Important announcement: Friday and Sunday will go ahead as planned and Saturday will be postponed until further notice.

Pestival - Eastern Bays will celebrate volunteers' dedication and hard work in creating an urban sanctuary in the Pourewa Valley. 

Volunteers have cleared both pest animals and pest plants throughout the valley for nearly 20 years. We are now seeing how this valley is flourishing, becoming alive with birdsong and regenerating native trees. 

RSVP here: 

Friday/ Rāmere 19 May

We will start at 4 pm at the Pourewa Hub, located at 105 Kepa Rd, where we will be joined by Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei, who will open the Pestival for the weekend. We will then take a stroll around the māra kai (food garden) before heading over the road to the Ōrākei Community Centre at 156 Kepa Road for refreshments and presentations around 5 pm.

The Eastern Bays Songbird team will be joined by our friends at Whitebait Connection for a brief talk on protecting urban streams before heading out on our night-time adventure.

At approximately 6 pm we will relocate to the Thatcher Street entrance of Kepa Bush and get briefed on the night walk through the wonderful Kepa Bush, heading down to the stream for a chance to spotlight for some fishy friends. Watch out for glow worms and learn how to monitor for bats!

Important info:

Although we will be indoors some of the time, this event is mainly outdoors, so please wear weather-appropriate clothing and good shoes (gumboots or tramping shoes). There is a minimum age of 8 years for the spotlighting activity and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring a torch.

Volunteers have been trapping pests in Kepa bush since 2005. They have removed a staggering 348 possums, 817 rats, 790 mice and 84 hedgehogs which has helped protect this area of high ecological value. Kepa Bush is classified as a biodiversity focus area and is the largest and one of the best quality native forest remnants on the central Auckland isthmus. This biodiversity focus area includes mature and regenerating pōhutukawa, pūriri, broadleaved forest extending down to a mangrove forest and scrub coastal saline ecosystem. This area supports a wide range of endemic and native birds including kererū, tūī, riroriro, pīwakawaka and kotare. 

Saturday/ Rāhoroi 20 May - Postponed until further notice

10 am - Meet at the cycleway entrance, 337 Kohimarama Road (Near the Meadowbank Pony Club)

We will start the day off with a guided bike ride along the shared path, Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai (the path of land and sea). Section two of the shared path was opened in May 2022 and now provides an excellent view through the Pourewa Valley. Learn about the different land parcels in the valley and spot the weeds as we head from Kohimarama Road to Ōrākei Basin. 

Important information: Bikes not provided and please wear a helmet.  

1 pm - Photography Workshop with IMAgEN8: Always wanted to learn how to take great nature photos? Join IMAgEN8 photography tutors to find out how to take the perfect photo of nature. Cameras provided. Meet 1 pm at the end of John Rymer Place, Kohimarama. The Workshop will be held over 1.5 hours exploring Selwyn Park and Selwyn Bush. Please register here

2 pm - EXPLORE: Guided walk through the Valley. Meet at the end of John Rymer Place. LEARN: We will take you through the valley meeting our local conservation heroes. VOLUNTEER: We will also be helping out by pulling weeds along the way. COLLECT: join the iNaturalist collection project 'Pourewa Valley' and help us record species. If you would like to take part please download the iNaturalist App onto your phone. 

Important information: Please wear sturdy appropriate shoes, the ground and track may be muddy in places. Please bring gloves if you have them. 

Sunday/ Rātapu 21 May

Join us at in the Tūī room at the Remuera Golf Club (120 Abbotts Way) for a day of pest talks, meet the locals, share some delicious food and refreshments

3 pm Moth Plant competition winners announced - hear about the amazing efforts they have put in to rid the Ōrākei Local Board area of this pesky plant

4 pm Meet the locals and share kai - celebrate our volunteers of the Eastern Bays and surrounding areas

5 pm Prof. Margaret Stanley - Backyards matter for birds: Native birds experience multiple different pressures in urban environments – everything from rats, cats and pet birds – often things spilling out from individual backyards. Margaret will discuss her group’s research on a range of factors impacting birds and end with ways we can make cities better homes for birds.

Hear also from Auckland Council Biodiversity about the regional pest management program.

Important information: please remember to RSVP for catering purposes