Come on board the Kewpie (restored native kauri hull boat) and explore the sights and sounds of Tauranga Harbour. Once picked up from Trinity Wharf, the Kewpie will head south to explore the recently opened coastal steps along Tauranga City’s waterfront before checking out how construction is progressing at Tauranga’s Marine Precinct development. Continuing north, you’ll cruise past New Zealand’s busiest port and learn about port operations, and recent challenges and opportunities. Beyond the port, Scientific and Cultural Speakers will guide you around Tauranga Harbour including the iconic Mt Mauao, Matakana Island and Pilot Bay.
Take a trip to the golden sandy shores of Papamoa Beach and discover how Tauranga City Council is preparing for a natural disaster in the face on expanding population growth and development. Come and learn about the tsunami vertical evacuation points which will help people residing in Papamoa to survive should a decent sized tsunami roll through. From Papamoa, you’ll be whisked down the coast to check out the Kaituna River re-diversion project. Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Pim de Monchy will describe the intricacies of how they plan to increase the volume of freshwater flowing into the Ongatoro/Maketu estuary by re-diverting the Kaituna River and maximising ecological and cultural benefits.
Head down the south east coast and check out the ecological restoration projects happening in Maketu and its surrounds. Julian Fitter, the chair of the Maketu Ongatoro wetland society, will take you on a journey of significant ecological sites that he knows better than anybody. Come and see Maketu Spit, arguably, Bay of Plenty’s best example of natural dune which provides habitat to a host of rare and threatened species such as NZ dotterel, black-billed gull and shore skinks. For the ornithologists out there, November will be the middle of bird breeding season so you can expect plenty of diversity. The fieldtrip will also explore restoration projects associated with Little Waihi Estuary.