Plenty of events mark Seaweek

By Lindy Laird

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A fortnight of conservation activities will help raise awareness about the marine environment. This underwater scene is at the Poor Knights reserve off Northland's coast. Photo / Darryl Torckler
A fortnight of conservation activities will help raise awareness about the marine environment. This underwater scene is at the Poor Knights reserve off Northland's coast. Photo / Darryl Torckler

From a speed-chat evening to kayaking through mangrove forests, there are many ways Northlanders can dive into Seaweek, which actually runs for two weeks.

This year's theme for the annual event is "Healthy seas, healthy people - Toiora te moana, toiora te tangata".

Northland co-ordinator Samara Nicholas said age was no barrier to learning more about the environment surrounding the region. "It's exciting to see the range of activities we have on offer in Northland this year."

Seaweek runs until Sunday, March 13. It kicked off last Sunday with children's guided kayak trips through mangroves at Waikaraka, part of Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve.

Another series of free kayak tours is planned for the last day of Seaweek for children aged 7 plus, although any under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Bookings are essential.

Children aged 5 plus and adults are invited to explore the underwater marine world from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, March 6, at Tapeka Point, Bay of Islands, and Saturday, March 12, at Reotahi, Whangarei Heads.

People can bring their own gear or get free use of masks, snorkels, fins and wetsuits.

Kiwi North will hold A Whale of a Day at Butler Point Whaling Museum, Hihi (near Mangonui), each day until Friday from 10am to 2pm. Visitors can take part in whale rescue training, experience the vessels and tools of the early settlers' whaling industry, see an extensive collection of scrimshaw, and learn about whale species and how they live. To register, email education@kiwinorth.co.nz or phone 09 438 9630.

A Seaweek sculpture scavenge challenge calls on Whangarei primary and intermediate schools to carry out a beach clean-up and upcycle the litter into a sculpture, with the winners chosen at Children's Day next Sunday. -For more information about Seaweek go to www.emr.org.nz.

- Northern Advocate

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