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Persistence pays off

19 Nov 2018

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What a glorious morning for our forest kindy explorers to be out and about in their community. With a rahui (ban) in place at Wharemauku stream, prior arrangements were made for our tamariki to visit the Paekākāriki Holiday Park. 

Now that we’re heading into warmer weather we’ve really got our hearts set on exploring our waterways, so the holiday park is a perfect alternative to Kaitawa with Wainui stream running along the park perimeters. 

For this group of explorers it was their first time exploring further afield – and what a treat they had in stall for them. Before heading into the park we practiced our road crossing skills. 

The holiday park office was our first port of call where we were greeted by Ashley, Geoff, and Sue. Ashley led us down the path in the direction of the stream before heading off into the park. We set up camp before taking a quick scan of the stream. 

The week before we’d discovered the eels, so this time we’d come prepared with all sorts of goodies to entice them out. The water was quite high and fast, so today the Kaiako helped the tamariki across. Down below, we did another scan of the water but there were no eels in sight. Whaea Rita went up stream a little and poured in some milk… we were so intent on watching her do this, that we weren’t taking notice of what was happening behind us. 

Whaea Rita popped her head up to say “Look behind you.” Sure enough, within a moment Cadence called out “Oh!!” in her amazement as eels started appearing from every nook and cranny. We carefully threw in some food (cat biscuits) to see if they were keen to feast. The biscuits didn’t hang around for long as they were caught up in the stream current, disappearing before the eels had a chance to eat. We threw in some other bits that we had (fish and chicken leftovers) … the eels took a sniff around, but to our dismay turned their noses up at it. 

We wondered if they didn’t particularly like what we had to offer them … but then, a bed of eels swam up from downstream … they’d obviously got a whiff of what we had on offer, and made their way up for a feast. To our delight they came right in close … so close that we could touch them (if we wanted). Jass had some tinned mackerel that she spooned into the food beds that we'd made … the eels REALLY liked that! The eels gobbled up everything we had for them, then slowly swam away. 

We thought it would a good time to feed our bellies too, so we parked up and had a snack. We hadn’t realised how long we were down by the stream, so with only a short time left headed through the park for a hikoi … to our delight Ashely had inflated the bouncy pillow for us – woohoo! We did lots of jumping before it was time to head back. What a wonderful experience for our tamariki to be part of ... we look forward to visiting again.