Spurwink Island Path

Gord Follett

Jul 12, 2012


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Press Release-

(St. John’s): A party of eight hikers from New Zealand will arrive in St. John’s on Friday, July 13, to fulfill a long-planned desire to experience the East Coast Trail and other unique features of Newfoundland.

The group is from Motueka, on the South Island. They are led by Maryann Ewers and Bill Rooke, who are professional guides, and Kieran Parrish, who was a trail maintenance worker with the East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) in 2010. They first learned about the East Coast Trail ten years ago from Mark Graesser, an ECTA volunteer, who regularly visits New Zealand.

We regularly tramp with Mark, and the more we heard about the East Coast Trail and Newfoundland, the more we wanted to make the pilgrimage, says Bill. We have adventurous friends, and they asked to join us when we actually began organizing the trip.

Bill and Maryann operate the guiding company Bush and Beyond, which focuses on wilderness and conservation oriented trips into Kahurangi National Park. Kieran, who is Maryann’s son, has been a worker for the Department of Conservation, which manages national parks in New Zealand. They are exploring the possibility of organizing regular tours from New Zealand to Newfoundland, focussing on the East Coast Trail and other natural and cultural experiences.

We offer Maryann, Bill, Kieran and their group a hearty welcome to Newfoundland and the East Coast Trail, and we wish them well as they explore and experience this wonderful place we call home, said Randy Murphy, ECTA’s President. �We are very excited and pleased by their visit and encouraged by the possibility of the East Coast Trail becoming a destination for future tours from New Zealand.

The group will be based in St. John’s for three days while hiking north of the city, then will move to Tors Cove for five days to focus on sections of the trail in that area. The three-week tour will continue with stops at Cape St. Mary’s, Twillingate, and several days in Gros Morne National Park.


About The East Coast Trail Association:

The East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) is a member based, volunteer driven and managed registered charity. The Association’s mission is to develop, maintain, enhance and preserve the East Coast Trail (ECT) while respecting the integrity of our natural environment, the needs of our communities, and delivering a high quality wilderness hiking experience.

The East Coast Trail is a pedestrian hiking trail that runs along the coast of the eastern Avalon from Topsail Beach to Trepassey, and in-land across the Avalon from Ferryland to Placentia.

* National Geographic 2010: Avalon Peninsula No. 1 Coastal Destination in the World.
* City of St. John’s 2011: ECTA Winner of the Legend Award.
* National Geographic 2012: ECT a Top Ten Adventure Destination in the World.

For further information on ECTA, please contact:

Randy Murphy,
East Coast Trail Association
738-Hike (4453)

For more information on the New Zealand Hikers & to arrange interviews, please contact:

Mark Graesser, ECTA Volunteer

East Coast Trail Association
50 Pippy Place, 2nd Floor
P. O. Box 8034
St. John’s, NL, A1B 3M7

Telephone: 709-738-4453
Fax: 709-738-1122