Tongariro Times April 2013
Tongariro Times April 2013
T42 - Saturday 4 May 2013 - Marshalls Required
If you are planning on being in the area on the weekend of 4th May and want to get involved, we could use your help. We are providing marshalls for the T42 event. This is a great fundraising opportunity for us.
Based around the famous and iconic 42 Traverse track, the T42 offers the following event options:
Check out www.t42.co.nz to find out more or to enter this amazing event.
Bridge to Nowhere - Joint Project Tongariro and Bike Taupo Expedition March 2013
Well, where does one start with a trip report such as this? Adventure, challenge and excitement was the promise on the trip menu including good company, fine food and some fun interwoven with a great landscape. Little did the innocent 16 intrepid members know what the weekend was about to bring and how the menu was going to change from an a la carte (you get to choose) to a smorgasbord (its just laid out in front of you, no choice) experience.
The catering team launched into the kitchen and whipped up a beautiful dinner of barbecued ham with lots of salads and cake to follow. The rescue team arrived back after dark after a huge day. Everyone enjoyed dinner and a few wines to finish off the day.
Kiri's bumps, bruises and scrapes are all mending well. However, she needs to wear the neck brace for another month and is still feeling the effects from the concussion. It looks as though she will be able to return to work for a couple of hours a week which she is pleased about but we will all have to keep an eye on her to make sure doesn't overdo it. In the meantime, Paul, Nina and Kim have taken over her work load and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 628 8009 for any Project Tongariro matters.
The boys were very sorry to hear about Kiri's Dad's bike (it stayed put at the bottom of 'Battleship Bluff') and so they had a fundraiser to purchase the Mannings a new, safer bike, trainer wheels optional!
Our thoughts are also with Nank [John Nankervis] our long term hon solicitor as he faces a huge battle to recover his health following a major climbing accident. Nank has has been a guiding influence since our inception nearly 30 years ago.
$30,000 raised at the Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary NZPGA Charity Golf Tournament
Restoring Rotopounamu and Greening Taupo projects are financially better off following the 14th annual NZPGA Senior Charity Championship held recently at the Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary.
The three-day NZPGA event and auction helped raise $60,000 which has been split evenly between Project Tongariro and the NZ Men’s Health Trust. Project Tongariro is really pleased to have been involved in the event and we are most grateful to Gary Lane and the Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary.
Auctioneer John Hart encouraged golfers to bid generously for a range of unique experiences on offer, including some unique conservation adventures. Funds were also raised through the bidding for pro golfers throughout the tournament
Over the two years, the tournament has raised $80,000 for Project Tongariro. These funds are being used to support the Restoring Rotopounamu project, now in its 10th year of operation and Greening Taupo, a new project which is set to be launched during the upcoming winter school holiday.
In addition, the event saw the release of another kiwi into the Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary. The 180-hectare pest-free property has been home to several juvenile kiwi over the last 12 months kiwi live there until they are a safe weight, around 1kg, at which time they are released back into their native habitat. Image: Ngati Hikairo Representative Bubs Smith, DOC Ranger Renee Potae, Gary Lane and Nigel Lloyd from Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary and DOC kiwi handler Jeremy Guillotell at the release of the kiwi into the sanctuary during the tournament.
Project Tongariro is very thankful to DOC and the following contributing sponsors who are supporting the charity auction experiences.
Chateau Tongariro, Mountain Air, Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter, Rotorua Canopy Tours, Tongariro Lodge, Tui Lodge, Tongariro River Rafting, Wairakei Resort.
2013 Memorial Awards
Project Tongariro's Memorial Award was established by the society in memory of Keith Maurice Blumhardt, William Edward Cooper, Douglas Neal McKenzie, Derek Ian White and Marie Pauline Williams, who died on Mt Ruapehu while testing helicopter rescue equipment on 9 December 1982.
The award is open to any applicant for study – for fauna, flora, geology, volcanology, weather and natural and human history of Tongariro National Park.
Note if no applicants meet the required standards in a particular year, an award will not be made.
Please contact Project Tongariro email@example.com for more info and to apply.
Your chance to purchase a limited edition book:
Project Tongariro supporter Ralph Harris from Sydney has generously donated 16 copies of a book he wrote and self-published in 2011 called “Recollections of Ruapehu – Tongariro National Park in the 1950s".
Ralph was assistant park ranger based at Whakapapa from the mid 50s. Delightful tales mention legendary characters including Tom Shout, Shorty Clearkin, Bill Bridge and others.
Ralph’s boss, chief ranger Alex Salmon, always wore a fedora, one for work and one for going to town. Alex was a tireless worker who was personally responsible for building many original tracks such as the one from the Chateau to the Mangatepopo Valley (Salmon’s Track), the first bridge across the Whakapapaiti River and also the first hut in the valley. He also built a track to the top of Hauhungatahi using the tools of the day - a slasher and axe.
Ralph has some great stories from those pre-helicopter days when a pack horse was the only way you could carry a heavy load in the park. One day his packhorse Bob overbalanced and fell off the track, down a steep slope. Without thinking, Ralph adopted the belay stance as taught in rock climbing lessons and luckily for them both it worked! The horse came to a stop, rolled over onto his belly, then dug his hooves into the slope and eventually regained the track!
