Step back in time and experience the forest as it was hundreds of years ago. Take a leisurely 2 hour walk along the banks of the Ongarue River and experience the natural wealth, wonders and creativity of Papatūānuku-Mother Earth.
By day, 600 year old native trees -somehow saved from the extensive logging that took place here- will tower over you. The river is alive with rainbow trout and Tahuna (eels). And then the birds!
Kereru (wood pigeon), Tui, Bell Birds, Kōkako, Morepork, Tomtit, Robin, Fantail, Kiwi, Black Shag, Kingfisher, Shining Cuckoo, Long-Tailed Cuckoo, Wax-eyes, Yellowhead and the highly endangered Whio (Blue Duck).
By night, the haunting calls of the Morepork and Kiwi will thrill you and the lights of the glow-worms (Titiwai) will draw you to their lairs. The night sky is uncontaminated by city lights and on a clear night you can spend hours just watching the stars.
The native wildlife thrives here due to the knock-on effect of Blackfern’s “Blueduck Recovery Program”.
Extensive trapping of introduced pests (rats, stoats and possums), the eradication of exotic trees and weeds, the rehabilitation of the stream banks and extensive planting of native trees to attract the birds- this has created a haven for wildlife and a memorable experience for human visitors.
Memorabilia from the logging industry is dotted along the walk.
It reminds you of the devastating impact that logging had on this area, but it will also stir some admiration for the hard men and women who braved this rugged, isolated terrain to harvest timber for a rapidly expanding country in the early 20th century.
In the morning you will experience the power of Tāne (The Forest God) as you wake up to the internationally famous Pureora dawn chorus of native birds.