Archives For Rotorua

Rob Griffiths, a ranger based in the Rotorua Lakes Area Office, takes us along the newly developed mountain bike loop in the Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve.

Recent upgrades to tracks and new developments in the Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve near Rotorua have created a fantastic mountain bike loop in an amazing geothermal setting.

DOC Ranger Rob Griffiths on the Rainbow Mountain Loop. Photo: Alan Ofsoski.

DOC Ranger Rob Griffiths on the Rainbow Mountain Loop

Already this trail is being touted by locals as the best mountain biking in Rotorua outside of the Whakarewarewa Forest. This new trail is sure to soon be on everyone’s to-do list.

It is a well paced ride/walk but it can be kind of a steep ride up to the summit. The incline gives the perfect reason to take multiple stops to catch your breath and take in the beautiful natural environment, geothermal activity and learn a little along the way.

Crater Lake on Rainbow Mountain.

Quick stop to check out the Crater Lake

Catch your breath (again) at the summit as you soak up the amazing views from the summit. The 360 degree view from the top has been described as the best view “this side of Tongariro”. Next up is a fast and fun descent down to Te Ranga, where you can relax in the cascading waters of the geothermal heated stream.

Team on Rainbow Mountain Loop during the Rotorua Bike Festival. Photo: Alan Ofsoski

Checking out the Rainbow Mountain Loop during the Rotorua Bike Festival.

The Australian Mountain Biking magazine gave a glowing endorsement of Rainbow Mountain during their review of the Rotorua Bike Festival in February pointing out the “geothermal steam rising from the flanking forests and coloured cliffs”.

For more information and a map on the new loop check out the Rainbow Mountain mountain bike loop flyer.

View from the top of Rainbow Mountain. Photo: Alan Ofsoski.

View from the top

By Steve Brightwell, Community Outreach Coordinator

When a bunch of seven and eight year olds come up with $1000 for kiwi work, it’s a spectacular and humbling example of what happens when people switch on to conservation. When it’s money from kids at a low decile school that they could have spent on themselves it’s all the more impressive.

Te Urewera Whirinaki ranger Aniwaniwa Tawa and others from her office have been visiting the class this year to talk about ecosystems and conservation with a focus on kiwi protection work.

They recently ended the study with a trip to Whirinaki Forest where they experienced the forest first-hand. Following the trip, the class presented the Area Office with a cheque for $1000 to be used to raise a kiwi chick at Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua.

A North Island brown kiwi egg.

Funds from Murupara School will help care for a kiwi egg.

A stunned Aniwaniwa explained: “The class (7 & 8 year olds) have been working with me and [former DOC ranger] Graeme Weavers for most of this year learning about kiwi and the natural environment and were so affected by what they had learnt they asked their teacher what they could they do to help. Between them and their teacher (I knew nothing about this until they presented me with the cheque), they thought they would do some fundraising however as Murupara School is officially “closing” the Board of Trustees allocated each class funding to go on a class trip to wherever they wanted. These kids chose to give up their allocation and put toward sponsorship of a kiwi and wrote a letter to the school Board to ask for approval to do this. Cool huh!”

It’s totally cool – and an awesome example of how giving people a personal experience with conservation can make a real difference to the way they think and move them to action for a cause.

A North Island brown kiwi hatching.

A North Island brown kiwi hatching

The money donated by Room 12 will now go on stand-by ready to pay for a kiwi egg to be whisked away from Whirinaki and hatched if there’s any sign of it needing help. Once the egg is hatched and the chick is raised to a safe weight to return to the forest, the students will be asked to give it a name. After that it will be set free in Whirinaki -Te Pua o Tane – one little kiwi enjoying a bright future thanks to a bunch of other little kiwis who can see conservation as a path to a bright future of their own.

Well done to everyone involved.

The Wild Things exhibition kick started Conservation Week in Rotorua with a display of the works of Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis. The work was the results from their Wild Creations residency.

Wild Things exhibition

Wild Creations is the Department of Conservation’s Artists in Residence Programme, run in partnership with Creative New Zealand. Each year Wild Creations gives three New Zealand artists the chance to spend six weeks in natural or historical sites to experience the people, stories and challenges of the site, and draw inspiration from their surroundings to use in their work.

Mt Tarawera in nylon and polystyrene

Sculptor and writer duo Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis came to the Rotorua Lakes region, with the idea of creating objects for an exhibition using ceramics and other materials from the area. Stationed at Lake Tarawera, the artists had unfettered access to the beauty and splendor of the mountain and lake vistas.

“This work being kind of souvenirs-of-our-time in this weird and romantic region: real and imagined landscapes, the past and present, the mythical and magical, solid and fleeting… volcanoes, rock, mud, dense weed, clouds, ash, mist, reflections,” explains artist Madeleine Child.

Mount Tarawera in nylon and polystyrene

New materials made their way into the works: fishing line, paint on mylar, polystyrene, and plaster. Working drawings and marquettes were created, with some ideas exported back to Dunedin, where further ceramic pieces have been created for the show. In keeping with the environmental theme, the works also use throwaway materials: coffee cup lids, polystyrene, and old CDs.

Lake Weed - nylon & ceramic

Lake Weed - nylon & ceramic

“Wild Creations allows DOC the opportunity to support artists to explore the natural environment, to develop new work and connect a (potentially) new audience with some of our special places via with their art (and the stories it tells).

“Often these stories are told in a totally different method and medium than the traditional forms of interpretation, inspiring others to take an interest or rekindle ones passion,” says DOC’s Robert Griffiths.

The ‘Wild Things’ exhibtion will run from the 9th – 30th September at the Rotorua Arts Village.