As many of you may realise, I moved to Hawkes Bay just over 3 years ago, to retire with my husband. I have kept the Short Walks in Auckland project going, but because I am remote, I am now finding it impossible to keep routes up-to-date, find new ones and take the project up to the next level.
Happily, I have found the perfect person to take on the mission. Richard Wagener is an enthusiastic walker/runner and already documents walks on a website. I am leaving the project in safe hands. You will still be able to purchase the current walk brochures and books. However, Richard has plans to enrich that offering, to create an exciting new future for Short Walks in Auckland.
This project began in 2011. My friend Grace was the walk creator – with her knowledge of Auckland, she could “see” circular routes, and then it was up to me to map out, photograph, research and document the routes. At first, I relied upon my voice recorder and Google maps but then with the advancement of technology, the smart phone became a best friend and I was able to track our route. The best fun was when we were both pleasantly surprised by what there was to see. Beautiful wetlands, views and bush kept us inspired to explore more.
With over 100 walking routes, it is too difficult to say what our favourite walks are because of the diversity and uniqueness of each locality. I will leave it you to decide what your favourites are.
My two children were at high school age in 2011 when this project started, and unfortunately missed out on the discoveries. A highlight for me was when our daughter was studying Occupational Therapy at AUT, as she had a project that required two walks to be mapped out locally. I was very happy to help.
The last seven years of Short Walks in Auckland have been very rewarding.It was encouraging to get an email from The Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby asking to meet me and then supplying them with our books. It was exciting to put together a bunch of walks for the University of Auckland Recreation Manager as well as having a common goal with Sports Waitakere.
I was contacted by Frank Goldingham who gave me the opportunity to make regular contributions to the Walking NZ magazine. Every two months one of our walks was printed in the beautifully presented, richly coloured monthly magazine, with walks from not only New Zealand, but all around the world. Our walks reached even more people over the years. (See the January 2019 issue for another of our short walks in Auckland.)
Thank you to everyone who has done a Short Walk in Auckland. Your support has been very much appreciated. Now it’s time for fresh eyes and renewed energy.
Wishing you all lots more walking and exploring.
Helen Wenley (last seen ebiking around Hawkes Bay)
5 thoughts on “New future for short walks in Auckland”
Thank you Helen for all your work over the years. I have bought a number of your maps and found them very helpful.
I retired about 4 years ago after 30plus years in the classroom. During that time a fellow retiree and I have explored many bush and reserve walks around the Auckland region (armed with our cameras to capture the scenery and bird life ). We live in an amazingly diverse and beautiful area and it has been such fun discovering places we never knew existed! Getting out and about in nature is so good for the soul!
I wish you and your husband a long, happy and fulfilling retirement!
Thank you Janice for your kind words. It is heart warming to learn that you have enjoyed the walks. Best wishes for your retirement too.
recently we did the Chelsea Sugar walk and I so enjoyed the explanation of the houses built to house workers and each had different styles.
Great walk .Of course we had to stop for a “Sugar break” and play at the Chelsea factory and playground
Richard Wagener here – appreciate your comments about Helen who has done an amazing job over many years. As the post said, I will be taking over the management of this website and hope to grow it even further. Previous to this site, I completed a site to honour my father-in-law, Hugh Willis, track building by putting his tracks up online http://www.greataucklandwalks.com. I will now be integrating these into this site over the next while and gradually phasing my other site out.
I am fascinated however by which other walks and explorations you have done that you may be able to share with me. Perhaps there are some of these we could work together in getting them online. Let me know if this may be of interest.
Thanks for the comment on the Chelsea Sugar walk and so pleased you enjoyed it. Helen has done such a great job on these walks. I will have to do this one and add a GPS map of the walk someday! Cheers. Richard