Festival FAQs

The most common questions about the Waiheke Walking Festival answered.


What does it cost to walk?

Approximately half of our walks are free. Some have associated costs e.g. transport charters or wine tasting. This is clearly marked on each walk in the programme.
Premium walks most often include
private land access, food and wine bookings, and charter buses, and are
experiences only available through the Festival. We charge a $17 Premium Walk fee
per walker in addition to the third party costs for these walks. This fee goes directly
towards the costs of running the Festival. We are GST registered so prices include GST.

Can I bring my dog?

We love dogs. Some of the walks are dog friendly, and dogs on leads are welcome on those walks. However many walks have the icon No Dogs, because we also love our bird life around the island, which includes vulnerable and endangered species like kororā (little blue penguins), tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterels), North Island kākā and migrating bar-tailed godwits.

If a walk is designated as dog friendly, of course please bring your dog(s) and enjoy the group dynamic with other dog owners and walkers who are comfortable around dogs.

We will strictly enforce the no dog rule on the No Dog walks.

What are the walks like? Are there stairs?

Waiheke is hilly and very steep in places. Most walks during the Festival will have a lot of up and down and there will often be steps. We have added a ‘stairs’ icon in the walk information where relevant to the walk.
Each walk has also been graded out of ten. The grading reflects the type of terrain and walking surfaces you can expect.
There is more information in the grading and safety section on this page (see Walk & Events section).

How do you grade the walks?

We err on the side of caution with description and finishing times for walks.

See the grading section above for more detailed information on what kind of walk you can expect for each grade.

When can I book?

Bookings open to the public on 2nd October 2023. You can book up to 6 walk spots.
You could become a Friend of the Festival for $115 which gives you access to bookings from September 15th, as well as access to book up to 10 walk spots. To become a Friend, click on the Become a Friend page, purchase the Friend membership, and then you will automatically have access to walk bookings using the same email address.

I’m a Friend of the Festival, how do I book?

It’s easy! Choose the first walk you wish to book and click on the ‘book now’ button. This will bring up an order page asking for the name/s of the people walking. Enter your details in Walker 1, and use the email address associated with your Friend membership. Once you have entered your email, our system will recognise you.

I want to book a walk for me and bring a friend - can I book without their details?

You will need to enter your friend's email address and let them know they will need to fill out the Health and Safety declaration before the walk. If you’re booking for a friend or a group, it’s a good idea to get them to check the walk details – especially grading, distance, and time estimate before you confirm.

Our health and safety procedures require all walkers to sign a declaration form prior to each walk that confirms you have no medical issues that would place you or the group at an unreasonable level of risk during the walk.

Will you send me a reminder for the walks I book?

Yes, we will be in touch a few days out from each walk you have booked, with a reminder email that includes information important for your walk.

What if it's raining? Are the walks cancelled?

While we endeavour to let all walks go ahead if at all possible, we also need to ensure the safety of our walkers, volunteers and guides. If weather conditions are dangerous (for example, strong winds, or extreme rainfall with potential for slips), we will cancel walks. In this case, we will notify all walkers by email by 7am on the morning of the walk at the latest, so please do check your email before leaving home if the weather (or short term forecast) looks to be inclement. [We have only had to this for one day in nine previous festivals!]

Can I cancel a booking?

Yes, of course. In fact many of our walks have a waitlist, so we appreciate this. If you need to edit or cancel your booking at any time, please log in to your account, and under My Account, click on MY WALKS and 'delete ticket' for any walkers who can't attend, so others can take your place. If you wish to cancel all your walk bookings, you can use the ORDERS tab and cancel the entire booking. Please read our terms and conditions page for details about refunds.

Do I get a refund if I cancel?

If you have cancelled, but had paid associated costs e.g. transport charters or wine tasting, purchases of products may be refunded (less booking fee) up to 10 working days prior to the commencement of the Waiheke Walking Festival but this is subject to the refund policy of third party providers. No refunds will be given for cancellations after this time. Requests for refunds must be emailed to info@waihekewalkingfestival.org. Please note any refund requests during the Festival will be processed after the Festival.

Please note, for the walk and accommodation package, refunds are only available up to 60 days prior to the package, as we have to prebook and pay for accommodation.

Refunds are given less the booking fee deducted by the third-party bookers.

What is a Premium walk fee?

Premium walks most often include
private land access, food and wine bookings, and charter buses, and are
experiences only available through the Festival. We charge a $15 Premium Walk fee
per walker in addition to the third party costs for these walks. This fee goes directly
towards the costs of running the Festival.

Can I waitlist for a booked out walk?

If a walk or event is BOOKED OUT, there will be a WAITLIST button you can select when you click on the walk name. Add your email address to the waitlist and as soon as a ticket becomes available you will be advised by email. Once you have received an email that there are now ticket/s available you will be removed from the WAITLIST for this walk.
Each walker on the waitlist receives the email, so walk spots are available on a first-in basis.
If the walk books out again, you can choose to join the WAITLIST again if you want to be notified of any new ticket availability. If you no longer want to be on the waitlist you can login, and under MY ACCOUNT there is a menu item MY WAITLISTS, where you can view which walks you have waitlisted for, and delete the individual walks on the list if you wish to.

What about Covid-19?

The Waiheke Walking Festival management team and Trustees are continuing to review and update protocols so that the Festival can operate safely, and adapt and change as needed if Covid-19 levels are re-established.
Precautions from 2020 - 2022 included extra training for volunteers, limiting walker numbers on each walk more than we have in previous years, having hand sanitiser available, and working with our restaurant partners on appropriate seating plans. You can be assured your safety and that of our volunteers is our priority - and we will always err on the side of safety.

Our Sponsors

We couldn’t run this festival without the support of our Sponsors, Funders and Supporters. The Waiheke Walking Festival would like to thank all of our sponsors and funders. Support our supporters to show your thanks too.

Presenting Partner
Principal Funders
Major Sponsors
Supporting Partners