It is the great David Attenborough who said:
‘No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced’.
Geographically, New Zealand is a country you want to stay clear of. It has earth quakes, mountains fall down, our biggest city Auckland is built on 49 “extinct volcanoes” and as we get catapulted a few centimetres North towards the tropics every year because of the shifting tectonic plates, we also send our land mass under water at the same rate. 55 million years ago this chunk of terra ferma fragmented off the last part of the super continent of Gondwana land and made its journey south. And it was only 35 million years ago that the splinter of land, almost completely submerged under water loosing practically all its flora and fauna.
And that is the beauty, the gem the mystique of the place. In splendid isolation, it had to re-invent itself with lofty mountains rising above the seabed. Spore of fungi and fern made its way across the sea with stormed tossed rafts of land that insects and reptiles clung to. Birds managed the long crossings with favourable Westerly winds from Australia and not a single land mammal or marsupial was able to survive this long journey.
So, reptiles, insects and birds adapted and speciated to their new environment in “splendid isolation” surrounded by oceans, speckled by lakes and riddled with rivers. And as we come out of the last ice age which peaked 18000 years ago, we have the last of the glaciated valleys shedding their ice walls into alpine lakes and rivers, some still only a few kilometres away from the sea.
The stories of the first Polynesian explorers 1000 thousand years ago still permeate through these islands of water and current generations still recount them and more recent residents to these islands have adopted them as well. The ancestors live here, the stories live here, and the people continue to live here and love here. This is Aotearoa New Zealand. We love the stories, we love the flora we love the fauna, we love the raw and rugged landscapes and we love our people.
We want you to come here and we want you to experience what we love. “No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.
New Zealand is not perfect but if you put in some mahi (work) you can come and experience what we are trying to preserve.
Talk to us about joining a New Zealand Water Journey!