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Council walking tracks add to innovative planning app

Wednesday, May 3, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: walking, technology

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 2nd May 2023

A website and app for walkers which provides easy planning for short and long-distance trips throughout New Zealand has recently added Christchurch City Council-managed tracks to its database.

The Council’s Parks and Spatial teams worked with the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) to add the tracks onto MSC’s website and app Plan My Walk.

It contains essential track information like length, terrain, location and difficulty; suggested gear lists; relevant track alerts; weather forecasts and reviews and advice from previous track users.

People can use it to plan their walk, including what gear and food to take, and can share the trip plan with others for safety purposes.

The app is believed to be the first of its kind, says MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley.  

“Pulling together weather, track alerts, gear lists, and then being able to put all that into a plan and share it with a trusted contact – that's a first. Plan My Walk enables users to be more aware and educated, and therefore more able to proactively plan and manage their personal safety,” he says.

“It combines all aspects of trip planning like no other app does, whether it’s a short walk in a regional park or a multi-day tramp in the Southern Alps."

He says the long-term goal is creating awareness around the importance of planning before heading into the outdoors while building a community that will support effective preparation through the sharing of track reviews.

Council Head of Regional Parks Kay Holder says it was a valuable project to be part of.

“The more that councils and other track and land managers get involved, the more comprehensive and accurate the walking database becomes for New Zealanders and tourists alike.

“We’ll continue to assist by keeping MSC informed of new tracks, track maintenance and closures on the Council’s track network,” she says.

The app is funded, owned and run by MSC, which spent more than 1000 hours on research and development and launched it in 2021. They recently gained funding from Herenga ā Nuku | Outdoor Access Commission, to complete further development work over the next two years.

Plan My Walk is completely free to use. Start exploring Christchurch tracks today!