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
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