Posts in Coastal
Motiti Island: Walking In The Footsteps Of A Local

Myths, legends and folklore - there are plenty on Motiti Island. A rugged paradise that’s just a 15 minute flight from Mount Maunganui, yet it’s a world away, and a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Here, time is as slow as the 4WD truck that is driving us to the other side of the island, and so far the only real hazards are the deepening dirt roads, gates and wandering cows feasting on the wild fennel.

The private island is home to around 20 permanent residents, mainly retirees who have come home to honour their roots. They are Ngati Awa, and their hapū, Te Patuwai, have such a deep, long-held connection to the land that it’s hard to picture this place being any other way. This is an old place, and that day I walked in the footsteps of locals, history and time.

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Nga Tapuwae o Toi - Kohi Point Track

My energy levels have been more down than up in the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t been able to get out to explore. Sundays are my ‘switch off’ day, or at least for a few hours, and because I haven’t been well, I thought I would check out a local favourite, Nga Tapuwae o Toi, or the Footsteps of Toi. I walked the Kohi Point walkway from Seaview Road, but didn’t walk down to Otarawairere Bay as my energy levels were getting a bit low. This will have to wait for another day.

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Dune Trail On The Motu Trails Cycleway

Richard and I go way back to mid-2000s, where he was already doing a lot of youth work in our community. Over the years, I would run into him through my graphic design work and teaching dance. He was already a cycling advocate back then, but it’s only recently that I finally took him up on getting me back on a bike. I haven’t been on a bike since 2007 - maybe somewhere in the back streets of Vietnam.

The dune trail of the Motu Trail Cycleway is in the township of Opotiki, about 40 minutes drive from Whakatane. Now, when he told me that we would be biking 9km, I thought he meant in total, not one way! He did give the option to turn around at various points, but I figured I wouldn’t be this way for awhile, so decided to make the most of it.

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