Transforming in Tawharanui
Welcome to New Zealand! We said goodbye to Australia and crossed the Tasman sea to Auckland. Once we were all through customs we got our new van and trailer and made our way north to Tawharanui National Park. We spent the next week camping with no showers helping the park rangers with various environmental projects. We had to set up our tents in the dark and it was raining. The next morning we woken up by a chorus of seagulls and got a first glimpse of the beautiful rolling hills surrounding our campsite.
The first day we picked up plastic off the beach and were amazed by what we found. Items picked up included fishing rods, a large buoy, and a pair of Nikes. The next day we helped a group of volunteers plant some of the 20,000 trees that are planted every year in the park. On our third day we laid down coconut netting by riverbank to increase water clarity so the fish could see their food. This was by far the muddiest task we had. The next day we went back to the bush and killed invasive plants. On our final day we helped clear trees to make a hiking trail.
In addition to service work all of us took advantage of the beautiful location. Some of us went swimming in the ocean and a few of us even slept on top of a mountain. I personally enjoyed the beautiful hiking trails in the park. One trail I hiked had drastic scenery change. It started off as a rain forest then I was walking alongside the beach and ultimately I ended in the rolling hills where I walked alongside hundreds of sheep.
It was an incredible place to work and we helped preserve its natural beauty.
The group getting ready to start their service work at Tawharanui.
Taking in the view during service work.
Instructor Jess couldn't love life any more!
Laying out the coconut matting for the stream clarity project.
Getting ready to snorkel in the cold, but clear water.