Reconnecting with nature is vital to our health and wellbeing

  • Published Date 23 Sep 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week is a timely reminder of the invaluable role te taiao plays in maintaining a balanced mental health and general wellbeing, advocates Greater Wellington Councillor Prue Lamason.

'Return to nature' is a theme of this week, an element our region is fortunate to be surrounded by in abundance, thanks to our regional parks and other natural resources.

Councillor Prue Lamason says, “During these unprecedented times it's really important if we have the opportunity that we try to get back to nature, which is a great way to relax and relieve stress.

"The cool thing about our region is we have heaps of different parks that are free and host a range of activities and needs for our diverse community."

Greater Wellington Wainuiomata Recreational Area park ranger, Ricky Clarkson says, “As someone who works out in the field almost every day, whether it's maintaining trails or planting days with the community, I'm really lucky to get the benefits of being outdoors.

"We've got some real gems in our parks, a lot of people visit them to get away from the city and enjoy peaceful walks around the wetlands or swimming holes. The special thing about our parks like the Wainuiomata Recreation Area is you can literally taste the cleaner air and most of the time the only sounds you can hear are the calls of the birds, the rustling of the trees or rushing rivers."

Wainuiomata Recreational Area might be one of the most peaceful spots in the region, yet it has one of the busiest dark skies in the universe, making it a perfect location for stargazing and astrophotography. Greater Wellington will be hosting its Lights out event on 10 October 2020, a chance for locals to get lost in the peaceful exploration of the observable universe.

With over nine regional parks and forests in the Wellington region, there are 50,000 hectares that offer whānau and the community the chance to reset, explore and refocus on what's important. There are endless opportunities to reconnect with nature by finding a park that suits your needs by visiting our Parks page.

Updated March 30, 2022 at 5:34 PM

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