The inaugural Whau River Paddle Day held Sunday 19th June was graced with perfect weather to explore the Whau by water. Many of the 68 participants who joined for the day had never paddled on the Whau before.
During the event which was run by Experiencing Marine Reserves, paddlers wove their way through mangrove channels on kayaks and paddle boards, joined by schools of mullet, flocks of kāruhiruhi (pied shags), with matuku moana (white faced heron) soaring overhead.
With expert instruction from Auckland Sea Kayaks, participants practiced their paddle strokes and got comfortable with their vessels before heading out on the water. Koha Kahui-McConnell and Brendan Doogan led water talks, sharing knowledge of the river ecology and biodiversity, as well as some of the challenges facing the Whau.
When not on the water participants enjoyed a raranga (weaving workshop) led by the talented Hugo and Arahi, creating their own decorative star to use for Matariki celebrations. Then they had a guided walk along the Kurt Brehmer walkway led by his granddaughter Freya Brehmer-Hine, supported by local experts Sandra McClean, Paris Phillips, and Stephen Thorpe from the Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT).
Experiencing Marine Reserves are grateful to their event partners, Auckland Sea Kayaks, Te Whau Pathway Environment Trust, WRCT, Para Kore Ki Tāmaki, Whitebait Connection, West End Rowing Club, plus generous funders The Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation and the Auckland Activation Fund (distributed on behalf of the government by Auckland Unlimited) and their epic Experiencing Marine Reserves volunteers that helped make the day run so smoothly.
Photos: Shaun Lee