How to be a Gruffalo Explorer and more fun at The Breeze Walking Festival

I love Bottle Lake Plantation. If you know where to look, there is always something to see. Sometimes its birds and rabbits. Other times it’s blackberries and birds. Once I saw two carved trees. But I have never, ever seen a Gruffalo. This year that could change. The Breeze Walking Festival is on again from 29 September to 14 October (over the school holidays) and young walkers can become Mouse to explore the deep dark woods on this self-guided walk featuring storytelling and Gruffalo craft activities. The Gruffalo Explorers walk starts at Bottle Lake Information Centre and the walk takes 30 to 60 minutes. Make a pair of mouse ears and go for a walk. Will you find any of mouse’s friends? Will you find the Gruffalo? I hope so.

Things to know:

  • It’s on Wednesday 3th October, with a postponement date of Thursday 4th October.
  • The walk starts anytime between 10am and 1pm and finishes by 2pm.
  • You meet at the Bottle Lake Information Centre.
  • It is an easy, flat walk,suitable for preschoolers and for children in pushchairs/buggies.
  • Your dog is welcome too, but must stay on a leash at all times.

I’ll see you there.

The Breeze Walking Festival

The Breeze Walking Festival is on from Saturday 29 September to Sunday 14 October.

Here are some more walks that particularly suit whānau and tamariki:

Going on a Bear Hunt – Tuesday 2 October (approx. distance 1km)

Bear Hunt

1pm – 2pm; 2pm – 3pm Walter Park Playground, Hills Road, Mairehau, Christchurch
Bring the children down to the park for a swishy swashy, splashy, sploshy, squelchy, muddy, experience. Great outing for the younger walkers and their families. Gumboots essential.
Find out more.

Pukeko Stomp – Tuesday 9 October (approx. distance 1.5km)

Pukeko Stomp

Start anytime between 10am and 11.30am to finish at noon. Halswell Quarry, Kennedys Bush Road, Kennedys Bush, Christchurch
Shake your tail feathers as you skip, walk, hop and stomp your way around Halswell Quarry to find Perky the Pukeko and friends. Find out more.

There are plenty more walks for all ages and abilities. See them all on The Breeze Walking Festival site, check the PDF calendar of all events, or pick up a brochure from your library or CCC facility.

The Breeze Walking Festival 2015

It’s cool to be a cyclist, or a scooterer, or a Segway-er, but one of life’s simplest pleasures is walking. The Breeze Walking Festival goes from Saturday 26 September to Saturday 10 October. This year’s festival is in the school holidays, so there are plenty of walks suitable for the whole family.

  • 16 days
  • 37 free walks
  • all terrains, ages, and interests – many are suitable for people in wheelchairs and whanau with babies in buggies.

The NRG + Great Dog Walk
The Great Dog Walk, 2014. Flickr: 2014-10-04-Archie NRG Walk Oct 14

Here’s a few that you might like. You can see all walks in the programme, available to pick up from ibraries, service centres and recreation and sport centres, or download the programme [3.12MB PDF]

Greening the Rubble Walking Tour

  • Saturday 26 September 2pm to 4pm
  • Tues 29 September 10am to 12noon
  • Saturday 3 October 2pm to 4pm
  • Tues 6 October 10am to 12noon

Meet: Re:START, Pod Oasis. Corner of  Lichfield St & Oxford Tce, Central City
Approx distance: 4km
Explore transitional public gardens on demolished building sites across the city centre. Learn how the gardens contribute to the rejuvenation of our ever changing city with a guide from Greening the Rubble.
Booking required, limited to 20. Text only 022 071 6360 or email

Eastside Hikoi – Friday 2 October

Time: 10am–12noon
Meet: Cowles Stadium carpark, Pages Road to board bus to New Brighton Library.
Approx distance: 5km or 7km
Hikoi through the heart of the east with whanau and friends to celebrate the life and health of our wonderful community. Walk, talk and explore the new Aranui, Wainoni, Avondale trails. Free bus from Cowles Stadium or meet 10.30am at New Brighton Library.
Rain day: 9 October

All Right? Amble – Sunday 4 October

Time: 11am–3pm
Meet: Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre
Approx distance: 2-4km
Part treasure hunt, part orienteering, this is a fun family walk with a difference. Pick up your map from the Botanic Garden Visitors Centre by 2.30pm and scout out hidden delights. Collect a stamp at each point and return your map for a prize!
Rain date: Sunday 11 October.

SCAPE 8 Artworks – Monday 5 October

Time: 12:30pm–1:30pm
Meet: Corner Gloucester and Colombo Streets, Central City
Approx distance: 2km
Join us for a guided tour of the exciting temporary and permanent artworks which form SCAPE 8 ‘New Intimacies’ on the SCAPE Public Art Walkway.
Booking required, limited to 20.
Phone (03) 365 7994 or email

Spectacular Street Art – Tuesday 6 October

Time: 9:30am–12noon
Meet: YMCA Christchurch, 12 Hereford Street
Approx distance: 5km
Local and international street artists have transformed our cities blank walls into impressive works of art. On this walk check out some of the amazing walls that have been painted in Christchurch.
Rain date: Wednesday 7 October.
Booking required, limited to 30.
Phone YMCA (03) 304 8460 or email
Suitable all ages. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Art by Jacob Yikes, rear of 159 Manchester Street
Art by Jacob Yikes, Flickr: 2015-02-03-IMG_5728

There are lots more walks – see the full list  in the programme, available to pick up from libraries, service centres and recreation and sport centres, or download the programme [3.12MB PDF]

Cover of Walk AwayMore walking stuff

Archie’s Big Day Out at the NRG + Great Dog Walk

 Saturday 4th October

I jumped out of bed, come on Mummy let’s go!

