Thursday, September 26, 2013
The Arataki Centre
At the top of the Waitakere Ranges, between where we live and town, it is all national park. And in the park, there is a great place called the Arataki Centre.
There are bush walks of all descriptions leading from the Arataki centre. Inside the centre itself there is a magical children's area, with a huge caterpillar to sit on, the most beautiful wall mural is have ever seen, books, puzzles, activities and information about New Zealand native wildlife. There are live geckoes, stick insects, many displays, maps galore (we like maps) and a cross section of natural streamlife in an aquarium. The rangers on duty are always well informed and nice. (And I am not just saying that because I know a few of them!) The selection of books they have in their store are reasonably priced and are the best nature ones out too.
There are weta hotels, both inside the Centre and out.
Isn't the inside of this ponga tree amazing? It's a natural mandala.
You can book in a group and a park ranger to give a talk, or just drop by, like we did with our homeschooling crew.
And, it's beautiful. It's built like an enormous treehouse. The views are truly spectacular. Kinda wherever you look really. I am so glad learning about nature has become a hands on and fun experience in places like these.