Why I’m writing this blog:
The whenua (land) means everything to me, so much so that I decided to change my career and focus on conservation and inviting others to see what I see. This is either through my pictures, stories or guiding people through various tracks in NZ.
I’m on hiking tracks every weekend and during the week I’m planning the next area to explore. When I’m in the hills I’m forever learning about plants, wildlife, weather and to my surprise, I’m learning a lot about me. Overcoming self-doubt, standing tall for what I believe in, pushing my mind & body and being able to calm my mind. For me, this is meditation.
My ultimate goal:
My ultimate goal is to learn by doing and passing on my knowledge to others. It only takes one person to make a change, the more we learn about nature the more we understand why it’s so important for us and future generations.
Growing up in New Zealand:
I think I had one of the best experiences a young person could have. My family are farmers and hunters so we spent many days and nights somewhere in NZ’s bush or on an off-road adventure. I learnt very quickly how to navigate through the dense and sometimes terrifying terrain. My father never used a map or compass but he somehow knew where to go, it wasn’t until years later when I’d go on my own solo trips that my observations of his techniques came in handy.
After leaving home I continued on with the outdoors, setting up camps with friends in some rugged places on the West Coast of NZ, often only 4WD access or a hard slog through the damp forest to find the perfect camping spot. I then went on to work on the Southern Ocean and discovered the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen, Auckland, Chatham and Campbell Islands in particular.
This inspired me to see more of the world, off the beaten track, spending time in the Andes, Amazon and Central America. Although I’m a keen traveler, I’m always drawn to NZs’ back country. The harder it is to reach the destination, the more I want to do it.
Today, I spend most weekends exploring our National Parks in NZ and learning how to protect our forest and birds. I’ve a keen interest in biodiversity, bushcraft and hiking. Although I love the outdoors my creative background guided me into directing TV commercials, documentaries and making short films. I own a digital media company based in Auckland.
I’m 6th generation Kiwi (German) and I’m Maori from Tuhoe/Te Whanau a Apanui.
Annette (or Annie)