Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa

Stories from the Walking Access Commission

Hearing from people who create, care for and treasure tracks and trails in Aotearoa

Gillian Wratt is the chair of the Nelson Tasman Trails Trust. The Trust creates cycling opportunities in the Nelson region for cycle tourists and local cyclists. She tells us about the work the trust does on its two big trails. The Great Taste Trail is a New Zealand Great Ride, 174km long, with two thirds being off-road trails. It circles from Nelson to Kaiteriteri, inland to Kohatu then to Richmond and back along the coast to Nelson. The 43km Dun Mountain Trail is also one of New Zealand's Great Rides. Starting in Nelson it goes through Codgers Mountain Bike Park, climbs Dun Mountain (878m) and descends to the Maitai river back into Nelson.

Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails New Zealand Public Access Gillian Wratt Outdoors Dun Mountain Great Taste Trail


In this podcast, Lesley Soper tells the story of the Omaui Track in Southland. Councillor Soper sits on the Invercargill City Council and is also a trustee on the Omaui Tracks Trust.
Since 2011 the Omaui Tracks Trust has worked to form a new walking track from the Omaui Scenic Reserve in Southland. The trail opened officially last year. It provides Southlanders and visitors with a new outdoor experience to the top of Omaui Hill, with an incredible view of Foveaux Strait and Bluff Harbour.
The track has already been getting good use from school groups, runners, pest control people and those who just enjoy a peaceful walk in the bush.
The Omaui Tracks Trust received an Outdoor Access Champion Award last year, recognising the Trust's achievements in enhancing public access and offering new opportunities for New Zealanders to experience our great outdoors.
There are some photos of the track and the trustees in our Google Photos album.

Southland New Zealand walking public access Lesley Soper Walking Access Commission


Grant Hunter has been organising rogaines on Canterbury farms for for twenty years. It's a different type of public access because rogainers need to roam over the land for a set event, rather than follow a formed path in their own time. He discusses biosecurity, health and safety, respecting farmers and other issues he deals with when organising events. You can read his full article on our website.

Photo credit: Wicked Rogaines

Rogaine New Zealand Walking Access Commission Canterbury Grant Hunter public access farming


Last month Sport NZ's Activity Survey revealed that walking is the most popular sport or recreation for adult New Zealanders. We talked to the Walking Access Commission Chief Executive Ric Cullinane about what the commission can do to support our hundreds of thousands of walkers across the country.

walking tramping


Longstanding Walking Access Commission staff member Ric Cullinane has been appointed as the Commission’s new Chief Executive this month. Following his appointment, he took time to talk about what good public access looks like and the role the Commission plays helping private land owners with access issues.