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Paddling new ground along the Waikōwhai coastline

The smiling faces of our kayakers as they explore the Manukau Harbour for the first time

This season we were able to add a new location to our snorkel and paddle series, the Waikōwhai Coast, launching from Taylor's Bay. 96 people joined us over two events in order to explore this part of the Manukau Harbour. Thanks to our partnership with Auckland Sea Kayaks as well as generous funding from the Puketapapa Local Board, Tu Manawa Active Aotearoa, and the Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation, locals were given the opportunity to experience their coastline from a different perspective and learn about the local wildlife and ecology.

Participants were treated to flat conditions in May

Eric from Auckland Sea Kayaks showing participants how to use the kayaks

Whilst out paddling on the Manukau participants spotted jumping makawhiti/yellow eyed mullet, perching kōtare/kingfisher, diving kāruhiruhi/pied shag, graceful matukumoana/white faced heron and more.

Our EMR crew were on hand to provide commentary on the local ecology and some of the challenges facing the harbour, as well as what we can do to play our part in protecting and restoring this critical ecosystem.

Group photo after landing on Waikōwhai beach

We also teamed up with Whitebait Connection, our freshwater sister programme, for one of the events in order to educate locals on their waterways, what lives there, and how to look after them. Anastasia from the Whitebait Connection team was excitedly able to show locals that whitebait like inanga live in their local stream! As an extra bonus we also had our taonga box on display filled with ocean based artefacts for participants to interact with and learn more about the amazing biodiversity present in te moana.

If you are keen to join us on future kayak days we will have several over winter so make sure to follow us and check out our event page on Eventbrite to register.

Our young paddlers testing their balancing skills

A big ngā mihi to our volunteers Rosh and Bess and the crew from Auckland Sea Kayaks who helped us run this event. If you would like to support our organisation and help us reach more people with our marine and freshwater engagement initiates, you can donate or sign up as a volunteer below.

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