Recently we were tramping through parts of the Coromandel Forest Park. In the evening, around the coals fires ( sheer luxury!) we got round to discussing how New Zealand differs from the usual trails where the other visitors to the hut came from. First up was the fact that no animal was about to eat them, bite them or trample them (bears, snakes and elephants were mentioned in that order). Next came the unexpected variety and density of the vegetation. Bush bashing is a term often used by kiwi trampers to describe having to force their way through the scrub and plants and creeping vines. And then there was appreciation for the trail markers, placed by Rangers and volunteers along the trails to show the route, and how we all relied and trusted the orange triangle. And a bit of lively discussion about the “natural” state of the trail through the forest rather than carefully manicured paths. There are a few such paths around, but not many.
These points were also made by a young American who cheerfully stumbled into a hut after nightfall. Despite not being able to see more than a metre or so in front of him in the gloom under the tree canopy due to torch problems, repeatedly plodding through ankle-deep mud pools and ruts and stumbling on tree roots, he was just so relieved not to have to worry about bears as well. And spotting an occasional orange triangle as he came along re-assured him that he wasn’t wandering around lost. Sort of puts it into perspective really.
So, we thought, tongue in cheek, why not take you on a walk through some forest, New Zealand style. The following is an imaginary trail through our North Island forest using real photographs we’ve taken.
Why not compare it with your local area/ experience and let us know what you think?