Volunteer Tree Planting

We departed at 8am picking up a Venturer on the way, set to catch the Fullers Ferry to Motutapu Island which was sailing at 9.15am.  After registering with the DOC staff we parked the car and headed for the coffee stall with a flat white and hot chocolates all round and then we boarded the Ferry.  The weather was overcast with intermittent showers but this did not deter Tauhinu they’re bred hard in Greenhithe.  The ferry stopped at Devonport to pick up passengers and we saw the new naval ship Canterbury at her berth.

Next stop was Rangitoto where a few passengers got off to spend the day looking around. Waters were a little rough at this stage.  Next stop was Home Bay Motutapu Island.  There is a new wharf there now starboard side coming into the bay.  We grabbed our day packs and got off the ferry for a day, planting trees for future generations to enjoy.

Tree planting

First-up,  a safety briefing from the DOC staff and then we were shown how to turf and dig a hole just the right size for the small plant; gloves and spades were supplied.  Quickly, Tauhinu had a plan in place with Fred digging and Cameron and Vicki planting.  Fred is now nicknamed “Turbo Digger”.  Fred had dug the length of the specified area and up the hill before any of the rest of the volunteers had dug a quarter so big ups for Fred.  Cameron took quite a fancy to the Ti Tree plants with random spacing of these plants first. Next best were the flax and others.

DOC staff have offered to welcome us back after that effort.  It was soon lunchtime with a suggestion of eating in the barn.  We decided to head along the beach to the bathrooms and then have our lunch on the beach between the showers of rain.  Once we had eaten and skimmed some stones along the water we headed back for more tree planting—but not before having a go on the tree swing which was on the beachfront.  Smiles all round and back to planting.  Gloves and spades at the ready we set to planting when the Stars of Shortland Street arrived having made their 4000th episode of the programme which has taken 16years. They plan to plant 4000 plants to celebrate.  Tauhinu had their photo taken with the stars.  You had to say winners for the photo to be taken not losers eh boys.

Back to the planting…  We finished with a bbq in the barn and on to the ferry for 3.15pm.  Cameron and Fred are working on their boatmaster qualifications so were invited up on to the bridge of the ferry to get some hands on experience all the way back to Princes Wharf by 4.30pm.  A really good day out giving something of ourselves to others, having fun, getting some fresh air and marking off some volunteer work at the same time.  Well done Tauhinu Venturers for a good personal effort.  Next planting is 29/6 — contact DOC if you are keen.

Vicki Upton

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