Love Your Backyard

Sunday fun-day feels at my local reserve — November 6, 2016.

Head to the tops of these hills for the most spectacular views of our little country’s “South Island”, ‘Te Waipounamu’.

She’s a long hard road to get there, though…

Still, those colours are pretty legit motivation — right?

#TipTrack.

The Push To Belmont Trig: Busting-a-Gut Up The Throat Of ‘Te Mana’

Should you happen to be on-the-hunt for a half-day-walk here in Wellington that’ll make you gasp (*with awe, I mean – although you’ll likely be left with empty lungs and a suitably busted gut, too), then the push to Belmont Trig is “it”.

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Rangituhi: He Huarahi Nei Tae Atu Ai Ki ‘Te Rangiwhakataka’ (Āe – Koinei Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori, Te Reo Rangatira)

I’ve purposely sat down to write this post during this year’s ‘Te Wiki o te reo Māori’ (“Māori Language Week”) to reflect, in (*what I hope will feel like) just the right amount of detail.

My most intimate experiences with this particular time of year have stemmed from my current vocation as an enthusiastic advocate of, and for, the Māori language – they’re the by-product of my decision to teach in a reo-speaking environment.

But they’re not the catalyst – the ‘prod’, if you like – for my level/s of participation and engagement in this specific week.

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Cannon Point Walkway & Birchville Dam: Dem Astronomical Akatarawa Views (Also: Happy Matariki, Whānau)

First things front-and-centre: ‘Ngā mihi o te wā nei, ko Matariki’ (or simply, “Happy Matariki”), whānau.

As-of the start of June, ‘Matariki’ – aka, the “Pleiades” star cluster – is now visible in our hemisphere, thus heralding the Māori New Year.

Without a shred of doubt, Matariki is, and means, many things to many people.  For those of us who dedicate ourselves to this particular time of year life, we are inherently drawn to the usual array of New Year’s traditions.  Key kupu like “remembrance”, “fertility”, “life”, “death”, and “gratitude” all assume their rightful place/s alongside the purposeful, necessary act of celebrating everything we are, as Māori.

Matariki’s our time.

Continue reading “Cannon Point Walkway & Birchville Dam: Dem Astronomical Akatarawa Views (Also: Happy Matariki, Whānau)”

Kaitoke Regional Park & Rivendell: Mother Earth Meets “Middle-earth”

So, sprained my ankle a couple of weeks ago during an endurance race in Mōhaka (*East Coast, North Island, exceptionally rural New Zealand).

Quite literally, one moment my trusty racing sidekick and I were negotiating a ridiculously narrow goat-track of a route around the side of a hill, and ‘nek minnit’ she was gorilla-gripping my hydration pack with her oversize/d girl-hands (they’re a “thing”, and thank goodness for ’em) to stop me from rolling into something of an abyss.

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Te Ahumairangi Hill: History, Majesty, And Māoriness

*Nov ’16 (update): Since writing this (*02/16), I’ve spent a substantial chunk of time familiarising myself with the many metaphorical veins and arteries that comprise Te Ahumairangi’s inner track system.  Basically, I favour a specific route these days, and simply wanted to add that here.

I’ve abandoned the Waterworks end as a start-point, and tend to enter at/on the Harriett Street side.  I follow the Northern Walkway, Southern Connector, get on to the Loop Walk (*and “drive-by” the tunnel and quarry), jump back on to the Northern Walkway, and return the same way I came in.

So essentially, I travel from one end of the Hill to the other, and back again – albeit via slightly different altitudes.

Have a go…

#TheBombDotCom.


We have a saying (*also a much-loved and revered song) at the Māori language pre-school that I work at to describe our profound, collective sense of kinship towards our local landscape:

“Te Ahumairangi te maunga,

Continue reading “Te Ahumairangi Hill: History, Majesty, And Māoriness”

Pencarrow Lighthouse: Wellington’s Most Rugged Coastal Retreat

Our country’s coastline is perfect for lighthouses.

They’re everywhere, dotted and scattered from one end to the other, positioned in some of the most rugged, resilient, and spectacular spaces on-offer anywhere in the world.

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Makara’s West Wind Farm Recreation Area: An Intrepid Little Year-ender

Gosh – aren’t we practically scooting towards the year’s end?

Obviously I can’t speak for you, but I know I tend to take-stock at this time of year, and sometimes that means a spectacularly wide-ranging myriad of emotions – right??

Personally-speaking, 2015 feels different.

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Te Kopahou Reserve’s Waipapa Loop: A Christmas Day Adventure

I believe everybody should have something poignant, and/or relevant, to say about their Christmas Day.

I believe this more and more, with each year that passes.

My reasons are simple; your Christmas Days are indeed limited (please, never ever fall into the time trap – time’s finite, fo’ shizzle), and you only get one shot at each of them.

So, make ’em count.

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Wainui Water Collection Area: A Free Guided Tour

*Nov ’16 (update): This post comprises the beginnings of my volunteering career with ‘Greater Wellington’.  Basically, I buddy’d-up with one of the fabulous volunteers on this tour, met the ranger and really liked him too, and decided to tag-along on a regular basis.

I’ve since been into the heart of the ‘Mainland Island’ that I mention in this piece, and my first official “gig” as a volunteer involved exploring this total taonga-of-a-place at night-time, with glow-worms and everything.

Continue reading “Wainui Water Collection Area: A Free Guided Tour”