Locals and visitors to Hamilton can now experience nature in a whole new way, thanks to the Nature in the City app, launched by Hamilton City Council this week.
With 10 self-guided tours to choose from, the app showcases interesting facts about some of Hamilton’s best, and hidden, nature walks. Experience popular spots like Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park in a whole new way, or discover hidden gems like A J Seeley Gully. Along the way, you can learn about native plants and animals, and how to identify them, and see restoration work in action.
“Just in time for the school holidays, this app is a fantastic way to get your whaanau out into nature, learn some cool facts and have fun. We hope this app inspires people to visit our gullies and natural areas and share our passion for restoring them,” said Parks Asset Manager, Luke Archbold.
The app also includes some koorero about the Maaori history of the natural areas, and more is on the way, he said.
“Hamilton Kirikiriroa has an extensive history of Maaori settlement, with several hapuu (sub-tribes) residing here at different points in time.”
“We’ve included koorero from Ngaati Wairere about their history in these natural areas, and we’re working with Te Haa o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa to add the histories of their hapuu over time,” said Mr Archbold.
The Nature in the City app was developed as part of the Nature in the City programme, which aims to restore Hamilton’s native vegetation cover from 2% to 10% by 2050.
“It’s a big goal, and we know we can’t do it alone,” said Mr Archbold.
“There are passionate volunteer groups all over Hamilton Kirikiriroa that have been working hard to restore nature over many years. The Nature in the City app is an opportunity to highlight the incredible work they’re doing, and encourage others to get involved and help out.”
The Council says it has plans to add more tours to the app, with two more already in development.