West Coast Treetop Walk – Day 116
The West Coast Treetop Walk in Hokitika
Today we are getting new perspectives of the New Zealand forest from the West Coast Treetop Walkway!
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So today is our second attempt to explore the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Yesterday we tried to go there but it was raining a lot so we had a good time under the rain but couldn’t use the camera so we decided to get back there.
After a couple of really rainy days and a very stormy night we are waking up in the Mountain Jade Backpackers. Because Laura had a rough night she decided that she needs a little bit of love. Where better to find love than at the bottom of a nutella pot.
Sorry for sharing that you with you guys but I really have to share with someone I have to live with that every day.
Anyway we are now making our way to the West Coast Treetop Walkway where we tried to film yesterday but there was no way we could get footage with the rain so today we have high hopes and the sky is blue.
Alright so we’re back at the West Coast Treetop today looks like a much much much better day. So we think we’re going to get some much better footage. We’re going to have a much better time take 2.
Don’t think we need the umbrellas today.
The West Coast Treetop Walk starts on the forest floor just a reminder of what New Zealand native forest looks like from the bottom of the forest. And this is actually a good place to see some smaller birds like fantails and tomtits, they really like it around here and they’re following us where ever we go. they are so cute. But after walking for about 15 minutes under the forest canopy it’s time for us to get above the said canopy. And what better way to do so than just literally walking above it and that’s exactly what is the West Coast Treetop Walkway, it’s a massive walkway right above the canopy giving us a brand new perspective on New Zealand native forest.
The walkway stretches over 1.2km long and it allows us to see all the different layers of the native forest. Usually while walking at the bottom of the forest we only see the thick dense bush but from there we can see much more. for example we can see the top of the very tall rimu trees which are extending way above the forest canopy.
A thing that we notice with these tall rimu trees is there’s actually vegetation growing on the tree trunks themselves. There’s all these little bits of moss even ferns that have somehow clawed their way onto the tree and growing on there as well. This really is a brand new perspective of a walk through the forest which means we’re taking twice as long to get around this loop. This is so unique so we’re really taking the time to make the most of it. And halfway through we reach the tower but he doesn’t seem to mind considering we get such sensational views above the forest canopy. The tower is 40m high and it’s really a thigh burn to make our way up to the top but once we get up there the views are incredible. We can see Lake Mahinapua in the distance as well as the tasman sea and we do spend quite a long time up here considering Robin is afraid of heights.
Making our way down the 40+m high tower is taking us quite a while And Laura and I are lucky not to encounter any other tourist because I feel that this very thin stairs will not really make for a easy crossing especially for someone like me which is terrified of the height.
Once down from the tower we are making our way through the canopy again. One of the good things that I really like about this walkway is that there are heaps of little signs on the side telling you much more about what you’re seeing both about the flora and fauna that we see but also about the geological features of the area. Soon enough we arrive to the Mahinapua Springboard which is overseeing the massive lake as well as rimu trees again and kamahi trees. But what catches most of our attention from the top of this springboard are the massive kereru which are the native wood pigeons of New Zealand. They are much bigger than your normal pigeon and so big in fact that they used to be the only native bird to feed on full grown fruit and because of their size they are also extremely extremely clumsy.
Although we have come back to the treetop walkway today to show you it in the sun we have to say that it is completely different to how we saw it this forest yesterday, we saw it under the rain which made the colours so much more vibrant we also saw much more insects yesterday under the rain but it just really goes to show that you can enjoy this place in whatever weather.
The tall native forest of the South Island are the perfect spot for such a walkway. I really didn’t think that it would be any different to actually walk above the forest than it is from walking under. In fact, I thought it would be worse because we would see less stuff. I feel like most of the animals would be around the bottom but that wasn’t true at all. We got to see it all and even more I did not expect to see that much and the fact that we got to see two wood pigeon being that clumsy just definitely made my day.
Thank you, Laura. I got some hot chocolate. Oo this is hot.