COVID Socially Distanced Walks in the Waitaki

Here we go again: masked and back in our bubbles. It can be a challenge to stay positive during Covid outbreaks, it’s easy to be swept up in the uncertainties, but a chance to stop and breathe is your daily walk.

Immersing yourself in nature is a good way to look after your physical and mental health. Did you know that being around trees can boost your immune system? Trees emit organic compounds called phytoncides which add muscle to your immune system, lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress and anxiety, and help with getting a good night’s sleep—all the more important when your routine has been turned upside down.

We want to help you make the most of your limited time outdoors so here’s where you can venture in the Waitaki when you want to manage all your feelings.

Remember to stay local and walk to the places closest to your front door and keep at least 2 metres away from others.

Take a wee walk to the Ōamaru Public Gardens. The gardens are just as special while the seasons change in shades of pale greens and cinnamony browns. From the moment you step through the classical main gates you’ll find yourself in a peaceful and architecturally inventive dreamworld. It’s a tranquil spot where you can both stretch your legs and stop to smell the roses.


Live in or near Duntroon? You can stroll through the Duntroon Wetlands or visit the Māori rock art. As you wind through the wetlands, lovingly restored by volunteers, take a moment to admire all the native plants and bird life.


If you live in or near Kākānui, why not spend twenty minutes of your day beach combing Campbells Bay. There’s something in the air here that enlivens your senses, it could be the fresh, salty air teasing your hair or the gentle susurrations of the waves greeting your feet. This big, dramatic, golden stretch of sand is always beautiful and crowd free.

Close to the historic village of Palmerston, Shag Point is another place to walk it out and reduce your stress levels. There are two short walks here where you can watch fur seals lazing across the rocks, and shags and other seabird flitting in and out, raising their heads like periscopes. Seals have been known to make their way to the gravel paths, so be wary and socially distance from the seals (allow 20m) to not disturb them.


Download an astronomy app and take a walk at night up to the Ōamaru lookout point to look at the crystal clear constellations. Or simply marvel down below at the seaside town you’re lucky enough to call home.


Stay safe!

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