New Zealand Country Trails
A Brief Introduction
Already the new normal taking root post-COVID is seeing New Zealanders look to their land.
On one hand, more than a few of us are planting garden veggies to help feed our families; on the other it is about exploring – getting to know and appreciating – what this land of ours offers beyond our backyards…
Adventure for some; solace and silence for others; learning experiences; cultural appreciation; good food and wine (or beer); sunsets and sunrises; nature as Mother intended; even the spectre of a new career and lifestyle.
Kia Ora from rural New Zealand where farmers, orchardists, viticulturalists, and even lifestyle block owners, together with their surrounding communities, are banding together to form New Zealand Country Trails.
The objective of Country Trails is to establish a nationwide network of open gates where visitors are invited in to experience ‘home-grown’ rural life, to meet the characters, learn the history and hear the stories that go with it all.
A natural extension of the successful tourism trails – e.g. wine, cycle and horse – here in New Zealand and in other countries, Country Trails will allow Kiwis from all walks of life to readily find genuine experiences in the primary sector that makes for such a huge part of our economy and our brand.
For some it will be about personally getting to know the kinds of people and places whose intriguing stories are told on the likes of the primetime TV series Country Calendar, RNZ’s Country Life programme and in NZ Life and Leisure magazine features.
For others it will be about contributing – about supporting the small, often family-run businesses of a rural community, e.g. through the simple purchase of lunch at a local café; or assisting to protect and preserve the natural landscape for our enjoyment now and for our future generations, e.g. by helping a farmer plant trees.
Then, as well as those Kiwis already swapping the city for lives in the country, there will be New Zealanders impacted by the economic downturn resulting from the COVID pandemic who will see that in the country and smaller rural towns there are fulfilling jobs and business opportunities ripe for the picking.
By inviting Kiwis in to get to know the rural sector better through first-hand experience, Country Trails also works to support two crucial aims of the Government’ primary sector strategy ‘Fit for a Better World’ – these are attracting 10,000 more New Zealanders into the primary sector workforce over the next four years, and increasing the number of New Zealanders in the food and fibre sector by 10 percent by 2030.