Tree planting on Motoura Island

11 September 2005

At about 6.45am on Sunday the 28th of August, Rob, Carla and I sleepily departed Auckland to collect my little brother Timmy, and join the tree planting team on Sandspit wharf. Organised by the Motoura Restoration Society in association with the Department of Conservation, this was the final planting trip for the season. Arriving right on time, 7.45am we paid for our tickets and boarded the ferry along with about 100 other experienced planters and keen novices, after a 40 minute trip we arrived on the island stepping into the clear cool water straight off the ferry.

There were approximately 600 trees left to plant between us, but there were also other tasks to keep us busy, these included drain digging and removing a fence. It was our first time on the island, so we joined a group of other new visitors on a guided walk around the coast and along one of the main tracks across the island. After this we set to our tasks, Rob and Timmy went off to dig two small drains and Carla and I decided to plant kawakawa seedlings along another walkway. The soil was dark and rich, and the kawakawa seedlings had a lovely sweet peppery smell, it was great getting involved in a worthwhile activity with so many other volunteers.

After planting we wandered back to the kitchen cabin near the rangers house for a sausage sizzle and drinks. We had about two hours to spare before the ferry returned for us, so we walked along the beach and took photos of the fascinating creatures and flotsam that had washed up on the beach including this tiny crab!

I had such an excellent time, I look forward to next year, and would recommend tree planting to everyone, as an enjoyable way of giving something back to the earth instead of constantly taking.

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