Archives For outdoors

Getting children outdoors with friends and family is an easy, cheap and fun way to grow healthy and happy kids. Auckland Operations Ranger Drew Divehall tells us how kids can get involved in nature. 

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The challenge for parents is to balance a child’s digital and physical worlds. To help kiwi families keep track of green and screen time this summer, DOC has produced a simple fun colouring chart.

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By Andy Thompson, Technical Advisor Recreation, Christchurch

As a passionate hunter I love exploring our backcountry—so much country, so little time!

Hunting tahr up the mighty Rakaia River.

Hunting tahr up the mighty Rakaia River

The backcountry—its huts and tracks—are our inheritance.

For me, the places where I first took my kids on an overnight tramp, and where they shot their first deer or chamois, are ingrained into my character and our family’s folklore. It’s a legacy I want my grandkids and their grandkids to have.

Andy Thompson's family on the Kepler Track.

A day walk with the family at the bottom on the Kepler Track

I’m also one of the lucky DOC staff working with the New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Consortium, who are keen to look after and maintain New Zealand’s backcountry facilities.

The consortium is a partnership between the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand, New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association and Trail Fund NZ.

Reischek Hut.

The great wee Reischek Hut in Canterbury

My heroes are the people that go on major missions, who use these places and then choose, in their spare time, to put something back.

Andy Thompson's family on the Hollyford Track.

Whānau and friends on the Hollyford Track

This isn’t about DOC shedding its responsibilities to look after backcountry huts, this is about doing more and looking after the places where many of us spend our holidays and weekends and enrich our lives.

Stanley Vale Hut.

One of my favourite places and backcountry huts—Stanley Vale in the St James Conservation Area

So, if you’re a tramper, hunter, mountain biker, 4WDer, horse rider, caver, kayaker, mountaineer or more, and want to find out what we’re up to come check out the New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Consortium website.

Moss Thompson looks out over the Mt Sommers Walkway.

Moss Thompson looks out over the Mt Sommers Walkway

Today’s photo of the week is from the Bealey Spur Track in Arthur’s Pass.

The track climbs gently up through mountain beech forest to the base of Mt Rolleston up toward the Black Range and it offers a fantastic view of Arthur’s Pass and the Waimakariri River.

Bealey Spur Track.

DOC is interested in finding out more about your thoughts on exploring the outdoors. Are you an early morning hiker, or a late morning latte drinker? Does camping excite you or frighten you?

Take this quick and easy survey to share your thought on the outdoors – and you could win a $200 Prezzy card as a ‘thanks’ for filling it in.

Photo by Jason Blair | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Like loads of other New Zealanders (and many visitors to our shores) I love spending time out and about exploring our beautiful national parks, forests and reserves.

When I was growing up, it didn’t matter where we went, the green and yellow DOC signs were always there—an iconic part of holidays, camps, hunting trips and adventures into the bush. However, I never realised the huge job that DOC does to look after so many huts, campsites, tracks and places around the country.

DOC’s recent Annual Report helps shed some light on the range of things DOC looks after and shows how many New Zealanders are getting out and enjoying what’s on offer. Take a look, you might be surprised:

recreation-annual-report-2012-2013

You can also read about what DOC has been doing to look after our historic heritage in last week’s blog post


Check out the DOC website for more information about:

DOC’s latest Annual Report

Parks and recreation

Today we’re sharing Air New Zealand’s blog post from The Flying Social Network

Like most New Zealanders, we’re proud of our natural environment. We’re even in awe of it.

We should probably spend less time talking about nature and more time actually wandering through it and breathing it all in. In that spirit, Air New Zealand has joined forces with the Department of Conservation to preserve and protect some of our country’s most inspiring natural locations.

fairy-conservation-week

So with all of that said to celebrate Conservation Week between 8 – 15 September we are supporting the Department of Conservation and encouraging New Zealanders to get outdoors and get amongst nature.

Over 130 Air New Zealand employees between Auckland and Wellington are pledging their support for Conservation Week and will ‘Get out and walk’ at some of their favourite spots.

Our partnership with DOC focuses on supporting conservation biodiversity projects in the vicinity of the Great Walks, and also promotes the Great Walks – We’re helping to preserve and enhance these unique places that every Kiwi should try to experience in their lifetime. Why not make a Great Walks pledge for Conservation Week?

You can visit the Conservation Week website for more information and all the action and keep a close eye on Air New Zealand’s social media channels. Word has it that the Air New Zealand Fairy has some conservation themed goodies to give away!

By Angeline Barnes, Community Outreach Coordinator

In today’s busy world, it is too easy for me to make excuses as to why I don’t get out into the great outdoors as often as I would like to.

Angeline and Janna standing at the beginning of Sunrise Track.

Getting ready to take on the Sunrise Track

A few weeks ago, a group of us took the plunge. Leaving behind our flat whites, we made our way up to Sunrise Hut—a fabulous modern hut perched high on the hills of the Ruahine Forest Park. This hut was no draughty tin shack; it was warm (insulation really works) had triple bunks, a fire, great cooking facilities and was the perfect place to hit the ‘reset’ button.

A section of the Sunrise Track.

The track was an easy gradual climb and well maintained

Our route up was an easy gradual climb on a wide and well maintained track—a perfect width for chatting as we walked. Surrounded by trees, the warmth of the autumn sun and the chirp of our native birds, we seemed to reach the top quickly. As we approached the hut, the vegetation changed (sub-alpine) and my imagination went into overdrive, I was walking in the enchanted forest, just like the fairy tales I read as a child.

Angeline and Jane being told about the native plants along the track.

Learning about native plants along the way

And if ever there was a hut that’s name was appropriate, it is Sunrise Hut. Usually I struggle with early mornings, but the temptation to watch the sunrise over Hawke’s Bay was enough to force me out of bed—a decision I don’t regret. The view was spectacular and I felt like I was on top of the world.

Sunrise Hut.

This hut was no drafty tin shack

Was my night away enjoyable? Yes. But a better word would be AMAZING. The questions is, why don’t I do this more often?

sunrise-at-sunrise-hut

The sunrise over the Hawke’s Bay was amazing!

Watch this video of Angeline’s trip to Sunrise Hut:


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