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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I've lived in Auckland 22 years and I'd never been to... 

Tawharanui Regional Park ... until yesterday. Along with every man and his, err, North Shore trophy girlfriend. (No dogs allowed).

Impressions? The drive-through predator proof fence (and attestations to kiwi etc) make for an impressive entrance. Inside the fence, however, one finds largely "yet another sheep farm" (as Mrs_Red put it), which isn't necessarily what springs to mind when thinking of habitat for bellbirds and keruru.

Nevertheless, the water was impressive, with a row of pleasant white sand beaches, glistening clear waters, and an exciting swell (for the Auckland east coast) of around 0.8m. I wondered why I saw so many surf boards heading in an easterly direction!

So, I'd recommend it for those who aren't too bored with idyllic beaches with pastoral backdrops. I assume in time there will be more native planting ... we saw some evidence of this, but in terms of mature trees near the road, it was limited to macrocarpas and a handful of pohutakawas.

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Thats because my dad has almost single handedly been restoring the bloody park.

All the regenerating area around the carpark was put in by him and a few others with yours truly doing a bit of weeding on a few occasions.

Forest doesn't just magically appear unfortunately and until millions of dollars worth of trees become available and volunteers for Africa put their hand up it will be a slow process. There is some very nice bush if you take the walk out towards the end of the peninsula. That's where the birds are. The fence is where it is to keep predators at bay at that point rather than trap any endangered species there.

Aucklands natural habitats were so raped by humans that it will take centuries of hard work at all the regional parks to get them back to about where they were.
Yeah, I was reading about how many years (decades?) it is going to take to reforest Motatapu. A long bloody time, and that's with ferry-loads of volunteers I guess.

Interesting about the family connection.

I figured that one of the walkways would take us towards some forest, but it was too hot to do anything much than limp from the carpark to the beach.

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