Saturday, March 31, 2018

Best New Zealand Holiday Park Ever, So Far

After the Waipoua Forest we drove on to old friend Trounson Forest, another DOC preserve that features both Kauris and (allegedly) kiwis. In 2014, we camped there and did the night-time forest walk in search of kiwis, but saw only rats. Lots of rats. In the bathrooms too. I was hoping maybe DOC had renovated Trounson campground in the intervening 4 years, but they hadn't, and, for 9$NZ more, we opted for the Kauri Coast Top 10 Holiday Park, 4k up the road. It was a wise choice. The Kauri Coast Top 10 is smaller than most in this chain, but loaded with amenities, clean, up to date, and, best, landscaped as a New Zealand botanical garden. All NZ holiday parks are pretty good, but this one was exceptional. The Waima and Kaihu rivers nearly encircle the park, and there is a nature trail with glossy pamphlet that takes in the high points. As with other holiday parks and Top 10s, there are powered and non-powered campsites but also a range of other accommodations "to suit every budget." See illustrations.
On the nature walk

River and caves

Surrounded by bush with specimens throughout the park

Biggest and best playground yet

Coming soon to my YouTube channel, a video of a 71 year-old
man riding the zip line

Confluence of the two tube-able rivers

Stepping stones

More bush

Gum tree

Vicki in the 2nd very fully equipped communal kitchen, the
family picnic kitchen

Herb garden

Swimming hole

Small kauri


Petanque, too, but of course

Oh, yes, that evening we did the Trouson walk, again, sporting our red-cellophane covered flashlights. We saw lots of bush and kauris by moonlight, and a possum accompanied us for a few hundred feet--whereupon we concluded there were probably no kiwis to be seen that night. Walking back to Rooby I began formulating my theory that the kiwi thing is a vast conspiracy of dog-haters....

Big Trees Of The Kauri Coast

New Zealand's Kauri trees rival the sequoias of California at least in girth if not in height. Their habitat is dense bush, unlike the open montane forests of California. In Kauri country, one can rarely see beyond the low canopy, and when you come suddenly upon one of the big trees, something that is 5-7m in diameter, it is an astounding experience. They are truly lords of the forest. On this day we visited old friend Tane Mahuta, the greatest of surviving Kauris, but also several others in the Waipoua Forest.
Only 2% of the 19th century Kauris have survived the blades
and sawmills, and NZ is doing what it can to ensure these last
2% survive and thrive

You go into Kauri country, you wash and disinfect your boots,
coming and going, and stay away from the Kauris' shallow
roots, to avoid spreading Kauri die-back disease

Tane Mahuta, the largest of the survivors, about
which I am sure I have blogged before

Rising above the canopy

Now walking through the Waipoua Forest,
gawking at ever more Kauris, none as huge as
Tane Mahuta, but huge enough...

Clothes pin tree

General Grant Tree; wait, no...

The Yakas tree, not one of the hugest examples, but special 

Because DOC has constructed the boardwalk for Yakas so that you
can actually touch the tree...

Tree huggers



Moving on

The Four Sisters

And others

And finally, Te Matua Ngahere, 2nd largest of
the survivors