I finally got around to setting up my traps! In Taranaki there is a huge push to eradicate pests to create a Predator Free NZ, and I cant wait to contribute.
When we lived in Raglan Whaingaroa I joined the Karioi Project and monitored two coastal traplines. During a working bee, using recycled materials I built my rat trap. It’s baited with peanut butter.
I also have a stoat trap that I have baited with one on chickens eggs. I have placed the traps out of the way, but close to my chicken coop. Stay tuned to see what I catch!
I have registered my project with trap.nz
By now you should have all googled the meaning of your name, and the names of people in your life. It’s a fun way to see just how prophetic your name is.
‘Laura’, is derived from the Bay Laurel Tree which was commonly used in making wreaths, representing victory and honor.
I love that my name’s origin is a plant, and a very aromatic one at that. The Bay tree’s leaves are leathery and stiff with a strong midrib, a lot like me!
And with my second name being ‘Rose’ its a double whammy for a life destined for horticulture! I studied a Bachelor in Applied Animal Technology, where I was drawn to paper selections including Biodiversity Conservation, Ecosystem Management and Biota of Aotearoa. I have more recently completed a Certificate in Horticulture and will be studying Sustainable Management this year.
My favourite place to be is in the bush. My photography hobby has me wandering through the thick native bush, observing the array of fauna. My efforts can be found on my Instagram page lauraflora_nz and in earlier blog posts. We are extremely fortunate to have the Kaitoke bush track at the end of our street, where we will be starting a pest eradicating trap line.
Moving to Raglan I quickly found Karioi Maunga ki te Moana, an organisation whose focus is to restore the biodiversity from the mountain to the sea. I meet with an amazing group of volunteers to build traps and I currently monitor a trap line surrounding the Raglan Area School.
Even my art work has been inspired by nature. My beach combing behaviour has me searching for treasures to embed in resin or from textures and colours to replicate in my pieces.
Thankfully my husband is also drawn to earthy elements. ‘Timothy’ also has a meaning of ‘to honor‘. We both strongly value these natural connections which we are passing on to our children.
Bridal Veil Falls is a NZ must do, and a short detour when en route to Raglan from Hamilton. You take a left down Te Mata Road off State Highway 23, go thru the township and follow the signs until you come across the parking at the bush walk entrance. Be weary of thieves, taking valuables with you.
An easy pram and wheelchair friendly walk leads you to the viewing platform at the top of the waterfall, 55m meters high!
Continuing downwards to the base of the falls is steep and tiresome, but definitely worth it. With viewing platforms and a bridge, you get immersed in the enormity of the Waireinga falls. The waterfall spray has enabled an interesting assortment of vegetation to grow on the sandstone walls, creating a tropical oasis.
‘Waireinga’ means leaping waters, referring to ‘wairua’ the spirits which leap the great height of this waterfall. Waireinga is also spiritually known by ‘tangata whenua’ the people of the land, to be occupied by ‘Patupaiarehe’, Maori fairies who are kaitiaki, the guardians of the area.
A photograph can be captured at the second viewing platform, where the origin of waterfalls name Bridal Veil Falls comes obvious.
This is a great stop, enroute up the Coromandel coast. The Twin Kauris can’t be missed as you wind your way up the hill, 2km out of Tairua, heading North.
To help protect these ancient trees from Kauri Dieback , a fungus-like disease that is specific to kauri, there is a sanitising station. You are required to scrub dirt of your boots and to spray them with the solution provided before and after being in the forest.
A perfect 20 min loop track to stretch your legs. So many tourists stop and have their photo taken in front of the huge Twin Kauris, but they don’t realise what a quick little trek is just steps away. In the bush they will see more of these unique natives, a trickling stream and a stunning canopy of intertwined braches, vines and leaves. Make sure you take the time to stop and look up!
The track is thankfully marked with little orange triangles, otherwise I think I would have gotten lost ; ) The track isn’t difficult. It’s a short fun walk that even little kids can mange. Mine love spotting the next triangle!
This time I took my 1 year old in the backpack.
#goodforyoursoul #thecoromandel #tairuainforcentre
For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks
call in and see the volunteers at
Tairua Information Centre
223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580
Find them on Facebook too!
It’s getting harder and harder to spot the NZ Dotterel , tūturiwhatu, on the Coromandel Peninsula. Apparently this is the first year that there have be no Dotterels on Tairua Beach. I managed to spot a couple of breeding pairs on Pauanui Beach, but that was all. I have seen them at the Pauanui Lakes Golf Resort, where residents are not permitted to own pets. Perhaps these man made environments will be the only safe place for these vulnerable species to live.
The Southern NZ Dotterel is currently classified as nationally critical with a population of approximately 250 birds surviving on Stewart Island and nesting on mountain tops.
The Northern NZ Dotterel is a little bit better off, being nationally vulnerable with a population of approximately 1,700.
Unfortunately it seems we value the freedom of our pets more than we do the conservation of our native fauna. As the owner of two rather large dogs, I appreciate having an open space to let them have a good run, but I’m all for dog restrictions. I’m not quite sure why we need to have access to the entire stretch of a beach. I think these breeding sites on sand spits and near estuaries should be completely dog free, all year round.
Pests such as hedgehogs, stoats, cats and possums need eradicating. Trapping programs should be managed throughout the year and should be a priority of all coastal communities. Like a lot of New Zealand natives, these endemic birds have a lot going against their survival. Their nests are generally just simple depressions in sand or soil. They may be decorated with shells and are sparsely lined. The 2-3 eggs that they lay are camouflaged with their sandy surroundings, being cream in colour with dark brown speckles.
If it were down to Darwin and his theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ then these tiny birds are on their way out. Despite this natural selection, economically New Zealand must invest in the reproductive success of such species. We are a unique country and have so much to offer. Our Gondwana existence draw thousands of tourist to our shores every year.
DOC on Dotterels
DOC Dotterel Watch Program