The Hunua Ranges is just one of Auckland's Regional Parks wonderful assets. And in this day of tightened budgets and the need to protect the environments and creatures within the parks, the role of the volunteer workforce takes on even more importance.
And so every year the Rangers of Southern Regional Parks put on a day of food and activity as a thanks to those volunteers who have given their time and energy over the year.
2013 was special in that volunteers got a sneak preview of work on the yet-to-be-opened Waitawa Regional Park which is due to open in March 2014. And of course, Friends of Hunua Ranges was there!
The Waitawa Bay beach was a hive of activity for the 2013 Southern Regional Parks Volunteers' Thank You Day. Click here for a larger version of this image.
Long time coordinator Ranger Mags Ramsey (Duder Regional Park) was busy organising for weeks and even cooking up until 1am the preceeding evening! The result: attendees were treated to a feast that included her specialty: the Ramsey Spinach & Feta Pie. Add to that a healthy salad, fruit juices, rolls, sushi and scrummy desert and the volunteers certainly felt rewarded.
But it wasn't all just about eating - the crew had arranged a plethora of activities for the 90+ volunteers to enjoy. There were walks, kayaking in the bay, a mountain bike tour of some of the tracks that had already been cut out, frisbee golf and just enjoying the view.
Whilst the MTB tracks were pretty raw, track designer and Friend of Hunua Ranges Gabb took a group of riders on a one hour ride to see what had been done and explain what was being planned. And for those without bikes, no problem - thanks to Kris Bartley of Bigfoot Adventures there were plenty of bikes in pristine condition for people to try. The ride culminated in a knuckle clenching descent on what will be one of the main feature tracks of the park - the Old School Party Groove.
Another cool activity that will be offered to visitors of Waitawa Regional Park is Frisbee Golf (or Disc Golf as it is officially called). Simon Feasey of the New Zealand Disc Golf Association (and many time New Zealand champion, even a World Champion in 2010) and his trusty helper Lance, a new arrival to Auckland from Canada, ensured that everyone got to see what it was all about, arranging a fun little course and a putting competition at the beach which proved very popular. Some even walked away with prizes! Thanks to Simon and Lance for this. The official course is still being set up and will provide a fun challenge for beginners and avid disc golfers alike thanks to multiple tee locations. You can find out all about disc golf at www.discgolf.co.nz.
The Disc Golf Putting Competition showed people how quickly one can become accurate with a frisbee. Click here for a larger version of this image.
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Higher risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park are closed from 1 May 2018.
A number of higher risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park are closed. A Controlled Area Notice (CAN)* is in place across the forested areas of the Hunua Ranges as well as the Waharau Regional Park.
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Every year the Rangers of Southern Regional Parks put on a day of food and activity as thanks to volunteers who have given their time over the year. This year was special in that volunteers got a sneak preview of work on the soon-to-be-opened Waitawa Regional Park...