Bay of Plenty groups getting kids outside and autumn in Otumoetai’s Railway Community Garden

Autumn in Aotearoa.

I’m moved to get myself and our tamariki
I N T O  N A T U R E

Every time i find myself bosomed in this season, i decide it’s my favourite of the four.

In harmony with Mother Nature’s call, there’s a mighty handful of groups in the Bay of Plenty, beckoning us to commune with with wild.

Bay of Plenty groups getting kids outside

Outdoor Explorers
Meets each Friday in roaming locations, in the Bay of Plenty, is another initiative perhaps similar to Conscious Kids on Auckland’s North Shore. Whilst talking about the North Shore and getting outside once can’t not include to mention, The Forest School.

Somewhat similar to Outdoor Explorers which brings children and their caregivers together to be in, learn from, and explore Nature. Kindling runs on a Wednesday morning, every fortnight and is based in the Karangahake Gorge and is run by Lucy AitkenRead of Lulastic and the Hippyshake.

Teacher in the Paddock
Kevin and Jane Powell’s Teacher in the Paddock, provides tours for Playcentres and such groups of their organic farm, animals and garden. They also provide after school & school holiday programs where kids experience the small organic farm, the garden, and wholesome living, with a Waldorf education flavour. This earthy couple also give workshops to adults on probiotics and other very helpful ways to eat and be.

Nature Library
Kathy Broadhead’s Nature Library, offers again after school and school holidays learning opportunities for children outside, and in nature.

little explorers

Set up by a group from Papamoa Playcentre they’re about inspiring parents to explore nature with their children.

Other Inspiration

The Outdoor Kids Project.
Inspiring NZ parents to raise outdoors kids. [Seeding] ideas for connecting with nature every day. [And a] place to ‘plan your adventures’.

‘Last Child in the Woods’.
Years ago when i first started blogging (sheesh, nearly 8 years ago) i came across a lovely Mama’s blog (i’ll try and dig it up) that reviewed “Last Child in the Woods“. It’s finally all queued up next to the bed, to follow Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica’s “You, Your child, and School.

These groups, these people, are encouraging us to G E T  O U T S I D E  

Can i/we?

* have that outdoor fire
* take a blanket onto the lawn to read
* go for a nightwalk
* bike-ride with the kids
* scooter to school in the mornings
* take them and the pooch to the beach
* organise playdates at the estuary’s edge
* wait beneath the big tree after the end of school bell sings
* catch the sunrise, the sunset, and its warm hug every time in between
* jump in those muddy puddles with non leaking gumboots
* rug the kids up, venture outside, lie on our backs and look at the moon


Our whanau went camping for 3 weeks over summer in a DOC campsite.

It was sheer f’n B L I S S, and yes it does deserve a square word, especially of that fertile nature.

Joseph Campbell’s Follow Your Bliss

“If you do follow your bliss
you put yourself
on a kind of track
that has been there
all the while,
waiting for you,
and the life that you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
Follow your bliss
and don’t be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn’t know
they were going to be (Joseph Campbell)”

Camping again

I felt alive.
I felt free.

The minimal living in the tent.
Doing all the chores outside.
The quality family time.
Turned off technology.
Hearing the sounds of nature, the waves, the wind, the bird calls, the cicadas, the crickets, their changeover.
A short dune walk down to the peaceful bay, beach.
In contact with animals and insects and wildlife, the possum that ran across a new neighbour’s foot, the locals riding bareback cantering down the dunes, the bees, the dive-bombing mother gulls, one foot the summer pet seagull.
Being with death, the moray eel, ferret, baby seagull, mother and child penguin lying side by side after a storm.
People living in the camp opening their hearts and family-rhythm to us. The side by sideness. The canvas. The nowhere to hide, and everywhere to share, reality.

What i love about Nature is – honesty.

I think much of another ‘revered’ local, Debbie Karl, and the mahi she does with observing the seasons, Chinese Medicine, and being with the body.

Debbie reminds us when we want to get authentic to, get outside, go into Nature, because ‘she’ knows how to do it best. She, Mother Nature, is our greatest teacher of how to be true.

I re-heard from Debbie, Autumn is a time to slow down.

Slow and simple.

This is not always the way i wanna live but boy-oh, it is at the moment.

I wanna be at home.
I wanna be with family.
I wanna stoke the fire.

Autumnal Afternoon

Today was spent (apart from making slime) in the still-winded garden, reading on the grass, with the wasps and the grasshoppers, the falling limes, and the decaying guavas, in a most heartening of soft sunlight.

As the day was meeting dusk, to avoid the husband’s lawnmower the girls and i ventured to a fave wee spot, Otumoetai Railway Community Gardens.

Otumoetai Railway Community Gardens

I hope these act as inspiration (although if you’re like me you don’t need much more than what Mother Nature is giving right now) to take your fine self/ves out into the wilderness.

Written and photographed by Emily with wild & grace


  1. Thanks for listening to the call of the wild and then doing what you do best articulating it magnificently in prose. This weekend I have found myself in the garden (out of the norm) and yearning for my children to be more earthbound, less entertained and more free. Arohanui Em.

  2. Hi Emily, Liz Roris here. I really enjoy your posts, keep it up. Want to introduce you to my new venture Making Fairy Houses…. then followed by Make a Fairy Garden. My Face book page mozaic has the information and pictures. I am also supporting a friend doing School Holiday programs for 5 to 15 yr olds. We hope to begin this next section of school holidays in July??? Not quite sure when holidays are. Between the two of us (both artists in our own right) the sessions will be inspiring, creative, different & exciting. PLUS our fee`s will not be too expensive, so the family weekly budget can accommodate. I hope all is well with you and family, Kind Regards, Liz ________________________________

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