Ngahuru in the Ngahere

Each season has its own unique beauty and awesomeness about it, but ngahuru has to be one of my favourite seasons of the year. Not too hot, not too cold and because there are still plenty of daylight hours, it is a great time to head into the ngahere to charge the wairua through reconnecting with Tāne Mahuta and Papatūānuku. Ngahuru is also a great time of year to do some cheap (or free) overnight camping, star-gazing, sleeping under the stars or harvesting those kamokamo.

Living in the Bay of Plenty we are spoiled for choice with regards to places nearby that you can combine a family hīkoi in the ngahere with a refreshing dip in a lake, river, or stream. 

While taking a hīkoi in the ngahere, challenge each other to see who can identify the most native manu by sight or by their karanga. Many of the native rākau such as rimu, houhere, kahikatea or miro are fruiting during ngahere so take along a book, print off pages or use your phone to identify these or other tamariki of Tāne Mahuta.

Last weekend my husband and I celebrated his birthday in Rotorua. Not familiar with the Redwood Park Reserve, rather than keeping to the mokopuna trail, we did a bit of a wīwī wāwā hīkoi of our own before giving up and going for tea and a hot soak. The next morning we went to the park’s i-site, got a map of the whole reserve and actually managed to keep on the trail. We even had a cool encounter with a pīwaiwaka who perched nearby and chatted with us for a good few minutes. 

One of the great things about this park is that it caters for a range of ages, fitness levels and accessibility abilities and offers a number of different activities. It was so great to see families spending time together, pēpi in pushchairs, cyclists, runners and people of all ages enjoying this beautiful space together. 

So whānau, while it is still warm outdoors, get out and make the most of the ngahere near you this ngahuru!

Zirsha Wharemate
(Ngati Ranginui)

Zirsha Wharemate has a Masters and a PhD in Nutritional Science from Massey University (2016). Her PhD looked at Investigations into the Nutritional and Sensory Potential of Taewa (Māori Potatoes).