Wednesday, January 13, 2016

12 January 2016: Punakaiki & Conservation Volunteers New Zealand

We moved on 12 January to the south to Punakaiki, the home of 'pancake rocks', a geologic attraction along the Tasman Sea, to continue our volunteer efforts with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand.  This morning, we helped Michael Kingsbury plant about 50 native plant species (Totara (Podocarpus totara) and Kahikitea (New Zealand White Pine; Dacrycarpus dacrydioides).  Once again, the students jumped in and planted the trees with speed and enthusiasm!  Michael and I were both really impressed with the gardening skills of the class.

Following our visit with Michael, our caravan moved further south to visit Franz Josef, one of the few towns to dot the mid-westcoast in 'Glacier Country'.  Only about two roads large, Franz Josef sits on the edge of the Waiho River, the river derived from the Franz Josef glacier 5km away from town.  The students settled into the bustling hostel filled with travelers from Asia, Germany, the US, and Scandanavian partiots.  We were fortunate to have the weather hold-out for our evening, such that Anne, Jay, and I could enjoy a brief reprieve from cooking dinner to enjoy a night 'out'.  The students were, instead, enthusiastically tackling a meal of pasta and pesto in the hostel.  I've never heard someone (much less a whole group) get so excited about pasta!

Tomorrow: Fox Glacier!

Our merry band of volunteers following the completion of our planting work in Punakaiki.

Nichole Lopez and Christina Antico plant a Totara tree in Punakaiki.

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