The volunteers who staff the centre are passionate about the birds, the biodiversity as well as offer plenty of advice about the Hauraki Gulf. The various walks from the Shorebird Centre are well signposted with plenty of description about what is happening. The landscape has no dominant features. You spend time contemplating sand, sea, shells, water and sky with the seamless ribbon of flat expense before you. Look at the shades of white, cream with dashes of deep hues slashed with emerging water lights.
A great place to stop with the kids with a well resourced centre explaining the chenier (shell) beach, its importance and the impact of farming and quarrying on the sensitive landscape. Kids look for the bird tracking interactive map. Remember birds do not need passports
Approximately 1km from the Shorebird Centre is a public car park providing direct access to the chenier beach. Scrunch your way across the shells and watch, wait and observe birds. In the distance you can view your destination accross the Firth of Thames, Thames and the Coromandel Peninsula. Shorebird numbers usually exceed over 10,000 either in the air or busy feeding. Watching flocks of birds swirl and dive as they land is memorising.
The name Miranda was a gunship that was used to subdue the local Maori villages (during the nineteenth century land wars). One of the plaques points towards the local hills and the story of how Maori resisted land confiscation in the area. Today local iwi (tribe) participation in regeneration effects is sought and the importance of the Hauraki Gulf for traditional fish netting and food gathering practices elaborated.
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