We were going to the NRG + Great Dog Walk at Roto Kohatu Lakes (part of The Breeze Walking Festival). I couldn’t wait to get there and meet all the other dogs and people taking part.

The NRG + Great Dog Walk

So I dragged Mummy to the car, in my car seat and off we go. I have never been to Roto Kohatu Lakes before, it was really beautiful, and there were heaps of other dogs and people to say hello to.

But Mummy said we had to put in our registration form first! Then I could meet the other dogs and people. I was so excited I didn’t know who to meet first. I met a Great Dane; he was so tall I couldn’t even reach his nose! There were Chihuahuas, they were even smaller than me. Tall greyhounds who thought I looked funny; they even got a little bit scared of tiny me! There were so many dogs! Old dogs, puppies, big dogs, little dogs, fluffy dogs, shiny dogs, tall dogs, short dogs, noisy dogs, hairy dogs! I have never met so many different dogs, it was great!

Mummy had a look around the information stalls, some had toys and food, I liked those ones best.

It was time to start the walk, we all lined up eagerly, Mummy said we would probably do the 3km walk, as I only have little legs. But I was enjoying myself so much, I kept pulling her, please, please let’s keep going. So we did the whole 5km walk.

It was the best walk ever, I got to walk in long grass, on tracks, by fields and streams, and drink out of a creek. I even saw horses for the first time; they are really big and fast. Lots of dogs walked past us with their long legs, but it was great saying hi to them all. When we finished we were given a bag FULL of goodies, including dog rolls and treats I couldn’t wait to try them. I can’t wait for Mummy to bring me back for another walk.

When I got back to the car I went straight to sleep, I was so tired.

But I can’t wait to go back next year; I hope more doggies will join me.

Tania Cook
Off-Site Delivery Team

The NRG + Great Dog Walk

Step on! The Breeze Walking Festival 27 September to 5 October

Springtime is perfect walking time. The Breeze Walking Festival begins on Saturday 27 September, and brings you a range of events to get you walking, talking, and enjoying the sights of Christchurch, the Waimakariri and Selwyn.

Here are a few of our picks, go to The Breeze Walking Festival website for lots more.

Tou Olo o Saele – Let’s walk let’s bounce

Saturday 27 September 9am to 2pm.
Meet at Linwood North School, 221 Woodham Road, Linwood North.

It’s Tuvalu language week. Let’s celebrate the diversity of Pacific communities with our Pacific youth, families, nanas and poppas by going on a fun, interactive walk. Information sharing, health checks, great entertainment, celebrity guests, food and music completes this big day out.

Bookings required – phone Pacific Trust 3663900, email or register on the day.

  • Search the library catalogue for Tuvalu

Pukeko Stomp

Wednesday 1 October 10.30am-noon.
Meet at Burwood Plunket Rooms, 149 Burwood Road, Burwood.

A perfect outing for babies in buggies, young walkers and their families. Experience Travis Wetland including surprise guests, story  telling and fruit kebabs along the way. Return to the Burwood Plunket rooms for more fun and information about preschool children programmes and services.

Walking Festival 2014 Angus  Giant Pukeko reading WF booklet IMG_3010

Harbour Rockhop

Thursday 2 October, 2 walks, 1pm and 3pm
Experienced guides from Adventure Specialities Trust are taking 80 lucky walkers free rock hopping coasteering adventure around the shoreline.  Limited to 40 per walk. Must be 8 years old+ Get in quick! Bookings with CCC 941 8999.

Child of the Transitional City

Saturday 4 October, 2 walks, 10am and 2pm
Sense the cityscape with a child’s eyes on a guided walk through the transitioning central city.  Finish with fluffies.
Limited to 15 per walk. Must be under 5 years old. Get in quick! Bookings with CCC 941 8999.

The NRG+ Great Dog Walk

Saturday 4 October 9.30am-12.30pm
Meet: Roto Kohatu Lakes Carpark, Sawyers Arms Road, Harewood
Whistle up your dog and head to Roto Kohatu Lakes to take part in a dedicated walk for our canine friends. Celebrity dogs, information and
demonstrations by dog clubs and services will inform and entertain you. Dogs must be on a lead and under control at all times. All entries go into a
draw to win great prizes. Registration on the day: 9.30am-10am.

All Right? Amble

Sunday 5 October 11am to 3pm.
Meet at Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Botanic Gardens, Central City.

Part treasure hunt, part orienteering this is a walk with a difference. Pick up your map from the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and find five hidden
delights. Collect a stamp at each one and return for a prize! Last map available at 2.30pm.

Cover of Walk AwayMore walking stuff

The Breeze Walking Festival will put spring in step

Nancy Sinatra’s  boots are made for walking, however my boots are not. My sneakers are, and I’ll need good sneakers for The Breeze Walking Festival. This ten day festival features 25 walks across the city. The walks are graded, so you can choose anything from easy walks on flat terrain to hard walks on hills. Some walks are suitable for buggies; some are dog-friendly; all of them look like fun and will make a pleasant change from my usual walk through Bottle Lake Plantation.

Now I like winning stuff, though most of the time I can’t manage to win an argument.  During the Walking Festival, for every walk you do, you can enter a draw to win one of two prize packs from Stirling Sports.

The walks will be very social, so if you see me say hello.  I’ll be the one wearing white sneakers. It is quite possible that you will see me at the Halswell Quarry, or at The Groynes, or at the beach, or in the city, or…

You can pick up a brochure from any Christchurch City Library or Service Centre or download one [2MB PDF].

If The Breeze Walking festival has inspired you to take up walking: