Wairakei Drive


As one of the gateways into Taupo township Greening Taupo wants to help create a sense of arrival for visitors to Taupo.

Wairakei Drive is also the corridor that connects Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary into town.  In addition to the predator proof fence that surrounds the golf course, the sanctuary has been undertaking extensive indigenous forest restoration to enhance habitat for native birds. This has already lead to a increase in abundance and are spreading out into the surrounding area.  


Greening Taupo has been fortunate to be involved in some exciting local events and fundraising opportunities.  Over the 2015/16 summer period one of the biggest and the one that got us all a little bit nervous was the Zero Risk King of the Ring.  This event has been in Taupo since 2009 and has been held every 2 years, in 2015 Greening Taupo was the charity selected by Shawn “The Vegetator” Vennell.

Shawn wanted to make a difference to the ecology and landscape of the Taupo region and was dead serious about raising the most cash for Greening Taupo so he bravely put his body on the line at the Zero Risk King of the Ring.  

What an awesome event to be involved in!  The whole event managed to raise over $400,000 which will go back into the Taupo community.  Our Champion Shawn Vennell blew the fundraising contest apart with an incredible $95,675 raised for Greening Taupo.  Greening Taupo also collected an additional $10,000 bonus from 100% Lake Taupo Charitable Trust for being the charity that raised the most funds.  

The team not only raised a fantastic amount of funds for Greening Taupo to put towards our vision of  improving the Taupo environment for people and native wildlife but gained huge media profile by being a chosen charity

Shawn's vision is to use this money to replant the Wairakei Corridor with planting more bird attracting species to enhance the scenic qualities as well as the ecological values of the area with a mixture of native and appropriate exotic plantings.

Shawn’s labour of love along Wairakei Drive is continuing with force, sites along the drive are continuously getting prepared for the following planting season, planted sites are regularly maintained by Shawn, Greening Taupo Wicked weedies and supporters, planted areas are looking great.  

Planting along the Drive is becoming a great collaborative effort, every two years Wairakei Tourist Park entertains locals with a fun filled locals day, a community planting day along the Drive is always included and well attended.   2017 Wairakei drive provided a great location for Greening Taupo and Kids Greening Taupo to meet Prime Minister Bill English and Cabinet Minister Louise Upston a quick visit but we were able to showcase and demonstrate what a community group such as ours can and has achieved. Prime Minister Bill English and Cabinet Minister Louise Upston both planted totaras With Kids Greening Taupo and then helped them get stuck in to planting another 20 plants.

In 2018  Rotary conference 9930 lent a helping hand with their annual conference being held at Wairakei Resort, Shawn worked hard to prepared the site so 2000 plants could be planted by the rotarians while visiting.

Many local business and organisations are getting behind this project as they are seeing the positive changes happening by enhancing the scenic qualities of this area.