Ralph’s learnt to ski at Whakapapa but could not afford a pair of skis on his ranger salary. “I resorted to the Chateau rubbish tip which was about 1 km down the Bruce Road from the Chateau. Practically all skis were wood in those days and when one of the pair of hire skis was broken the other unbroken one was also thrown in the rubbish dump. As the skis were matched pairs there was no point in keeping the unbroken ski. By prowling through the large heap of discarded skis I eventually found two which were near enough to identical. They served me for some years.”
Please go to our website to secure your copy of this limited edition, A4 publication of 74 pages including illustrations. The books are for sale for NZ$25 each including postage with all proceeds going to Project Tongariro’s work in and around the park.
Thanks for the memories Ralph – and thanks so much for your remarkable donation.
Sunset Red Crater Field Trip by Full Moon
Back by popular demand! This member field trip was such a neat experience last year that we have put it on the calendar again. If you'd like to experience the sunset from Red Crater and then walk back by full moonlight then make sure you join this trip. You will definitely feel like you are on top of the world when you watch the sun set and the moon rise from the summit of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
The date of the trip is set for Saturday 27 April with a contingency day of Saturday 25 May. We will meet at the Mangatepopo Car Park at for departure at 3pm. We will be guided by a professional guide for this trip and there will be a cost per person for the trip.
This trip is certainly a weather-dependant one so we will be making a decision on whether or not we are going ahead at quite late notice, probably as late as the day before. So if you plan to join us for this trip please register your interest with firstname.lastname@example.org with your mobile number so that you can be kept up to date with the plans.
Project Tongariro is leading the development and implementation of a new community conservation project, based around Taupo called “Greening Taupo” and intends to officially launch it in winter 2013. The objective is to improve the Taupo environment for people and native wildlife and will involve undertaking restoration planting and pest control to create wildlife corridors and increase native birds. So far the project has gained considerable support from Wairakei and Taupo businesses and the wider community. Businesses and organisations such as Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary, Contact Energy, Wairakei Resort, Huka Honey Hive, Landcorp, Taupo Native Plant Nursery, Taupo District Council and Department of Conservation have already committed to being involved.
If you would like to be more involved with this project or would like to be specifically included on the Greening Taupo database to keep up to date with progress, please email email@example.com
Fieldtrip and Volunteer Opportunity 2014 - Boundary Stream, Hawkes Bay
Hand feeding Cook Petrel chicks - March 2014
Hand feeding Mottled Petrel chicks - April 2014
In a ferny grove on top of the Maungaharuru Range an artificial nesting site for Cooks Petrels (classified as vulnerable) is being established. A small predator-proof fence has been completed and artificial nesting boxes are being installed.
In March 2014 Cooks Petrel chicks will be brought from Hauturu Little Barrier Island, their only major nesting area, to this enclosure and hand fed until they fledge. When they fledge the location of their nesting box will be imprinted on them and they will return, after about five years in the East Pacific area, to breed. Ultimately the colony will house 150 nesting boxes and establish another thriving colony of Cooks petrel.
Mottled Petrel are also being transferred from Cod Fish (Whenua a Hou) Island to Boundary Stream in April 2014. Volunteers are also needed to hand feed them.
Accommodation will be provided and the only cost will be your transport and food. Free time will be available each day to explore this beautiful area.
Anyone who would like to be involved for a day, several days or the whole week in March or April 2014 please register your interest with Mary Monzingo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Turangi Colours Festival and Guided Walk at Rotopounamu
Easter Weekend in Turangi was full of colour and life. Project Tongariro participated in the Turangi Colours Festival Market Day while Paul Green and Nick Singers did two guided walks at Rotopounamu for people interested in finding out more about the unique ecological significance of the area and the work that Project Tongariro and DOC undertakes there. It was a neat opportunity to let the local community know what were are up to.
At the market I met Alan Rosoman who is a long-time supporter of Project Tongariro. He told me about the device called the Audobon Bird Caller which is hand-crafted, made of birch wood, pewter and resin and apparently very effective to call birds. Alan headed up to Rotopounamu that day, the following is his account of his experience with the bird caller that day.
Tui were present going uphill and on the south side. Part way up, I heard a call and brought a bird only part way down. It may have been a tit. When trying to bring the bird down two fantails which I had not heard at all, also responded. Reminds me of another occasion when I was on the seat at the south end of long beach and I used the device for no particular reason and out popped a tomtit only a metre away. I heard a Bellbird before going down to 5min beach. I also heard one riroriro and brought this close enough to identify. On the south side, I had a “chat” with a robin but couldn’t bring it right down. There were a few birds on north side but it was still cool. Heard about 10 kereru in flight in total.
It was also worth noting that the lake was the lowest I have seen it in 44 years of visits. Something else of interest to note was that late last year I heard frogs in the reed beds on the south side. I haven’t heard any for years.When the lagoon behind long beach was full we used to.
If you would like to get one of these Audobon Bird Callers I have found them available on IQ Toys NZ website.
Thanks for your story Alan. It is neat to hear of the experiences you have had a Rotopounamu. If anyone else would like to contribute their unique experiences in and around Tongariro National Park, please feel free to pass them onto email@example.com
Upcoming activities and events - your chance to get involved!
Posted: Wed 10 Apr 2013