About Te Urewera Treks
About Te Urewera Treks
Te Urewera Treks started out as an eco-tourism business based in Ngaputahi, Te Urewera. It began with Maataamua (Joe) and Joanna Doherty in 2006. The business was born from the desire to create employment for the local area, which has been economically depressed since the early 1980's. Creating the business meant Maataamua could return home to Te Urewera with his family, train local people and inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams by showing how an indigenous owned and operated business could flourish, thereby maintaining Ahikaa (ancestral occupation of native people) within the local community.
Te Urewera Treks continues it's whanau (family) tradition and is now owned and operated by Hinewai McManus, Maataamua's niece. Hinewai grew up tramping and hunting in Te Urewera with her parents, both seasonal park rangers and trained secondary school teachers. At 3 weeks old, she was carted off to the bush in her mothers raincoat and since then, only left to travel, attend school and work. Hinewai is guiding the business into Orangatanga (holistic health) and opening up non monetary ways for people to experience what Te Urewera treks and our bush camp accommodation, Whakatau Rainforest Retreat, has to offer.
Our mission is to share our connection with the Taiao and in the process,
Hinewai McManus - Owner / Operator & Lead Guide
I have been tramping, hunting and staying in the bush with my parents, from
a very young age. My father believed we should walk in our ancestors footsteps,
which we did, using the memories shared around the fire from men and women who have long passed on. We often went to the bush with the bare necessities, utilising resources from nature to eat, shelter and provide warmth. I share those experiences and that knowledge with our manuhiri (guests/ visitors) to bring the forest and our culture alive and effect change in how people interact with the natural world.
I train our local maori people from our communities to help with our experiences.
The remote and magical wilderness region of Te Urewera is one of the few places in New Zealand where you can still enjoy nature as it was meant to be. 212,000 hectares of native indigenous rainforest is home to a wide variety of native birds, including rare and endangered species like the Whio (blue duck), Kaka and Kiwi. Ancestral home to Nga Tamariki o Te Kohu (modern day Tuhoe ), descendants of Hinepukohurangi (The Mist Maiden) and Te Maunga (The Mountain).
Te Urewera has been recognised legally as a living being (Te Urewera Act 2014), after a historic court case battle and is no longer a Nationa Park. Te Urewera is now managed by Te Urewera Board.
The beautiful Lake Waikaremoana is home to one of New Zealand's great walks and there are numerous smaller and equally pretty lakes and rivers to explore. In addition to trekking, on foot and on horseback, mountain biking, fishing and hunting are popular activities among locals and visitors alike.
There are a number of small, mainly Maori communities throughout Te Urewera. This is a place where you can experience the Maori way of life as it is today and you will often hear Maori being spoken - a rarity in other parts. The Tuhoe people (indigenous people of the land) in Te Urewera are well known for their generous hospitality.
The magic of Te Urewera won the heart of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield early last century:
"It's all so gigantic and tragic - even in the bright sunlight it is so passionately secret..."
Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Forest
Famous English botanist and environmentalist David Bellamy, described the Whirinaki as 'one of the great forests of the world'. It is one of the best places in the world to see original stands of indigenous Podocarp trees including rimu, miro, matai, kahikatea, and many more. It is also home to a wide variety of native birdlife as well as wild deer, pigs, and of course, possums.
In addition to the fabulous network of tramping tracks, huts and campsites, the Whirinaki Forest Park has special trails for mountain biking, lovely rivers and streams for fishing, and good hunting for red deer and pigs. Hunters are welcomed because of the service they provide in controlling wild animal numbers, particularly deer, pigs, and possums.