Every year the VIP Kayak Day is different, we’ve had super hot summer days when most guest went for a voluntary dip in the clear Waitakere river, a lockdowns postponed day, last year a post-cyclone silted river adventure. Because of the latter, this year we launched at Bethells Beanz – owners Peter and Petroesjka generously providing us access over their property. The Ted Manson Foundation provided the vans to transport us to where the kayaks, loaned to us by the Owairaka and Lynfield/Green Bay Sea Scouts were waiting – delivered to us by the amazing Brian Harvey. And the team of volunteers on the day did everything from registrations to ‘launching’, sausage sizzling to serving, taking photos, preparing home baking, preparing the launch site, driving or guiding… THANK YOU. You’ll notice it is only possible thanks to the input and generosity of many!

The weather turned out to be a lot better than forecast – most groups had either a little drizzle or a short, sharp splash – we even saw the sun in the afternoon. Those who did get wet (from above or below), warmed up quickly with a hot drink, home baking or a sausage. 

 A huge thank you also to you, our guests, who support our wetland by joining this day, experiencing Auckland’s largest wetland in a unique way. Re-introduced pateke (brown teal) were seen, as well as flocks of kereru, putangitangi (paradise ducks), lots of native forest birds and unfortunately also a lot of non-natives: plants (weeds) as well as animals (geese). Our namesake Matuku (bittern) even showed him/herself this year, to the amazement of our visitors, as there are only 700 left in New Zealand and they are known as ‘cryptic’ birds – very hard to find. 

See you soon at one of our other events, nga mihi,

Annalily van den Broeke




All images by our voluntary photographers Stefan Marks and Eric van Essen, in between guiding and pulling kayaks in-and out of the water! – thank you!