Open day opened minds

At the Kai Iwi Lakes Open Day 62 people took part in a night snorkel at Lake Waikare. Photo by Lorna Doogan, snorkel event organiser

Visitors to the annual Kai Iwi lakes Open Day were treated to beautiful weather and an array of activities to enjoy during Northland Anniversary weekend.

Organiser, Whitebait Connection, coordinated the event ensuring visitors had plenty to see and do and included a water testing activity at their stall where people could view the clarity of the lake water.

Northland Regional Council provided information about the lakes pests and threats and were also advocating for the Check — Clean — Dry campaign, ensuring water users were aware of the potential impact introduced pest plants could have on the crystal clear lakes.

Staff from Experiencing Marine Reserves took 102 people on a guided day snorkel through the lake spotting fish and also offered a night snorkel to 62 participants. Glow sticks and waving torch lights reportedly made for a surreal experience as dragonfly larvae and eel came to life. “My son absolutely loved it, and we learnt a bit about the endangered weeds and pests and how important it is to protect the lakes,” said visitor, Sarah Cameron.

Amongst other displays were Coastguard North Kaipara and the Hikuwai O Kaipara Waka Ama Club who took participants for a paddle across the lake and back, impressing them with surprising speed.

“These dune lakes are the jewel in the crown for the Kaipara, and it’s very important that we keep them that way. It means stopping pollutants from entering these pristine closed ecosystems,” said snorkel event organiser, Lorna Doogan.


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