On Thursday 17 March some of our Kāhui Kaumātua – Jane Davis, Betty Rickus, Rangimaria Suddaby and Vera Gleeson, drove to Te Anau, to begin a journey to Anita Bay.

Anita Bay is at the entrance to Milford Sound and is of huge significance to Ngāi Tahu. This was done in conjunction with Nic Low’s hīkoi.

Thanks to our rūnaka executive komiti for their support of this hīkoi. The kāhui kaumātua had a fabulous day.

The sun was shining, it was chilly, but everyone was rugged up. It started with a few laughs at the office before getting in the van to drive to Te Anau. There was lots of chatter and happiness along the way. We arrived in Te Anau with time to spare so managed to consume morning tea before having to be weighed in at Southern Lakes Helicopters. Some of us wished we hadn’t had that extra scone, and weren’t holding onto our bags.

Once on the helicopter it was a breathtaking trip into Anita Bay. Our pilot was a fantastic tour guide and pointed out areas of interest along the way. Being the start of the roar we checked to see if there were any deer to be seen.

First thing we were greeted with on landing at Anita Bay was the namunamu – crikey the little pests were persistent and amass. We whipped out the repellent and hoped it was going to be effective.

Then we started exploring. Oh what a great prospect this was. We had sticks to poke at rocks and to move sand and the likes out of the way. We found plenty of leverite (leave her rite there) rocks, the whalers stone hut, a swing someone had made, all the time waiting on Nic and his partner to arrive from Milford Sound in a waka to embark on their journey.

Time went by in a flash, and next thing we knew it was time to climb back on the helicopter and come home. We brought some treasures (rocks for the garden) out with us, along with stories to tell. Overall it was a fabulous opportunity that we all really appreciated.

Jane Davis, Betty Rickus, Rangimaria Suddaby and Vera Gleeson arriving in Anita Bay.

Jane Davis, Betty Rickus, Rangimaria Suddaby and Vera Gleeson arriving in Anita Bay.