A weekend eco-retreat anyone?

John Staniland with enthralled participants. (Hua Dai)

John Staniland with enthralled participants. (Hua Dai)

Hildegard de Bingen (1098-1179) wrote: “If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion.”  Awareness that such love develops over time and involves a close encounter and experience with creation is key to A Rocha’s educational work.  Led by A Rocha’s Phillip Donnell and John Staniland, Auckland Baptist Tramping Club members recently spent a weekend at Ngatuhoa Lodge (near Tauranga) exploring the rich surrounding biodiversity.  While only small remnants of the once great Mamaku forest remain, there are significant pockets of splendour and hope.  Participants visited Te Rere i Oturu and Ngatuhoa Falls, headed out at night to visit glow-worm sites, walked short nature trails, and also ventured into the two nearby kokako sanctuaries: Mokaihaha Ecological Area (70 adult birds) and Kaharoa Conservation Area (150 adult birds). One of the participants noted: “Although we did not see a kokako, I learnt a huge amount about New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. I did not realise until now how unique and special it is. It convinced me that they are a treasure worth protecting and I was inspired to get involved with that.”

Interested in a weekend eco-retreat of natural history interpretation and biblical reflection from two wise and passionate conservationists?  Contact us at: [email protected]

Te Rere i Oturu Falls. (Hua Dai)

Te Rere i Oturu Falls. (Hua Dai)

Dawsonia Superba, the world's largest moss, Mokaihaha Ecological Area. (Hua Dai)

Dawsonia Superba, the world’s largest moss, Mokaihaha Ecological Area. (Hua Dai)

Magnificent Tawa forest in Mokaihaha Ecological Area. (Hua Dai)

Magnificent Tawa forest in Mokaihaha Ecological Area. (Hua Dai)

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