"The place of the stingray". Magical Mangahwai is known for it’s beautiful harbor. The stingray, after which Mangawhai takes its name are still to be found basking in the clear waters.
A little further inland you will find Barry Atkins managing his hives amongst pristine areas of Manuka. Barry was born in Mangawhai and has lived there all his life. He is known as a bit of a ‘nature man’. His knowledge of native flora and fauna is extraordinary and he has spent years protecting, learning and living in ‘the bush’. Barry and Denis first met when they 16, in a haymaking gang. Their friendship has spanned many years and ‘pigs’ since then and they have a healthy competitive relationship when it comes to anything hunting related!
“My two great loves are the sea and the bush. The great thing about New Zealand is you’re never more than about 100k from the sea. New Zealand’s got thousands of kilometres of stunning coastline… but it’s also a land of mountains, lakes and rivers, native forests, and farmlands. Our country was isolated for millions of years, and because of this unique native flora and fauna, such as flightless birds, have evolved.
I’ve always loved the bush. To me the plants and natural environment are part of New Zealand’s identity. I’ve spent many years trying to protect the land I love from pests that have been introduced like the Australian brushtail possum. It was introduced for the fur trade but its wreaked havoc on our native forests and wildlife.
Denis and I have a lot in common. We both love our country, New Zealand and the escaping to the bush. Bee-keeping has become another common bond for us, and harvesting a honey that is unique to our land has been a natural and exciting part of our journey together.