Comments from the client: dinner was a great success, there was all positive comments e.g great dinner, good entertainment.
The guests also enjoyed the guided forest night tour encounter.
Here is a wonderful letter we received from Tara and Mat Whitaker, who we were lucky enough to be involved in their wedding in the Puketi Forest – You can see some of the photos from the wedding on our Dining Experience page
Barbara and Ian Candy from Adventure Puketi made my wedding day a day to remember. Barbara and i spent about 1 year organising the magical day. she made mywedding seem effortless for my self.
A guided walk through the forest. A dusk ceremony and dinner in a forest with fairy lights and a gourmet meal of my choice. So My husband and i chose an antipasto platter then NZ Steak with mushroom sauce, and finally a exquisite chocolate desert.I chose Barbara because of her friendly enthusiasm in her emails. I was also so lucky that Adventure Puketi are a husband and wife team who share jobs, Barbara organised everything and Ian was our experiences Guide. My Husband and i enjoyed our experience – With traveling on private property to a secret water fall, being escorted into Puketi forest to getting my hair and make up exclusively done within the self contained accommodation, to arranging a celebrant and photographer in front of a Kauri Tree within a forest with only family as witness.
Our wedding was truly a magical Fairy Tale wedding. so if you want a stress free wedding full of natures beauty pick Adventure Puketi and you will be as happy as we were, Tara and Mat Whitaker : )
UK Magazine, Australia & New Zealand Summer 2012
Hiking with conservationist Ian Candy from Adventure Puketi, we’re off to see Te Tangi o te Tui (The Queen of the Forest); Northland’s fourth largest kauri tree (Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest, is the largest, in Waipoua Forest…
Read the entire article here
New Zealand Herald
If you fancy dreaming of big fat wetas, then take a guided night walk with Adventure Puketi.
We saw dozens of the infamous insects tucked up in sheltered spots on trees and rock walls in the Puketi Forest. The giant carnivorous snails (kauri snails) we encountered are also worthy of nightmares.
I’ve never considered taking a guided bush tour. But having an experienced guide like Ian Candy makes a lot of sense. I never realised, until Candy got his big spotlight out, that we had such large spiders in the New Zealand bush.
The Bay Chronicle – David Bellamy
Adventure Puketi recently played host to botanic legend David Bellamy, Visiting New Zealand for Conservation Week, Mr Bellamy was enthralled by the kauri trees of Puketi Forest. Owner and chief guide of Adventure Puketi Ian Candy says Mr Bellamy
marvelled at how the kauri giants had survived the climatic tests of time. “He really took time to learn more about this environment, its flora and fauna,” he says.
David Bellamy, OBE, is a botanist, author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner. He was instrumental in saving Pureora Forest and is an acclaimed protector of forest habitat around the world.
The Bay Chronicle – click for original Article
New Zealand Woman’s Weekly
We had hoped to do a night rainforest tour with adventure Puketi, Given by Ian Candy – “the Bay of Islands’ answer to Rotorua’s famous Guide Rangi” – to see the nocturnal wildlife and enjoy a spot of night-sky stargazing, but alas, the weather conspired against us. So we enjoyed the native bird song in our B&B’s lush sub-tropical “mini-Puketi” garden instead.
Ali Bell, New Zealand Women’s Weekly
Late in the afternoon, we met up with our guide from Adventure Puketi. The company is owned and operated by Ian and Barbara Candy. Ian grew up next door to the forest and is now a dedicated conservationist who runs guided forest walks through the subtropical rainforest. He takes people out for a half day or full day. But it is the night forest walks that are the most popular.
As day began to turn to night, we followed him into the forest. Long shadows were disappearing into the twilight and night’s clammy chill descended. With the growing darkness, the noises of the forest began to change. Insects were attracted to our headlamps and bats begin to feed on the insects. This was one experience I had not expected.
In the distance the high pitched call of a kiwi echoed through the darkness and was followed by the inquisitive response of a native owl, the morepork. as we continued our quiet progress the nocturnal sound of the kiwi came closer. Ian signalled us to halt. We stopped, stood still on the track and waited. At the edge of our vision a kiwi appeared on the track. Someone in the party turned on their torch for a better look and several of us took the opportunity for a photo. And then, before you could say Apteryx Australis, that wingless bird with the massive drumsticks and huge clawed toes turned and beat a measured retreat into the darkness.
That remarkable encounter, like the night-walk and our several days in the forest, was too brief but remain totally unforgettable.
Louis Passe, NZ Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations
Dining under Puketi stars
Northland tourism industry notables got together in a bush clearing west of Kerikeri for the launch of a new venture, Dining Under the Stars, on Monday night, marking the culmination of 12 months of planning by Ian and Barbara Candy.
Sixty invited guests arrived at the Puketi Forest headquarters, gathering in a clearing, where lights, two blazing braziers and five beautifully set tables set the scene for a unique dining experience.
Ian and Barbara Candy (Adventure Puketi), who have been operating a guided forest walk business for the last four years, came up with a concept of evening package comprising an outdoor meal (prepared by chef Colin Ashton, from Food at Wharepuke), Northland wines and a look at the Southern Hemisphere’s night sky, guided by Helen Horrobin.
Mr Candy said the existing forest walk business was very successful, and the former dairy farmer and hairdresser were now looking to expand on an enterprise that was genuinely in the region.
“I eventually got tired of looking at the rear end of a cow,” he said, adding that the goal had been to develop an opportunity for the region’s group, conference and cruise ship visitors to experience nature at its best. He had no doubt that a range of forest dining options would do the trick.
Puketi Forest is one of Northland’s special gems, allowing people to experience the diverse flora and fauna of a subtropical rainforest and to view some of the last remaining stands of kauri trees in the world,” he said.
The launch certainly impressed Destination Northland’s Cheryl Jensen, who said the experience was beyond words.
“The performance by the Okaihau College kapa haka group was especially moving, and the lighting and ambience in the forest made for a magical evening,” she said, while chef Colin Ashton’s skills were world-class.
She was not surprised that he had cooked for the likes of Shania Twain.
Okahu Estate (Kaitaia) owner Monty Knight said he imagined bringing a group from China to an outdoor dinner, and that overseas visitors were looking for this kind of experience.
“They don’t want to go to a restaurant in Queen Street, they want a real Kiwism,” he said.
Mrs Candy said the concept was already attracting keen interest, and inquiries were rolling in. Each “event” would be tailor-made to suit the clients’ time and budget.
The Northland Age – May 6 2010