Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


It’s now easier than ever to get your tamariki into nature because there’s a brand new Kiwi Guardian adventure site launching at Pukenui Forest as part of this year’s Conservation Week.

Date:  21 September 2018

Toyota Kiwi Guardians is an activity-based programme helping kids connect with the environment by encouraging them to go on self-guided adventures, earn rewards and have hands-on experiences with nature.

Escape the city as you cross through lush farmlands into this beautiful native forest. This iconic feature of the Whangarei landscape offers a moderately challenging but enjoyable walk through stunning native bush that is home to many precious native species.

“We’re encouraging kiwi kids to become guardians of the land and sea by having hands-on nature experiences and learning about the wonderful environment around them. We know kids love the activities and rewards that the Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme offers and it’s great to welcome another site to the Whangarei,” says Louisa Gritt, Whangarei Operations Manager, DOC.

“Pukenui is a gem in the middle of Whangarei where you can do all day tramps, or take the kids and the pram for a 30 minute Kiwi Guardians adventure.”

Kids complete actions, adventures or explorations – you can choose from a wide range at – and when they have completed a task, they can claim a medal online, which will be posted at no cost.

Pukenui Forest is the largest bush area in Whangarei and just 10 km from the CBD. Covering 1500 ha it is home to North Island brown kiwi, longtail bats, white ruru, king ferns, giant tōtara, kauri, kahikatea and many other native flora and fauna.

In March, 12 kiwi were released into the forest, which was a huge milestone for the Pukenui Forest Trust who have been trapping and restoring the forest. This is just the start in the Trust’s restoration plans, so get out and enjoy the forest and watch it change as more and more species are returned!

This launch expands the Kiwi Guardians adventure sites in Whangarei following on from the Smugglers Bay launch last year.

Toyota Kiwi Guardians Pukenui

Getting there

Pukenui Forest is approximately 10 km from Whangarei CBD. Forest tracks are signposted on Three Mile Bush Road approximately 4 km from the Kamo traffic lights. You can see the entrance sign almost opposite Rotomate Road or on Amalin Drive.

How the Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme works

There are three options:

  • Adventures: go on epic self-guided adventures at local parks or reserves and track down a Guardians Post to locate a secret code word. Each site has its own adventure map to guide your journey.
  • Actions: complete tasks in your own backyard, eg: build a Wētā Motel or tracking tunnel
  • Exploring certain events, like Seaweek or Conservation Week

Show us your snaps on social media using #kiwiguardians or by visiting the Toyota Kiwi Guardians Facebook page.


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