It’s never hard to convince a hunter to go out for a hunt, or to get a field shooter to a local competition – but what do we do when we’re not involved in our chosen shooting sports? Are we still getting all we can out of the beautiful country we live in? This is the question I asked myself while camping at the Lake Tarawera Outlet this holiday.
While certainly not a hunting destination, there was plenty of opportunity to hike, fish, boat and swim. Hot water rock pools and endless kayaking destinations during the day, and cooking a camp feed in the evening, seeing more stars than you’d usually see in a month in Auckland.
Yes, it’s quite a “civilised” way to get into nature, compared to smashing through the bush chasing a pig. But when you’ve got family and a young baby, and a need to get outdoors, just about anywhere without electricity will do.
While taking a short walk through the bush between the boat ramp and the ski lane, I thought of a couple of friends of mine. They recently hiked the Hillary trail over Christmas and spent the holiday reading books and catching amazing sunsets. This couple regularly hike around the upper North Island. As I thought of the hike they had just finished, I realised that this non-hunting pair of friends are not only much fitter than I am, but they see a whole lot more country than I do. And they feed their souls but getting away from the daily grind, and into nature, much more often than I could lay claim to.
So, here’s my New Year’s resolution – get out there an do it. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, swimming, driving, whatever. This year, I plan to spend more time outdoors on the weekend than indoors. My boy is only 3 months old, but by the time he starts forming the memories that will make up his childhood, I want him to remember the names of trees and lakes, rather than games and movies.