Green prescription walkers conquer Rangitoto

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

More than 150 green prescription walkers conquered the Rangitoto Island Summit Track as a part of a new Department of Conservation, Tourism NZ and Sport Auckland initiative which encourages physical activity in New Zealand nature.

Cheers rung out at the Rangitoto Summit as green prescription walkers pushed through mental and physical barriers to conquer the rocky 259-meter incline to reach the top.

A walker says, "It's a big achievement, I was gonna give up I just saw too many stairs just thought it was too high but my mate over there told me to carry on, big achievement, I'm happy."

It's different to the regular weekly group session Sport Auckland provide, but walkers say the experience has helped them to push through limitations such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.

Another green prescription walker says, "This is the first time I walked that long up the hill, I wish God bless I can make it up the hill."

Sport Auckland representative Brooke Mitchell says, "A lot of these people may have just gotten active or it's new to their lifestyle to be more active or it's new to their lifestyle to be more active so we just thought we'd get out there, bring all our groups together and just enjoy the day."

Tourism Manager Tinaka Mearns hopes that today's event will encourage first-time walkers to return to one of the many outdoor tracks New Zealand has to offer.

"The idea of if we can get people out walking and experience nature then they'll feel more of a connection and potentially further down the track it gives us more avenues to connect with conservation and perhaps do others types of things once they're in the outdoors.

The Rangitoto Summit Track is one of a new network of 14 Short Walks developed by DOC and Tourism New Zealand. Sport Auckland say they hope to make this an annual event.