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Sport BOP ActiveVoice: Exploring the Bay

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Papamoa-Hills-walking-2

We are lucky to live in such a special region of New Zealand. A place where there is easy access to amazing trails, beaches, parks and reserves.  A place where there are dozens of recreation activities on offer and a place where our scenery draws people from all over the world. Adults in the Bay of Plenty are some of the most active in the outdoors, with 87% participating in natural settings recreation, the highest in New Zealand (Active NZ Survey 2014).

One recreation activity I love doing in my spare time is exploring walking trails. I enjoy getting out in nature, breathing fresh air and having the knowledge that I’m improving my health while experiencing new landscapes. The thrill of reaching the top and seeing the amazing views, or reaching that beautiful waterfall makes it worth all the effort.

Having recently moved to the Bay after a number of years living and travelling overseas, I have found the recreational walking tracks in the region to be world class.  The ones I have had the pleasure of visiting are well maintained and signposted which makes it easy to explore and get around.

Since moving to Tauranga, I have been to a handful of spots around the Bay of Plenty - McLaren Falls and Lower Kaimai Mamaku, Papamoa Hills, Mauao, Orokawa Scenic Reserve and the Rotorua Redwoods amongst others.

In the coming months I’d love to venture further out to the Eastern Bay of Plenty to discover more of the stunning landscapes and trails I have seen and heard so much about. More specifically, I want to walk the Pakihi Track near Opotiki, the Kohi Point Walkway in Whakatane, as well as the Tarawera Trail.

Sport Bay of Plenty has a number of programmes designed to encourage people to be more active outdoors. If you are in the Tauranga area, check out local walking groups with the City on its Feet programme; or if you’d like to connect with nature, see the Virtually on Track website www.virtuallyontrack.co.nz to find out more about the eight ‘gem sites’  to explore around the Bay of Plenty.

The beauty of walking is there are trails and tracks out there to suit all ages, fitness levels, abilities and time constraints. From day hikes for the more experienced, to steep trails, or flat and easy walkways.

Even with winter fast approaching, it is still important to get outdoors. Pop on a jacket, grab a buddy and explore the Bay!

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