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New Zealand Eco-Tourism Adventure: Planting Roots in Whataroa

A French Traveler's Fascination with New Zealand's Natural Beauty & Eco-Tourism

As a French traveler exploring the diverse landscapes of New Zealand, I am continually captivated by the country's stunning natural beauty. The lush rainforests, enchanting waterways and intriguing wetlands offer a unique and unparalleled experience. The sight of New Zealand's iconic plants and trees fills me with delight, inspiring me to find ways to contribute to eco-tourism and preserve this extraordinary landscape.

All Images are credited to Zak Shaw Photography

Conservation Volunteers Planting Native New Zealand Trees At Purcell Reserve Whataroa

Planting Native Trees with Okarito Native Plants Nursery

We embarked on a project to plant 250 native trees, all eco-sourced and propagated by the Okarito Native Plants Nursery. Our species selection and planting plan were guided by Sam Speight from Landcare, ensuring we chose plants that naturally occur within the area and are well-suited to the terrain and moisture levels. Among the varieties planted were Kahikatea, cabbage trees, coprosmas, flax, wineberry and mingimingi.

Group Of Conservation Volunteers At A Planting Day West Coast New Zealand

Post-Planting Day Okarito Plant Project Showcasing Kahikatea, Cabbage Trees, Coprosmas, Flax, Wineberry and Mingimingi.

Discovering the Ōkārito Plant Project

My journey towards contributing to New Zealand's biodiversity began when I stumbled upon a list of West Coast conservation groups on the Department of Conservation (DOC) website. Being based in Franz Josef Glacier, it made sense to get involved with a project in Ōkārito. I was drawn to the Nursery and its Plant Project, which focuses on rejuvenating and conserving natural ecosystems. For others interested in similar opportunities, the Jobs for Nature – Mahi mō te Taiao page on the DOC website offers a wealth of information.

A Day in the Life: Planting at Purcell Reserve

On Tuesday, December 12th, I joined a diverse team of volunteers at the Purcell Reserve in Whataroa. Our objective was to regenerate 10 acres of native trees on the Purcell family farmland, turning it into a natural reserve. The camaraderie among the volunteers, the warm sun shining down on us and the refreshing wind made for an unforgettable experience.

After a morning of clearing the area and planting, we enjoyed a delightful lunch provided by the Lonely Stag cafe. This break gave me a chance to interact more with my fellow volunteers and appreciate the diversity of our team. The afternoon flew by as we continued to plant more trees and observe the local insect life, a fascinating aspect of the project for me.

My Experience: A Step Towards Conservation

Participating in this project was an enriching experience that allowed me to contribute to the conservation of New Zealand's native plants. I look forward to being part of more such projects and continuing to explore the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand.

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