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An historic bush camp re-enactment will be one of the features of Log Fest on 9 October

Saturday October 9th promises to be a special day for anyone visiting the Karangahake Gorge, as the Victoria Battery gold mining site is transformed into Log Fest, a family event celebrating the timber heritage of New Zealand.

 It is 100 years since the Kauri Timber Company’s first shipment of kauri logs from Waikino to Auckland. These logs were brought down the Waitawheta Tramline, an engineering marvel of its day, which is now part of the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park near Tauranga.
Events and promotions such as Log Fest are part of the day-to-day work for DOC’s Community Relations staff. Community Relations is the part of DOC responsible for local relationships and community involvement. DOC Area Offices around New Zealand have Community Relations teams that work with the local issues and people, so helping to inform and connect their local communities to the work of DOC.
Our Community Relations Ranger here in Tauranga is Pete Huggins, and he has been organising Log Fest as a celebration of the 100-year anniversary.
Pete has also been working with local media to try and encourage people to attend, saying: “We’d like to invite people from nearby towns and cities to come and explore this exciting piece of historic conservation land. DOC is working with local groups to put on a really special day. We have an historic bush camp where kids of all ages can try using traditional saws, cooking on an open fire, and trying woodturning. There will also be train and horse rides, both of which hark back to the grand old days of rail and horsepower. We also have some excellent talks and guided walks for those who want a bit more detail, and to discover the mining history and relics. It will make a great day out for the last weekend of the school holidays”.
Event details are below – come along and be a part of it!
Entry to the event is free, and extra parking will be available at the Waikino Station, SH2, Karangahake Gorge.
A special train service is running from Waihi on the day. For train times and bookings go to
Games and activities run throughout the day, but the following set times apply:
10.00am – opening of Log Fest
11.00am – unveiling of new tracks and displays
12.00pm – presentation on bush tramways by DOC expert Paul Mahoney
2.00pm – presentation on gold mining by DOC expert Paul Mahoney
4.00pm – close
For event details, visit and search “Log Fest”
For information about logging history in the Waitawheta Valley go to:
For information about the history and significance of the Victoria Battery go to:

The Tauranga DOC team have been all at sea lately – literally.  

Oscar the seal makes friends wherever he goes

DOC boat the 'Rewa' heads out to Tuhua Marine Reserve for a compliance check

Rangers Dan and Dave have been speaking at the local Bluewater Classic & One Base fishing competition briefings and regularly patrolling the Tuhua Marine Reserve to make sure that everyone knows where the marine reserve is and keeps their fishing rods out of it.  Dan is also making preparations for next week’s annual fish survey in the reserve with marine studies staff and students from the Bay of Plenty Polytech.  

Tuhua Marine Reserve is one of over 30 no-take marine reserves established around New Zealand to protect marine organisms and their habitats for future generations to come.  It’s a great place to dive or snorkel and enjoy some magical underwater scenery.  

Ranger Laura has been catching up with our local permitted dolphin watching operators to make sure they’re keeping the best interests of the dolphins at heart. Commercial operators can help to protect dolphins by giving people the opportunity to see, fall in love with and learn about them.  The permits we issue and monitor require operators to meet set conditions and follow the Marine Mammals Protection Regulations so that their impacts on the dolphins are minimised.  

All boaties can help to look after whales, dolphins and seals by making sure that they know and follow the rules.  The regulations include rules about safe boat speed, distance and angles of approach so that people can enjoy watching whales, dolphins and seals without causing them harm.  

Oscar in action at the Maketu Kaimoana Festival

Awhi helps a young fisherman to learn about marine reserve rules a size limits

Our Maori Cadet – Ranger Awhi & I took Oscar the seal to the Maketu Kaimoana Festival last weekend.  We use him to help us educate people  about marine reserves and marine mammal protection.  We also set up a fishing game so that kids (and their parents) could learn the no-fishing rule in marine reserves and practice measuring fish to check if they meet the Ministry of Fisheries size limits for recreational fishing.   

With Seaweek (7-14 March) coming up  I’ve got more work for Oscar this weekend – I’ll be taking him down to the Mount Maunganui Underwater Club Clean-up at Pilot Bay on Saturday to meet the locals there.  There’s lots happening around the country for Seaweek – its all listed on the website:  Some of the Tauranga event line-up includes:  

  • a public ‘virtual tour’ of the Tuhua Marine Reserve that Ranger Pete is organising on Thursday 11th March where our marine scientist – Kim Young, will share underwater photos and the findings from over a decade of fish monitoring in the reserve
  • A Sea Bird Cruise with the South Sea Sailing Company and local bird expert Tony Crocker on 13th March
  • a marine photography field trip with Dr Kim Westerskov and Captain Graeme Butler on 21 March & 11 April

Aside from Seaweek, March is a good month in Tauranga for getting involved in or learning more about caring for our environment. The Tauranga Environment Centre have put together an amazing calendar of events for “Sustainable Backyards” month; from an educational harbour cruise or guided bush walk to organic farm tours and cheese-making workshops, there’s something for everyone – make sure you check it out.  

Sea you out there!

The theme for World Wetlands Day this year is “Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change”, so it seems somewhat approriate that on 2nd February we were signing up to a joint agency partnership with Environment Waikato and Environment Bay of Plenty to improve co-ordination and collaboration of agency and comunity efforts to protect and enhance the ‘natural capital’ of the Kaimai Mamaku catchments.

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