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Get healthy by nature – Parks Week

News release

26 February 2013

Get healthy by nature – Parks Week

Want to get fitter, but prefer the open air to sweating in a gym? Then next week should be heaven, with a number of park-based events around the Wellington region, designed specifically for you.

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is supporting Parks Week – Get healthy by nature, with several special events that use the region’s wonderful parks.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to get out and enjoy their regional parks, while getting some exercise as well,” says Amanda Cox, Manager Parks for GWRC.

Physical inactivity is costing the region and the country a fortune, according to a study released this month and co-sponsored by Wellington Regional Strategy Committee (which represents all the councils in the Wellington region).

“The cost for the whole country was approximately $1.3 billion or 0.7% of total GDP in 2010, while the cost to the Wellington region alone was $140 million. Finding fun ways to encourage people to use their parks is one way to overcome the problems associated with lack of exercise. That’s what Parks Week aims to do.”

Parks Week runs 2-8 March 2013 and the events that use our regional parks are:

Akatarawa Forest
Sat from 10am
Entry fees apply
Based in the rugged and remote Akatarawa Ranges 10km north of Upper Hutt, the event boasts spectacular scenery and the biggest prize purse of any mountain bike race in the country. Entries are limited to 1000 starters. www.karapoti.co.nz
Entry by registration only, entry fees apply, big prizes
Battle Hill Farm Forest Park
Sat 9.30am-11.30am
Join the ranger for a guided walk around the park, checking out a proposed section of Transmission Gully, the unique history of Battle Hill and how it got its name. Bring a picnic and togs to enjoy after the walk at the campground and the swimming hole. No dogs please. Getting there: Follow Paekakariki Hill Road for 6km from Pauatahanui. Enter the park and turn left after the bridge.
Free event, moderate fitness, spot prizes
Queen Elizabeth Park, Paekakariki
Sun 10am–12pm
Explore the flatter rides in Queen Elizabeth Park with friends and family. Options range from an easy 1km to a 4km or 8km loop. There will be some jumps and seesaws to play on too. Fun for the whole family. Getting there: Take SH1 to Paekakariki, take a right onto Wellington Rd and follow to the end.
Free event, moderate fitness, spot prizes
Kaitoke Regional Park, Waterworks Rd
Thu 10.30am-12noon
Take your buggy along the stunning Pakuratahi River walk and into Rivendell where scenes from The Lord of the Rings were filmed. Coffee courtesy Caffe L’affare. Getting there: Follow SH2 north of Upper Hutt. Meet at Pakuratahi Forks carpark, meet at the campground.
Free event, buggy and dog friendly, moderate fitness, coffee, spot prizes

Parks Week coordinating body, The Parks Forum is the peak body for park management organisations in Australia and New Zealand. A range of private and public events will take place across Australia and New Zealand next week to spread the word that parks are essential to healthy, happy and strong communities. Further information on Parks Week: Get Healthy by Nature can be found on the Parks Forum website, http://www.parksforum.org/cms/pages/Parks-Week.html

In the Wellington region Parks Week is also supported by Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council and Porirua City Council. Contact the councils concerned for details of events in city parks.


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