Explore the outdoors during Conservation Week

Mt Egmont / Mt Taranaki peeking out from cloud with DOC Ranger Denise Goodman and Tasman Toyota Customer Relationship Manager in New Plymouth Vanessa Sumpter.
Mt Egmont / Mt Taranaki peeking out from cloud with DOC Ranger Denise Goodman and Tasman Toyota Customer Relationship Manager in New Plymouth Vanessa Sumpter.

Taranaki was privileged to host two great Toyota Kiwi Guardians Adventures as part of Conservation Week.

The programme is a joint venture with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Toyota New Zealand designed to get children off the couch and out into nature.

DOC Ranger Denise Goodman explained there are four Toyota Kiwi Guardians sites around Taranaki for kids to earn medals at.  The other two places are Dawson falls and Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve.

“The Kiwi Guardians programme is designed to encourage families with kids to get out and explore nature. DOC is working with Toyota to make this programme a success in Taranaki,” said Denise.

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Out of the darkness

As part of my correspondence course I had to submit articles to various publications.

I was SO excited when the Next said YES! This article was printed in August 2005.

We had the very creative Pip Guthrie come and do a photo shoot with us at the beach on a very cold windy Taranaki day!

It was just such an awesome experience!

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Stepping out in New Plymouth

Hang gliding at Back Beach
Handgliding at Back Beach

With the holidays approaching fast have you thought about venturing out and about in New Plymouth?

BackBeach is beautiful to wander along especially when the tide is out.  The surfers are out in force when the wind is right; also the hang gliders, and more commonly, para gliders float around on the thermal air coming off the high cliffs.

Paritutu Rock is also an unusual place to clamber about.  It is a portion of the outer rim of an extinct volcano.  The steep track up is graded hard.  Make sure to allow heaps of time for the rest at the top as there are amazing views in all directions -most certainly not for the faint hearted.

Another lovely beach with a great playground is NgamotuBeach.  There are public toilets and barbecue facilities available.  You will also find the beam pump, which marks the site of Moturoa No. 4 oilwell, drilled to a depth of 666 metres in 1931 and closed in 1972.  The beam pump was erected by Shell BP and Todd Oil Services as a memorial to the pioneers of oil exploration in New Zealand.

Kawaroa Park is well known for its rock pools.  Make sure to have sturdy footwear.  Young and old have fun exploring the rockpools, seeing creatures up close and then putting them back into their homes.

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“Moving forward – positively”

With the New Year here, once again we all start making New Year resolutions.

In 2002 my resolutions came looking for me.  Life over-whelmed me, which in turn forced me to make some drastic changes.

I broke a bone in my foot, in December 2000 and spent a lot of 2001 having physio and not exercising much. The slightest step on uneven ground sent my recovery back to the beginning.  This meant that I spent a lot of time sitting around and eating.  I made a minimal attempt at using the time to change careers and started a writing course by correspondence.

In 2002, I got offered a part-time job.  The hours were great so I went for it.  Unfortunately it meant that for 10 weeks, I had to use my lunch break to race to kindy, home to our neighbours to drop off Alex and back to work, until Alex turned 5.

My husband, Campbell, ended up at A&E at all hours of the day and night in excruciating pain in his side.  They eventually decided it was kidney stones.  There were many blasting operations and stent operations.  Everybody was on alert in case he needed to get to the Hospital.  Every time he groaned in his sleep or got up to the toilet I was ready to organise his parents to come and take him, as I would need to stay with the children.  A good nights sleep was a thing of the past.

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