Get Outdoors Week is observed from November 12 to 20 this year, and it is aimed at getting New Zealanders to spend time in the great outdoors. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries, the backdrop for “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. The Pacific country has a budding outdoor recreational community, ranging from triathletes and hikers to mountaineers and surfers. Edmund Hillary, one of the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest, came from New Zealand. Get Outdoors Week encourages citizens to reignite that spark of travel and adventure within them.
History of Get Outdoors Week
New Zealand’s beautiful shores have always been dotted with the pearls of exploration and adventure. The ancestors of the Maori — New Zealand’s indigenous people — were expert navigators, sailors, and canoe builders. They used rising and setting points of stars and planets as markers during their sea voyages. By day the sun was their guide; at night, they relied on the stars, the direction of the wind, and the swell of the ocean’s tide.
Abel Tasman was the first European to sight the island in 1642. Tasman and his fellow Dutchmen hoped that this new land would offer trade opportunities, but after a violent encounter with the native Maori people, Tasman left without going ashore. In 1769, British explorer Lieutenant James Cook also sighted the island, making landfall in Poverty Bay two days after his discovery. Cook’s initial encounter with the Maori was also bloody, but he managed to map out the island in detail and document the indigenous people who lived on it.
Get Outdoors Week started in 2020 as a project between New Zealand tourism, recreation, and safety organizations to promote outdoor recreational activities. The holiday is led by Recreation Aotearoa, a charitable organization representing all professionals in the outdoor recreational industry. They deliver quality experiences and facilities. The first Get Outdoors Week took place between November 14 and November 24.
Get Outdoors Week timeline
Though he would not complete the journey, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan masterminds the first worldwide voyage.
Georges Marie Hardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil become the first explorers to cross the Sahara by car.
The first miles of the Appalachian Trail opens in New York State.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first explorers to summit Mount Everest.
Get Outdoors Week FAQs
What does ‘the great outdoors’ mean?
The phrase “the great outdoors” is an idiom collectively describing all outdoor spaces and natural settings used for outdoor recreational activities.
What are the benefits of outdoor activities?
Engaging in outdoor activities improves your health and fitness, boosts your concentration, and helps you unplug from the daily grind.
How do outdoor activities improve mental health?
The peaceful setting of the outdoors reduces stress levels, lowering blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate.
Get Outdoors Week Activities
Ride a bike
Cycling is a beautiful way to explore your environment while burning some calories. Ride through memorable landscapes for incredible views and charming scenery.
Go on a hiking trail
Like cycling, hiking is another fun way to take in the beauty of nature around you. Hiking gives you the time to be alone with your thoughts in a peaceful atmosphere. You can take your time studying the environment and enjoying nature.
Pitch a tent
Camping is still one of the best outdoor experiences. You get to engage with nature and wildlife on a deeper level. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you’ll appreciate the little things like fireside chats and dinners in the company of friends.
5 Interesting Facts About Outdoor Activities
You’ll wish you had more time
80% of outdoor enthusiasts wish they had more time with nature.
Most popular activities
The most popular outdoor activities are biking, camping, birdwatching, and trail-running.
Going outdoors helps build the economy
Outdoor activities contribute over $700 billion to the U.S. economy each year.
Outdoor activities employ millions
Around six million Americans are employed in the outdoor recreation industry, more than in construction, education, finance, and oil and gas industries.
Americans love the great outdoors
Americans spend more than $500 billion a year on travel and adventure-related activities.
Why We Love Get Outdoors Week
Appreciating nature’s beauty
Taking in the natural splendor of your environment is a treat for the senses. We love the breathtaking blue skies, the warm sunlight, and the chirping of birds in the trees.
Keeping fit and healthy
When you spend time outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, and get your body moving, it improves your mental and physical health. You’ll be in better shape and have a much clearer head after your time outdoors.
Unplugging from modern living
Sometimes you need a break from the rush of modern living. Your mind gets to relax as you reflect on life and catch up with family and friends. A week outdoors recharges your mind and body, leaving you feeling refreshed and energetic.
Get Outdoors Week dates