“Yesterday we went for a walk by the sea. Today let’s go for a walk in the woods.” Ask, and ye shall receive!
Thanks to Google, we found Totara Park, right next door to the Botanical Gardens. I knew we were in the Auckland suburbs but it felt like something right out of Jurassic Park!
The trail winds along beside a small, ever changing stream and comes complete with name markers for some of the larger trees. Perfect to finally learn something about the amazing forests we have seen. Matai, kauri, puriri, nikau, and pukatea. Even the names sound other-worldly!
My ultimate favourite has to be the giant tree ferns.
They are so uniquely New Zealand and so unusual! To give you some perspective on just how tall these trees are, look for the dot of blue in the picture to the right. That’s me. I’m 5’2′”.
And, oh! The green! So many shades of green! From dark and brooding to shouts of neon. When we were in New Zealand before, we arrived at the end of a long drought. That visit did nothing to prepare us for New Zealand in full spring exuberance!
Our trail left the stream and then went straight uphill. And up. Bringing us new venues of deeper green and fern choked ravines. Now the bird calls are all around us. We listened for the elusive morepork owl but could not positively identify it. (Later addition: No wonder we didn’t hear the morepork, apparently they exclusively make sounds at night. Shows how much we know!) We sure heard some extremely comical tuis though!
And even here, New Zealand does one of its amazing costume changes, turn a corner and you have gone from primordial forest to bucolic farm land, complete with the need to skirt cow pies! We had lunch on what must have been one of the top hundred windiest spots in Auckland but the view was worth it!
Taking a walk in the woods in New Zealand is a never ending delight of sights and sounds!