A four Day Camp in the Marlborough Sounds
Please click on the map icon to see enlarged route
would recommend these trips during the summer months
from October through until daylight saving ends in April.
Life jackets are supplied and must be worn on board
‘Tutanekai’ at all times.
We offer this package for a class of up to 36 children
plus 4 adults, plus Takutai and myself.
If you arrive in Picton early enough you will have time to experience some of Pictons attractions including the aquarium, Edwin Fox maritime museum, whaling musium, and mini golf. This is followed by a relaxing 3km walk out to the Waikawa Marae where your cultural experience begins. A sleep over at Waikawa Marae. Powhiri (Maori welcome) at 5.00pm followed by refreshments and finger food. A kaumatua will come in and explain the carvings in the wharenui (sleeping house).
This is a self catered stay.
After breakfast Pete will bring a trailer to pick up all the overnight bags and groceries and take them around to the Tutanekai. Tamariki will walk 2 kilometres around to the wharf carrying day packs. After loading and a safety briefing everyone wears life jackets, we set sail around 9.00 for Blumine Island (Oruawairua) our latest and largest bird sanctuary, after looking at gold mines on the way.
Here we have our first beach landing , the kura climb down a ladder over the bow and walk the plank. Aunty Takutai, after making sure they have first aid kit , water bottles sun hats, antihistimeans, and any allergy medicines then guides them up and over the island. A feature of the island apart from the hundreds of birds are the WW2 coastal gun defence system that DOC have reclaimed from the scrub , they're in great condition and very interesting.
At the top of the island there's a basin where the compound used to be, lots of concrete foundations with trees and nikau plams growing up through them giving the impression of a lost civilization appearing from the jungle. It’s a 2 hr walk to the pickup on other side of island, while the tamariki are hot and bothered from their hiko we call over to a sheltered beach on Arapawa Island for lunch and a swim, and diving off a large wharf. Relay races along the beach if the tides out. This is the site where 10 of captain Cooks men where killed and eaten by local Maori.
From their onto Betty Rowes Arapawa wildlife Sanctuary. Unfortunately Betty is no longer with us, but the sanctuary has been made into a trust, and as Aunty guides the kura around to Te Aroha Bay and the Tipee Village they are likely to encounter the endangered species, Captain Cooks Goats, Feral sheep, Arapawa wild pigs, wild miniature Appalossa’s and Kaimanawa horses.
The over night stay at the Tipees is a real highlight that students parents and teachers all enjoy. The tipees have solid wooden floors, mattresses with clean cover sheets and is an experience they will never forget. ( Fully catered. ) That night after tea matua Pete divides the camp into 2 teams and holds a quiz session on all the stories he has told during the day.
Today requires an early start, because it’s a big day, we load up using our little Tonka truck with the wooden cab, and set sail across the bay to see the sunken bones of an old ship wreck with an interesting history. We then look at Mussel farms and salmon farms and talk about the positives and negative impacts that they have on our economy and the negative impacts on the environment.
Then up to Ruapara where we visit with our kaumatua Koro Neville Tahuaroa, elder of Te Atiawa, Nevilles whanau have lived in this bay ever since his tipuna who were allied to TeRauparaha, conquered the Kurahupo tribes that inhabited the Sounds. His old homestead has photos of ancestors all around the walls and all the trees around his orchard are whenua trees, koro explains the concept of turngawaewae to the kura.
We then head for a Gannet colony and describe all the unusual features of the Gannets.
From there we steam past some burial islands then onto Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, home to some of NZ’s rarest birds, Saddlebacks, Kakareki, little Black Robins, sometimes you will see Blue Penquins in nesting boxes. The walk up to the observation platform on top of island takes about 1 hr.
Then over to Ship Cove while Matua Pete tells the history of Captain Cook.
Aunty Takutai has lunch ready , following which the tamariki have a swim and a chill out before you set off on your final tramp , a section of the QC Track between Ship Cove and Resolution Bay where the Tutanekai is waiting to pick them up and either steam around to Furneaux Lodge in Endevour Inlet or back to Te Aroha.
At Furneaux you stay in a huge stone croft, which sleeps about 30 odd. The rest stay in what they call the possum huts, or the parents can sleep in chalets. ( Catered. )
This days itinerary depends on your travel plans, if you are catching a midday ferry, or the train to Christchurch, we have to steam straight home.
If you are staying an extra night at Waikawa Marae, or traveling home latter in the day then we steam out to the Long Island marine reserve, have another beach landing and Aunty will show the tamariki the nesting areas to avoid show them the manu and trees in the wetland area and how to find the Gekkos and Skinks along the top of beach.
They all enjoy beachcombing and taking part in the beach cleanup retrieving all plastics and other rubbish. No stones or shells are allowed to be taken from this beach.
We then steam to a DOC camp site for lunch and straight to a sheltered bay with a beautiful golden sand beach where everyone can have their last swim, we let them have turns swamping the dingy, and if they’ve got enough energy left they can have relay races.
Home about 5.00 pm Finish.