This is the third of a multi-part series.
Source: Rotary Down Under, regional magazine of Australia, March 2020
“Try to limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 and a half hours a day.” Dr. Mike Evans
Our body and mind are connected. Being active makes us happier as well as being good for our physical health. It instantly improves our mood and can even lift us out of a depression. We don’t all have to run marathons – there are simple things we can do to be more active each day. We can also boost our well-being by spending time outdoors, eating healthily, unplugging from technology, and getting enough sleep!
What Happens at Tramp, Stays at Tramp!
WADING thigh-deep across a swift-flowing, snow-fed river in New Zealand’s Mt Aspiring
National Park, with linked arms for stability and safety, may not be an everyday experience for the average Aussie Rotarian.
However, through a unique partnership between the Rotary Club of Milton, NZ, and the Otago Youth Adventure Trust (OYAT), the Rotary club has set up a tramping (bushwalking) club within its structure. This has provided walking experiences for some 19,000 New Zealanders and hikers from overseas and raised many thousands of dollars each year for both the club’s projects and OYAT.
Because of Rotary and trust rules in New Zealand, each participant is required to “join” the Rotary club by paying an annual due (how would your club like 19,000 new members?) and make a donation to OYAT. This enables the club to raise funds. The rules say the trips must be cost recovery only, so the leaders are all volunteers as well. This is a Rotary-focused, cost-effective way to see the splendour of New Zealand and build long-lasting networks and friendships.
The program offers tramps and cycling tours all over Southern New Zealand, including
many of the Great Walks, such as the Milford and Routeburn tracks. It runs through January to Easter each year and currently includes 13 different trips, some offered multiple times.
Past district governor Euan Miller, of the Rotary Club of Norwood, SA, joined 39 enthusiastic
walkers in January for four days in the Mt Aspiring National Park. “Apart from river crossings we were offered a variety of day trips taking in river flats, virgin bush and higher sub-alpine climbs. All highlighted New Zealand’s spectacular scenery,”
Euan said. “We were based at Dunstan High School’s outdoor education centre on the site
of an old homestead. A number of the walkers opted to take rest days and relaxed in the beautiful park-like surrounds. The daily walks were designed for different fitness and skill levels so anybody with a reasonable standard of fitness could take part.
“We all pitched in to help with chores and meals, had the luxury of hot showers and cold beers, plus the opportunity of picking raspberries from the now rampant bushes left when the homestead was demolished.”
For more information on the program, visit www.otagorotarytrusttramps.org.nz.