Marine reserve added to national adventure programme

TE Tapuwae o Rongokako (the footprint of Rongokako) Marine Reserve, 16km north of Gisborne, has been added to the Toyota Kiwi Guardians nationwide adventure programme.

Kiwi Guardians is an activity-based programme helping Kiwi kids connect with nature by encouraging them to go on self-guided adventures and earn rewards.

The beach at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve can be a stop off for a range of migrating seabirds at the right time of year, including oystercatchers and Australian gannets. Public access is available at Pouawa off State Highway 35.

Kids will enjoy swimming or snorkelling at low tide in the deep channels and pools exposed in the reef. Marine bugs populate the seaweed, and small fish and crabs proliferate in the shallows. Children can spot large crayfish, for which the area is renowned, hiding in the rock pools.

Another suggestion is to walk to the northern end of the reserve and see the remnants of the old coach road and remains of the pa (village) on the cliffs above. There is also a view of Whangara Island/Te Ana o Paikea. In addition, the reserve is the resting place of a 150-year-old ship wreck called Star of the Evening.

The goal of the conservation programme is to turn Kiwi kids into guardians of the land and sea while increasing their connections with nature.

The Department of Conservation’s education manager Anita Anderson says “research demonstrates that children can establish lifelong connections to nature if they actively engage with it between the ages of six and 10 years old.”

“The programme allows young people to engage with our natural environment, to feel part of it and want to care for it now and into the future.”

“It’s also about getting outside and being entertained in nature, reducing time indoors and in front of screens.”

Anderson said the programme makes it easy for parents who don’t know where to start to connect their tamariki (children) with nature. It also offers fresh air, adventure and education at a fraction of the cost of school holiday programmes.

The programme started in March 2016 and has grown to over 90 sites across New Zealand, with three in the Gisborne area.

If you can’t make it to the adventure sites, or want to do more, another option is to take advantage of the ‘take action’ activities available on the Kiwi Guardians website which can be completed in your own backyard.

Children can earn medals by working on a variety of conservation tasks at home or in their local park, from becoming a pest detective to joining the war on weeds.

Families can get started on their adventures by visiting: www.kiwiguardians.co.nz

TE Tapuwae o Rongokako (the footprint of Rongokako) Marine Reserve, 16km north of Gisborne, has been added to the Toyota Kiwi Guardians nationwide adventure programme.

Kiwi Guardians is an activity-based programme helping Kiwi kids connect with nature by encouraging them to go on self-guided adventures and earn rewards.

The beach at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve can be a stop off for a range of migrating seabirds at the right time of year, including oystercatchers and Australian gannets. Public access is available at Pouawa off State Highway 35.

Kids will enjoy swimming or snorkelling at low tide in the deep channels and pools exposed in the reef. Marine bugs populate the seaweed, and small fish and crabs proliferate in the shallows. Children can spot large crayfish, for which the area is renowned, hiding in the rock pools.

Another suggestion is to walk to the northern end of the reserve and see the remnants of the old coach road and remains of the pa (village) on the cliffs above. There is also a view of Whangara Island/Te Ana o Paikea. In addition, the reserve is the resting place of a 150-year-old ship wreck called Star of the Evening.

The goal of the conservation programme is to turn Kiwi kids into guardians of the land and sea while increasing their connections with nature.

The Department of Conservation’s education manager Anita Anderson says “research demonstrates that children can establish lifelong connections to nature if they actively engage with it between the ages of six and 10 years old.”

“The programme allows young people to engage with our natural environment, to feel part of it and want to care for it now and into the future.”

“It’s also about getting outside and being entertained in nature, reducing time indoors and in front of screens.”

Anderson said the programme makes it easy for parents who don’t know where to start to connect their tamariki (children) with nature. It also offers fresh air, adventure and education at a fraction of the cost of school holiday programmes.

The programme started in March 2016 and has grown to over 90 sites across New Zealand, with three in the Gisborne area.

If you can’t make it to the adventure sites, or want to do more, another option is to take advantage of the ‘take action’ activities available on the Kiwi Guardians website which can be completed in your own backyard.

Children can earn medals by working on a variety of conservation tasks at home or in their local park, from becoming a pest detective to joining the war on weeds.

Families can get started on their adventures by visiting: www.kiwiguardians.co.nz

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