ANOTHER HIDDEN GEM - OHINETONGA NATIVE FOREST WALK
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Ohinetonga Forest Reserve (30 min)
A half hour from the Centre is the sleepy village of Owhanga (which means"the place of wheezy noises" in our native language, Maori!), and just behind the village is another hidden local gem. A very beautiful two hour circular walk takes you through great unlogged native forests, past a small hidden lagoon full of dragon flies, along a river where you can take a dip and through another stunning forest with huge Rimu trees, dripping with mosses and NZ’s iconic tree ferns. There are many birds along the walk (and some rare orchids) and if you’re lucky you might see the rare rare Blue Duck (Whio) or Dabchick (Weweia) along the track. The surrounding forests are a government sanctuary protecting NZ’s iconic national bird, the kiwi.
The great 42 Traverse mountain bike trail from Mt Ruapehu passes through the area as does the Wakapapa Canoe Ride (Grade 3, 25 kms, 300 meter drop and over 50 rapids!). And not far from Owhanga is another amazing site, completely off the tourist trail. A stream bank strewn with thousands of fossils embedded in the river stones (we can show you a few at the Centre). The fossils date from the Paleozoic era and are about 240 million years old.
It’s unusual to have so many different types of beauty within a short walk – see if you can make the time, take a walk in this natural beauty spot.