Open for everyone to enjoy, and just a boat ride from Whangarei city or a short paddle from the suburb of Onerahi, community input has transformed Matakohe-Limestone Island from degraded pasture into a regenerating forest habitat – 155,000 trees planted and counting.
Mammalian predators have been eradicated from the island, meaning this ‘new’ forest is now a safe home for a growing variety of threatened native fauna that have been re-introduced, including kiwi, banded rail, New Zealand dotterel, moko skink and forest gecko.
The island is also the site of Matakohe pa and once extensive kumara gardens, as well as the impressive ruins of one of Whangarei's earliest industrial sites - the Limestone Island cement works, founded in 1856.
Restoration efforts are coordinated by members of the community, the Friends of Matakohe–Limestone Island Society (FOMLI), in partnership with Whangarei District Council, made possible thanks to the support of numerous partners and sponsors such as Golden Bay Cement.
PROGRESS WITH THE NEW TRACK
We are part way through the upgrade of the walking track from the oak tree by the Manager's house ruins up past the School Site and down the other side nearly to Shipwreck Bay. The track is closed at the moment and work is currently delayed due wetness of the soil.
With recent rain, much of the loose dirt has been washed off the freshly machined banks into the drains and culverts. Click on the link below to see Whangarei Boy's High School students giving the drains their very first bout of maintenance.
2013 PUBLIC TREE PLANTING ALL DONE !
While the first day (Sunday June 16) was cancelled due to bad weather, the other three planting days (June 23 & 30, July 14) went ahead as planned. Volunteers had their fair share of rain but the trees still flew into the ground with enthusiasm! A job well done.
Hopefully the coming summer will be kinder to the new trees than was the last.
THE PETRELS ARE BACK IN TOWN
Three grey faced petrels have returned (the earliest ever!) and hopefully this year they will breed and contribute to the islands fertility. This is the eigthth year since the first birds fledged and it is with trepidation that we await the first island born chick. The petrel site on the island has been chained off now as the less disturbance they have the better. The at–least weekly checks on these beauties will continue till September so the "work" goes on.
LIMESTONE TRIPS: Thinking of coming to the Island?
Just a quick reminder that most Sundays the good vessel the MV Waipapa leaves from the town basin in Whangarei for a harbour cruise with a stopover at the island for approximatly an hour. This is a awesome way for people to visit this awesome place that usually could not normally do so with a friendly crew to boot. Check below for sailing dates and more details.