Scoop Images: Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk Reopened
Conservation Officer Peter Tau, guiding students along new walk
3 August, 2000
Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk Reopened
The rain held off just long enough to allow for a dry ceremony to commemorate the reopening of the Waihoanga Gorge Kauri walk within the Puketi Forest on 3 August, 2000.
After being welcomed to the land with a beautiful Karanga by Nancy Waretini and Matilda Harris, the nearly 70 guests, of all ages and from as far away as Whangarei, joined Department of Conservation, Kerikeri Area Staff and Kaumatua - Wiremu Wiremu of Piki Te Aroha Marae for the reopening ceremony.
A blessing was give from Wiremu Wiremu who then led the group in Waiata. John Beachman, Area Manager for the Kerikeri Area Office acknowledged the support and participation of the individuals and groups who originally built the track 25 years ago and those who participated in the structural modifications and track refurbishment which allowed for today’s reopening.
Mr Beachman then presented Ian and June Wilson with a native tree in recognition of their support of the reopening. Access to the track entrance is through the Wilson’s farm.
“We do not consider ourselves owners of this land, merely caretakers” explained Ian Wilson.
Far North District Council Mayor, Yvonne Sharp declared the track open with the assistance of 6 year old Te Awhi, which appropriately means, “to embrace”. Te Awhi was one of the twenty 6 and under, Waiata singers from Okaihau Kohanga Reo.
“You have heard a lot of talk about partnerships, well today’s reopening of this stunning track demonstrates what can be achieved through effective partnerships . . .Partnership between the community, local land owners and the Department of Conservation”.
Coinciding with Conservation Week, the guests were then able to put this year’s theme, Enjoy Your Parks, to practice. Braving the then eminent rain, nearly three quarters of the guests took guided walks along the newly opened track.
The approximately 2 hour loop track is now open for visitors. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the track winds its way gently through native flora with a good diversity of forest types including virgin kauri stands with large monoao trees. Lying within the Puketi Forest, home to native species such as kokako, kukupa and brown kiwi, the walk provides an excellent opportunity for New Zealand families to explore the incredible complexity, diversity and beauty of Puketi.
Contact the Kerikeri Area Office at 09 407 8474 for directions and details on other walks within the Puketi Forest.