Wellington Strikes it Lucky
1 July 2016
Wellington Strikes it Lucky
Wellington the walking capital strikes it lucky with three finalists in the Golden Foot Walking Awards. This great effort comes from the Park(ing) Day event by the Wellington Sculpture Trust, the new section of Te Araroa at Paekakariki Escarpment, and for the first time at the Awards, recognition of walking champions – Rosamund Averton and Edward Sarfas.
The Golden Foot Walking Awards celebrate and recognise New Zealand achievements for walkers by acknowledging innovative new facilities, highlighting national best practise and rewarding ongoing commitment to walking. Living Streets Aotearoa will announce the winners of the Awards at the 2Walk and cycle conference in Auckland on Thursday 7 July.
Park(ing) Day is an international movement that has taken on special shape in Wellington with an annual event coinciding with Walk2Work Day in March. Twenty-seven car parks were taken over for a day in 2016 to create an interesting walk around the city – thousands of people took part, and the photo shows the rapt faces of some small children at the volcano Park(ing) space.
Te Araroa recently opened a new section of their national walking route near Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay. Te Araroa is New Zealand’s 3000km walk route from Cape Reinga to Bluff. It’s not only for the intrepid long-walkers though, with the Paekakariki Escarpment Track bringing back-country walking to the fringe of the city. This section is accessible by train at both ends, and has created a unique walk with its own special step challenge (not for the vertiginous) that provides an entrée to the national walkway.
And the walking champions are Rosamund and Edward, a mother and son duo, who exhibit extraordinary dedication to walking and its pleasures. Edward is one of less than 200 people worldwide who hold the triple crown of long walks in the USA, and he has recently completed the entire Te Araroa walk. Inspired no doubt by his Mum, who walks everyday for a short 3 hours or maybe a longer 7 hour stroll through all of the parks and reserves in Wellington. Rosamund knows them all, and is happy to share the best route with any other walkers, while she trims and clears steps and paths for others.
Andy Smith, President of Living Streets Aotearoa, says, “Wellington has three finalists, and we know that walkable places attract more people, generate more business, and are just nicer to live in. All that great energy going into walking will really help the city thrive.”
“Walking is part of every trip and we want people to walk more. Walking is a free and easy way to get the exercise we need every day – recommended 30 minutes activity most days for adults, and more for children and teenagers. We think it should be easy to walk or use public transport to where you want to go every day – save the car for the occasional