I got to hang out with Dr David Bellamy last Saturday – how cool is that??!!
25 years ago the community and David Bellamy got involved and were instrumental in stopping native logging and establishing the Park.
Last weekend the local community including, iwi, tourism businesses, Rotorua Mountain Bike Club, Rotorua 4WD club, NZ Deerstalkers Rotorua Branch, Forest & Bird and scientists from Scion & Wildlands Consultants all pitched in with DOC to run an amazing 3 day programme of activities for all ages, abilities and interests.
Offerings ranged from tasting traditional kai or mountain biking on a new 35km track to guided forest walks and a family treasure hunt.
Not only was this a celebration of the Forest Park but also a chance for DOC & the local community to showcase the fabulous visitor attractions that the Park has to offer and encourage the growth of tourism-based business that will benefit the local economy.
It’s an amazing forest, thank goodness they saved it – during my stay I got to walk amongst giant rimu, kahikatea, totara and miro. Kaka were flying around all day, there were whio (blue duck) in the river beside the camp and a ruru (morepork) parked up on a tree beside me on Friday evening. My partner rode the new mountain bike track and said it was fantastic (took about 5hrs).
Get involved – visit Whirinaki and get the locals to show you around.
And yes, I did get an autograph, for my Dad – great Fathers Day present!