It was a great idea, and one that our family took part in on multiple occasions across the month, often several times on weekends!
It helped that the first of May was a sunny, warm Sunday, so we headed up to Marine Parade, just along the beach from the National Aquarium of New Zealand to start ticking off tasks.
For our first task we decided to get creative, making a driftwood sculpture.
We gathered armfuls of driftwood, kelp and shells, setting a dining table suitable for Tangaroa!
While we were within arms-reach of a more than plentiful supply of greywacke (for those who are unaware, Napier’s Marine Parade beach is notoriously un-sandy) we made stone sculptures, too – I managed to get mine to defy gravity long enough to get photographic proof – With a triangular base it was more Stone-Hinge than Stonehenge.
We were on a roll(ing stone?)!
Next we went around the other side of Mataruahou – Napier Hill to Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, known locally as “Rocky Shore” because it’s a shore that’s, well, rocky:
There we studied the tidal pools and all the aquatic creatures that exist within, spotting chitons, crabs and sea slugs.
Throughout the following weeks we went from the heights of Taradale’s Sugarloaf hill to watch the sun set:
To walking around Hawke’s Bay Trails like that around Pandora Pond (Ahuriri Lagoon):
Some tasks were closer to home, like admiring “tree corridors” in places like Marewa’s Tom Parker Avenue.
Even just playing in autumnal leaves:
On a couple of occasions we went for walks up Dolbel Reserve, also in Taradale – It’s Kauri Trail is full of newly planted and established native flora.
It was a fantastic way for our family to spend our weekends together, while also learning more about nature and getting to appreciate the little local details that are so often overlooked.
And just because it was called “Bay in May” doesn’t mean you have missed your chance to experience some environmentally friendly and diverse parts of Hawke’s Bay – these are things that can be done any time of the year!
So get out and enjoy our region’s bio diversity and natural surroundings!