Get your exploring shoes on, by Elliot McBride (Ecofest intern)

25th February 2014 | Nicky Davis

Matakana to Omaha walkway

While Auckland is fast making a name for itself as a global city full of world-class restaurants, shopping and events, it is the natural wonders and its inhabitants’ love for nature that makes this city so unique. Under our very noses lie a bounty of wondrous native bush reserves and beautiful coastlines, each with their own distinct identity.

As part of the Ecofest North festival (15 March to 13 April), co-ordinated by Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre and supported by Auckland Council, bush walks and tramps are being held to encourage participants to discover these natural environments and learn of their history and uses. (Bookings are required – visit

The award-winning Potiki Adventures have been exposing people to the treasures that lie in Auckland’s backyard for 10 years, they host Te Ao Marama – The World of Light, Smiths Bush, Takapuna on Sunday 30 March. This event will shine a light on a Maori perspective of this extraordinary piece of bush, telling the story of how trees came to this land and providing an opportunity to learn about the medicinal properties of some of these native plants, rongoa Maori. An interactive event, participants can try their hand at traditional Maori instruments, te taonga puoro, and drink a fresh brew of kawakawa tea.

Sitting on the fringe of Karipiro Bay lies ‘a jewel of the North Shore’, Dacre Cottage. The cottage is an important part of Auckland’s colonial history, having been built in 1855 by adventurer merchant Ranulph Dacre. The area’s cultural significance and natural beauty are together acknowledged as a historical and a marine reserve, respectively.  Forest and Bird will host a 10km walk to Dacre Cottage through a beautiful bush walkway on Saturday 22 March.

An active member of the Auckland Botanical Society and the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, Margi Keys will be running a series of guided ‘walk and talk’ bush walks. These two-hour walks through a selection of the North Shores most beautiful bush reserves offer the opportunity to learn about native flora and fauna while getting some exercise at the same time. Note; no actual running will be involved!

One for the whole family, the Koru Bush School Family Taster Session will give families a taste of what the great outdoors have to offer to their children’s development. This nature-based learning environment fosters the development of the ‘whole child’ through teamwork, risk taking, problem solving and exploration. This taster session will be held on Saturday 29 March at Birkenhead Domain.

Discoveries and knowledge await, so don’t hesitate to get those exploring shoes on! Please for more information about or to book places for any of these events or call Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre on 482 1172.

Kaipatiki Project is able to operate due to the generosity of our funders and supporters

Foundation North Ministry for the Environment Kaipatiki Local Board Ubiquity Environment Hubs Aotearoa