Chip & Bere Tour to New Zealand and Australia – New Zealand Day 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

Southern Africa Conservation and Communities Tour to New Zealand and Australia – July and August 2011



Thursday 8th July – Hello, kia ora to Hastings and Havelock North.

Chip & Bere being cuddled.

We visited Hereworth School in Havelock North to talk to the boys in the Middle School.  We added video footage to our presentation of places Chip and Bere had visited along the way and this raised many laughs amongst the boys, as well as others.   They had many interesting questions at the end of the talk.

That evening, Charlie was guest speaker at Rotary Hastings Karamu Club.  They were a very festive group of men and great fun was had by all.


Friday 9th July was a ‘free’ day with no talks booked.  So we took the opportunity to go and visit Arataki, to the honey bee and New Zealands largest beekeeping enterprise.   On our trip from Auckland through to Hawkes Bay, the landscape is vast, mountainous, rich in natural vegetation and kilometres of forests and trees, so it is not surprising that beekeeping and honey production is a huge industry in New Zealand.  Arataki is tucked away at the foothills of iconic Te Mata Peak in Hawkes.

Chip and bere sun bear, Arataki

The visitor centre is extremely informative and gives greater insight about bees, the honey they make and how important honey bees are to valuable land based industries and the environment.

One of the most well known honeys in New Zealand is Manuka honey, dark and rich in taste and contains far more natural occurring antibacterial activity and antioxidants than any other honey.  It has well researched medicinal healing properties and is used in the manufacture of many skincare ranges.  We were shown photos by the manager of a young girl who had suffered third degree burns on her legs from a boiling thermal pool and the surgeons had recommended skin grafts.  However, a more natural approach was preferred in the first instance and after regular applications of Manuka honey to the burns, they healed naturally with no scarring,  testimony to the power of nature!

Chip and Bere had a very interesting morning at Arataki!

We Need Bees

The following statement is very typical of the ‘ethos’ and eco awareness in New Zealand.

‘In a world overflowing with chemicals.

In a world where modern living can seem overwhelming.

In a world that is too loud to listen to the beauty of nature.

We find contentment in discovering things taken for granted.

Different places in time where life seems simpler.

Welcome to another world, where we embrace the miracles of nature and gently apply science.


Sunday 10th  and Monday 11th July

Chip & Bere with Komodo Dragon

We spent most of Sunday travelling to Wellington with gale force winds and rains along the way.  In fact, a couple of hours after we had passed through the area, they were hit by a tornado!  This was our final destination before heading to Australia.  As well as being the political capital, Wellington is also known as the creative and cultural capital of New Zealand thanks to its vibrant arts scene.  We had to find time to visit Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum which gives you a good insight into the land, people, culture, arts and history of New Zealand.  The waterfront is lined with immaculately kept parks, historic buildings and museums.  A clean, busy, scenic capital nestled between the sea and rugged mountain ranges.


Tuesday 12th July

We had a lunchtime presentation to one of the Rotary Wellington clubs at the James Cook hotel.  We made it by 5 minutes to our next stop,

Charlie being interviewed on Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand where Charlie had been scheduled for an interview, we will post the link when it is available.  That evening we did our final presentation in New Zealand to a group of business people which was organised by Helen MacKenzie who has a passion for Africa and it’s wildlife.

All in all, an interesting, busy but satisfying trip to New Zealand.  We have met many people along the way and have made good contacts to build on for the future.  A very eco conscious country with citizens who live up to their motto of ‘clean and green’.  Every where you travel you will see eco ratings in the form of Qualmarks.  Accommodation, transport, restaurants and activities carrying the Qualmark logo have met tough quality standards and environment criteria.  There are three Enviro Awards – Enviro-Bronze: meets good environmental and social criteria, Enviro-Silver: meets high levels of environmental and social responsibility and Enviro-Gold: exceeds the highest levels of environmental and social responsibility.

Thank you New Zealand for making us so welcome and for being so supportive of our conservation efforts back in Southern Africa.  Goodbye ‘E noho rā  Kia ora.’

I Love New Zealand


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