Wednesday, 1 April 2020

A Virtual Bush Walk

Otanewainuku Forest, in the Bay of Plenty, is a great place to see original native forest with giant trees and a healthy population of indigenous birds and wildlife.

Looking up at the fronds of a punga, a tree fern

The area is relatively remote, with little cell-phone coverage, but can be accessed by car.  In 2012 some of our family gathered together here to walk the Rimu Loop Track before settling down to a picnic lunch.  

Most of this area has never been logged

The track is 1.8 km long as it winds through the bush ('bush' is what New Zealanders call their forests!), and takes around 45 minutes to walk.

Like all walkways and facilities managed by the Department of Conversation, is now out-of-bounds for the duration of our lockdown.

The Rimu Walk is only one of several tracks through this forest

In some places we could see epiphytes growing on the trees.  In earlier times these parasitic plants were often known as widow-makers, as they would sometimes fall from the tree unexpectedly with dire results for any man standing below.

You can see the epiphytes growing up in the trees

We came across several fallen trees on our walk and some of the more rotten ones had different fungi growing on them.

Fungi growing on a rotting log

This fungi was growing on a well-rotted log

There are ancient rimu trees growing here, along with rata, tawa, kamahi and rewarewa.

Trees towering above walkers on the track

Some of the birds to be found in this forest are bellbirds, tui, black robin, wood pigeon (kereru), the rare kokako, and kiwi.

This darling little Black Robin came to check us out

There was a small picnic area near the carpark and this was where our family met up after the walk.  I remember we had bacon-and-egg pie and tomato sandwiches for lunch!

Picnic area, where we ate lunch together

I hope you enjoyed this virtual bush walk.  The last couple of days I have been spending time real-walking around the outside of our house.  I am thankful we have a yard where I can do this, and not have to walk down the street at all. 

Of course, the distance is only short so I have extended it by doing things like walking around each of our cars, circling around the garden table and chairs, walking a figure-eight on the lawn section and so on.  I try and do different things each circuit – the last thing son wants is for me to wear a figure-eight track into his newly grassed lawn!

Stay happy and healthy J


  1. Such pretty photos! Thanks for the walk!

  2. Great walk in that bush. I'm impressed that epiphytes grow big enough and heavy enough to kill an unsuspecting person walking below it ( IF it fell, that is).
    I'm also impressed by the fungi, they are beautiful!!
    Good that you're getting outside and walking around. I guess we just have to keep on doing what we have to do.

  3. You had me at Bay of Plenty. I can imagine where the name came from.

    1. The Bay was named by Captain James Cook in 1769 because, on his visit here, he found the people were generous and there were lots of fish, timber and other supplies that he could make use of.

    2. Of course. After a long voyage, it’s a perfect name!

  4. Lovely walk - thank you for sharing.

  5. Looks like a birdwatcher's paradise. Makes me wish I was there!

  6. I think it´s crazy you´re not allowed to go out in the bush at least!
    Sun, fresh air, that is healthy and you have enough space to keep the distance, too.

    Widow makers, oh, my! When we were in Cuba at the beach a coconut fell from a palm tree and missed hubby by centimetres!
    Oh, I know the orange fungi from Southern Australia, too.
    Cute little critter :-)
    Ohhhh. At Jester´s Australia you get "Morning Glory", a bacon and egg-pie, oh, how I miss that - we need to make it soon (we have a pie-maker).

    Hmm. 8C, sunny. I could and should go out. But I started training as I feel better and don´t wanna overdo it (again).
    To health and happiness!

    1. We are not meant to leave our own neighbourhoods when we go for a walk, so you would have to live beside the bush to enter it. I believe DOC have closed all their walks to try and discourage people from driving to them, as well as allowing them to send their own staff home to self isolate, and because it would put rescuers at risk if someone needed help. This latter reason is also why they are asking people not to go fishing, swimming, surfing, hunting etc.
      I am so glad you are finally feeling better :) xx

    2. I'm also glad that coconut missed your husband - must have given him an awful fright!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely slice of New Zealand. I have really missed not coming over this year for my annual visit home, although as it turns out it was probably for the best!

  8. Margaret, I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual bush walk … thank you.

    All the best Jan

  9. I have totally love this walk!

  10. What a wonderful walk, thanks so much for taking us along! I like the little thing that you shared--the fungi and widowmaker.

    Your link is a great addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks for linking up!

  11. That reminded me of many walks I've had in Hawkes Bay and Northland. Thank you.


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