By Lee Barry, Community Ranger
What could be better than a dip in the sea, a view of the ocean, or the sand between your toes?
The ocean is so often a place we go to feel good. It could be the sound of the surf, inhaling the fresh sea air or spotting the mysterious creatures beneath. Evolution hints that we are not long emerged and perhaps yearn to return.
Whatever it is that draws you there, celebrate your connection to the sea this Seaweek.
Seaweek is a national annual celebration of the sea, this year running 25 February – 5 March, with the tagline:
“Toiora te Moana – Toiora te Tangata – Healthy Seas, Healthy People”
New Zealand’s coastline teams with life and is easily accessed – we are a nation of coast dwellers and getting kids out into nature is good for their physical and mental wellbeing. Kids who are connected to nature and the sea will want to enjoy and save it now and in the future.
Of the 20 DOC districts, 19 of them touch the coast and our team embrace the chance each year to showcase the sea, alongside their community partners.
Events across the country provide people of all ages – but especially families and kids – with opportunities to get amongst the wet stuff.
Find out what’s happening near you, from the full listing of over 130 events here. Snorkel days, beach clean-ups, tours, talks and more.
Here are some of our highlights for Seaweek 2017:
Sat 25 Feb
Free Snorkel Day – Whitireia, Wellington.
Come along and view the mesmerizing marine life at Whitireia Park! Equipment, safety support and experienced guides on hand to help anyone over 8 years of age explore the spectacular underwater world along the Whitireia coastline.
Sun 26 Feb
Massive Marlborough Clean up – Picton Foreshore and Taylor River Reserve.
All rubbish in our waterways will eventually end up in our sea. Join DOC and friends in cleaning up two special places. Win prizes with the weirdest rubbish collected.
Mon 27 Feb
Waikawa Dive Scavenger Hunt – Picton.
Waikawa Dive Centre are hosting fun snorkelling lessons followed by a snorkel scavenger hunt on the Picton foreshore. Aimed for beginners 7 to 14-year-olds. All gear provided.
Tues 28 Feb
Celebrate Seaweek at Aratoi – Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Masterton.
Kids! Help make a Sea Wall with a photo or drawing of your favourite marine animal, jellyfish, seabird or seascape and peg them to the wall – open all week in the foyer at Aratoi. Check the listing for talks and other fun events through the week.
Fri 3 March
Farewell to the Godwits – Southshore Spit Reserve, Christchurch.
Annual event to farewell the Godwit birds before they travel back to their nesting grounds in Alaska. Regional Park Rangers take you to the estuary edge to view these unique Christchurch visitors up close. Free sausage sizzle. Spot prizes.
Sat 4 March
Big Beach Clean Up – Nelson.
You’re invited the biggest community conservation project in the region; a big community clean-up of Tasman Bay beaches and other coastal areas between Tonga Island and Cable Bay. Join as an individual, or encourage your business, sports or community group to get involved. In 2014 over 350 volunteers collected 3.93 tonnes of rubbish from approximately 300 km of beach.
Sun 5 March
Seawall Mural Tour – Napier.
Enjoy a guided tour of the whimsical works of art inspired by the sea which decorate Napier’s public spaces. This Sunday join the Ahuriri walk around the waterfront area from 2pm.