Tongariro Times April 2016

Tongariro Times April 2016


Photo credit Conrad Smith Life Captured

Tongariro Times April 2016

Hello!  Welcome to Autumn!  We hope you've spent some time in and around Tongariro National Park before winter hits! 

In this edition of Tongariro Times you'll catch up on and find out about the following:

  • February's field trip to Whakatane / White Island

  • Our next field trip to the Rotokawa geothermal area in Taupo

  • Comminity Planting Days with Greening Taupo

  • The Governor General's visit with Kids Greening Taupo

  • The next event we marsahll at the T42

  • Our first 'Volunteer Week'  - a Success! 

  • The date for our next AGM! 

So settle in for a good read!

PS, we've FINALLY have updated our website!  
Head along to check it out and let us know what you think!

Whakatane / White Island Field Trip

by Maureen Chatterton

Wow what an awesome field trip out from Whakatane on PeeJay Tours charter boat, for a 1 ¼ hr boat trip which was pretty rough at times, thanks to cyclone ‘Winston’.

Once arriving at the Island we were taken by inflatable boat to the landing, hard hats on and gas masks provided.

Our tour guide walked us to places of interest and to the crater lake. The roaring of the powerful vent at the back of the lake was amazing.  The sulphur mounds were very  impressive – way better than anything we see around Rotorua!   We were grateful for our gas masks,  as we got closer to the crater the fumes were pretty strong.

Incredible to think that back in the 1800’s miners built a factory on the Island to mine the sulphur, bag it up and sell it for fertilizer. There are still ruins from the factory to see which includes Douglas Fir timber that was brought in from Canada.    What harsh conditions they toughed out.  They needed  to wear woollen clothing that didn’t fall apart and had to brush their teeth 4 times a day to prevent them going black.  Their accommodation was to one side of the Island and if the sea was too rough for them to get to the landing, by the factory,  they had to trek over the Island which was very steep! 

We headed back to Whakatane by 3pm and of course we all enjoyed seeing the many dolphins on the way, who put on a spectacular show. 

An enjoyable evening at the local Whakatane Sport Fishing Club over dinner and drinks was not to be missed. 

Sunday we ventured off to Kawerau and up to the Tarawera Falls, which was well worth the drive thru the forest and a short walk in to the impressive falls.

What a fantastic weekend and a special  THANK YOU  to Annette and Roy Dench for organising such a memorable experience.


Upcoming Field Trip - 1st May 2016
Rotokawa Geothermal Area (Taupo) 
with Dr Harry Keys


This will be an easy full-day trip with visits to some of the highlights and some exploring with Project Tongariro member and local volcanologist Dr Harry Keys.  A recent picture from a neat crater we call “Middle Earth” will also be on the itinerary.  

You will need sturdy foot wear, sun protection / wet weather gear (if weather is TERRIBLE, we'll postpone it the day before), lunch and water.  We will meet at the DOC Taupo office carpark at 9am and then travel to Rotokawa.  Access is via 4WD high clearance vehicles from the Nga Awa Purua geothermal power station. We can arrange car pooling beforehand if your car isn't suitable.  

Please RSVP to Kiri before Thursday 28th April.

Up and Coming Greening Taupo Planting Dates


Dates and places for some up and coming wicked and wonderful GT planting days:

Saturday 4th June 2016 10am

Community Planting Day along the Rotary Ride 10min walk from Huka Falls with support from the Taupo Tramping Club

Saturday 2nd July 2016 10am

Community Planting Day in partnership with Contact Energy

Sunday 28 August 2016 (To be Confirmed)

Whakaipo Bay Community Planting Day in conjunction with the Girl Guides. 

Kids Greening Taupo hosts the Governor General


The Kids Greening Taupō Student Leadership Team and kindergarten children were very excited to host Governor General Lt Gen the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mataparae and Lady Janine Mataparae earlier this month and they enjoyed sharing their projects and leadership skills with Their Excellencies.  

The Tauhara College student leaders did a fantastic job of greeting and hosting our visitors and sharing about their ‘greening’ of Spa Park, Taupō Primary students showed off their propagation skills, Waipahihi students shared their knowledge of tracking, trapping and identifying pests and their He Manu Whenua planting project, and the children from Hinemoa and Four Seasons kindergartens showed Sir Jerry and Lady Janine what they get up to during their Bush Kindergarten trips.

The guests were all very impressed with the Kids Greening Taupo programme and the opportunities it is providing our region’s young people to develop their knowledge and skills around conservation and to lead projects in their community.  The visit really affirmed to the students that their work is important and valued by others, and they were honoured to have the opportunity to share what they are doing with Their Excellencies and VIP guests.  We had a fantastic day!


T42 Volunteer Marshalls Required


Not up to entering this awesome event but would still like to participate in some way? 

Volunteer to marshal for Project Tongariro and you'll get out there amongst it, in this stunning landscape, watching and urging on some amazing athletes (not to mention supporting us at the same time!) 

Get in contact with us to find out more!

This is an excellent day out in our special part of the country.

Volunteer Week

Our first volunteer week focusing on our main conservation projects was a quiet success!  The numbers of people participating weren't huge, but those who did provided great positive feedback.  


A big thank you to all those who made the effort to come for one day and those who stayed up to 4 days!  Approximately 1400 plants were planted, many more 'released' from competing weeds, Rotopounamu Traps were checked, a Kiwi Chick was admired and 'health checked', a family of Takahe chicks were viewed, Waihahonu historic hut was visited and National Trout Center was visited to hear about the Whio (Blue Duck) Recovery Programme.  

Thank you to Pauline and the team from Turangi Marine who sponsored the large planting day and lent their muscles for planting plants! Send us through some ideas for next year if there's something you're keen to visit or do.

Forest & Bird Lodge, Whakapapa Village, Mt Ruapehu, 
Saturday 15th October.  
Schedule to come.

Posted: Fri 29 Apr 2016

Roel Michels