryck Shaw (chair). The society trades as the Rotorua Walking Festival. 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, 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.

Q: How can I pay for my walk?
A: We do not have facilities at registration to accept plastic cards and require New Zealand currency. We do have a Paypal page found here where online payments can be made before the festival.

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. Registration is in the Netherlands Society Hall at Neil Hunt Park Tarawera Road, Rotorua.
If you need transport here is a link to the local taxi company.

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, Parent Centre Walk 10.30.am.
A: Sunday - 42km 7.00am, 30km 8.00am, 20km 9.00am, 10km 10.00am S.P.C.A. walk 10.30.am. The Café Cruise starts at any time between 8.30am and 12 noon.

Q: Finish Times - What are the finish times for the various routes?
A: Saturday - Walkers are asked to try to complete their walks by 5pm. If you cannot do so, or require assistance, please call registration on the number supplied with your walk map.
A: Sunday - Walkers are asked to try to complete their walks by 3pm. If you cannot do so, or require assistance, please call registration on the number supplied with your walk map.

Q: Safety Briefings - Why do I need to attend the pre-start walk briefings?
A: It is a condition of our use of the private forests that we carry out a briefing for each route. This includes working forests where logging sometimes occurs. 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. Please let the registration team know if you wish to change the distance walked. However if you do change your plans remember to check the appropriate start time. Once you have started your walk, you should continue on the distance selected.

Q: Parking - Where can I park my car?
A: There is plenty of parking available close to the H/Q, the parking lots by the Neil Hunt Park playing fields or near the clubrooms (very limited) or on 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 tracks/roads but at times are on gravel or uneven tracks and can include a short section of steps. Many people with the outdoor type of buggy participate regularly without difficulty but pushchairs are not recommended. On a difficult section the child and buggy could be carried separately over the traverse. The Sunday routes are all on street side quality pavement (with the exception of the 42km marathon walk) and formed tracks which are generally 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 regarding 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 requires dogs to be on a leash and under full control at all times. Dogs are not allowed in the Netherlands Society clubrooms (registration). There is a S.P.C.A. Walk for dogs and their Humans on Sunday at 10.30am.

Q: Food & Drink - Where can I get something to eat?
A: Snack food and beverages are available on site at the walk HQ, generally from within the Netherlands Society. There is also a lunch bar/bakery and a coffee bar on Tarawera Road adjacent to Neil Hunt Park. Across the road from Neil Hunt park is the Redwood Centre 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 or 0800 500 000 their website can be found here.

Q: IML Routes - Which routes qualify for IML awards?
A: To qualify for IML stamps you need to complete 20km or more on both days (10km if you are aged 70 or older). Please remember to take your IML passport to the event. IML awards are undertaken on the Sunday afternoon at registration after you have completed your walks.

Q: IVV Routes - Which routes qualify for IVV stamps?
A: All of them except the nocturnal walk, S.P.C.A. Walk and Parent Centre Walk. Please remember to take all required IVV documentation to the event. IVV awards are undertaken on the Sunday afternoon at registration after you have completed your walks.

Q: Can I pay with overseas currency?
A: Sorry our direct payment systems only accept New Zealand currency however we do have a Paypal page found here for online payments.

Q: Can I stay at the venue? A:  Accommodation is not available at HQ. We have negotiated a special rate of 10% off accommodation at Holdens Bay Holiday Park. Please call +647 345 9925, Holdens Bay Holiday Park, 5 – 7 Stonebridge Park Drive, Holdens Bay, Rotorua. a href="http://www.holdensbay.co.nz"target="_blank">www.holdensbay.co.nz

Q: Accommodation in Rotorua - Can you recommend a place to stay?
A: We have negotiated a special rate of 10% off accommodation at Holdens Bay Holiday Park. Please call +647 345 9925, Holdens Bay Holiday Park, 5 – 7 Stonebridge Park Drive, Holdens Bay, Rotorua. www.holdensbay.co.nz

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.