During the school holidays I travelled as part of a group of rakatahi Kāi Tahu to Te Tai Poutini where we stayed at the beautiful Tūhuru Marae for a four-day wānaka rakatahi called, Manawa Hou. On our haereka we visited many significant sites around the rohe and took part in a lot of fun activities and games. We also learnt some of the history about the takiwā.

One of the places we visited on the wānaka was Lake Kaniere. It was there that I had my first ever go at waka ama. We also went for a quick walk to have a look at and learn some of the stories about the surrounding area. Another place we visited was the Arahura River – there we spent time searching up and down the river for pounamu, although some of us didn’t have much luck in finding any.

My favorite place was the Punakaiki Cavern. We learnt that this was one of the places our tīpuna used as a stopover point on their travels. We all went exploring deep inside the cave where it was pitch black – it was quite eerie to be somewhere that dark.

I found it interesting going to the places our tīpuna used to live and stay. It enlightened me as to how different it must have been to live in those environments and how different our lifestyle is today.

At Manawa Hou, the most enjoyable part for me was getting to meet other rakatahi Kāi Tahu who shared similar interests and hobbies to me. It was great how quickly everybody became close despite the fact that we all came from different places, and have very different backgrounds. I can’t wait to go to the next one.
Nā Alex Solomon, nō Arowhenua, Waihao, Awarua me te Moeraki.

Rakatahi during their visit to the Hokitika Treetop Walkway.

Rakatahi during their visit to the Hokitika Treetop Walkway.

Rakatahi enjoyed their time out on Lake Kaniere.

The rakatahi gave waka ama a try on Lake Kaniere.

Rakatahi on the Arahura River.

Looking for pounamu on the Arahura River.

Te rōpū mō Manawa Hou walking onto Tūhuru Marae.

Te rōpū o Manawa Hou walking onto Tūhuru Marae.