The barbeque may have been a washout — but the planting was successful.

Despite heavy rain showers, more than 30 people turned out to a Dunes Trail planting day, just east of Ōpōtiki.

Close to 1000 plants and trees were successfully dug in. The key plant this time was harakeke, flax, selected to preserve the panoramic views around the 2km mark of the trail.

Sunday's planting efforts had concluded and volunteers were walking back for a late-morning barbeque when the skies briefly opened. The rain squall was not so good for refreshment and a chat but it was a perfect start for the plants.

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In July, Whakatāne Mill staff did a planting day on the Dunes Trail. This year more than 2000 plants and trees were added to the coastal environment; the total number since the trail opened in 2012 is heading towards 20,000.

The plan is to continue the effort in upcoming winters.

The Dunes Trail is part of the Motu Trails, one of 22 Great Rides on The New Zealand Cycle Trail.