Archives For Cyclone Thomas

Raoul Island is one of the Kermadec Islands, about 1,000km north-east of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean. DOC has a small team of rangers and volunteers who live on the island in relative solitude. Their main focus is controlling weeds on the island, maintaining infrastructure such as buildings, roads and tracks, and carrying out work for Met Service and GNS.
Since the island is so remote, we get these diary entries from the team and post them up on their behalf. Today’s diary is by volunteer Chloe Armour.
The grand opening of the new derrick shed.

Ash & Nichy opening the much improved derrick shed

When we are not out and about in the hills weeding there is more than enough work to keep us out of trouble keeping the station up and running.

One to two days a week are dedicated maintenance days for tasks such as painting and gardening and road/track work but we have also had a number of small (and a few large) projects on the go during the last six months.

Derrick refit

Cyclone Thomas hit Raoul back in March and was by all accounts pretty spectacular and the derrick shed received a pounding.

Ash had been itching to get to work on it and with the help of his trusty assistant Nichy they tore all but one wall down and set to work re-building it.

After some hard labor we had our weekly Friday night drinks down at Fishing Rock for the grand opening.  We were advised to bring sunnies (needed to protect our eyes from the bright white paint).

After a tour of the shed with highlights including the new roof with a perspex panel to let more light in and the derrick operators seat it was time to cut the pink ribbon marking the new derrick winch housing open!

The upgraded Mahoe hut.

Mahoe hut after its make over

Hut facelifts

Mahoe and Hutchies huts were voted to be the most in need of attention.

First the areas around the huts were cleared right back with quite a few trees coming down (there were a few tense moments but both huts are still standing (and all the hebes are accounted for), allowing more light in and a bit more room for air to circulate.

Stu and Heather then moved in and set to work with their paint brushes, Mahoe taking a little longer than expected with the weather not cooperating resulting in Stu and Heather returning to base a little skinier and Stu very glad to be getting something more than “just potatoes” for his dinner!  The end result: two very flash looking huts.

Cleaning out the Mahoe hut's rain water tank.

The Mahoe hut’s rain water tank receiving a much need clean out by Heather


A scrub and chainsaw have been making their way around the island starting from the Moumouaki track, with Ian and Ash doing  the chain saw work and everybody helping with the scrub cutting.

The tracks are looking super! We now have a Hutchies highway and a Mahoe motorway. Now we have started though stopping is going to be very difficult – the small tracks that haven’t been done, like the ring buster, look like a jungle in comparison!

Emergency fire reservoir

Emptying the emergency fire reservoir.

Lachland & Heather emptying the emergency fire reservoir while Mike entertains himself

When we had a few days of rain on the cards our leader Ian thought it was about time we gave our emergency fire reservoir a good clean out. It is 100,000 litres and is filled from the hostel roof stormwater.

It took nearly three hours and two pumps to empty the majority of the water. We then spent the rest of the day cleaning the base and sides and getting the last dregs out with buckets, then mops, then towels! (I think it could do with a plug at the bottom!)

It was shining once we had finished! Summer is definitely here and a few days later it was full enough to be put to good use!

Enjoying the newly filled emergency fire reservoir.

Mike & Chloe making a splash in the clean emergency fire reservoir