Today I wanna find the Awa Awa Rata Reserve which i cannot find a single information about online so we’ve asked some locals and we will follow their leads.
So today we are following the hint from a bunch of locals that told us that if we keep on driving on state highway 77 we pass the ski field road and we drive all the way to the end despite the fact that it’s super gravelly we will find the beautiful Te Awa Awa Rata Reserve whic has heaps to discover there. the elusive Te Awa Awa reserve is located in the Mt Hutt forest and honestly there is literally no information about it anywhere so we had to go by ourselves discover it to be able to report to guys on YouTube and on BackpackerGuide.NZ.
When we arrive we discover this massive picnic area full of rhododendrons in full bloom it’s absolutely stunning but just behind that picnic area is a whole network of walks through the Awa Awa Rata Reserve. We don’t really have much of plan of what tracks we’re gonna be taking today cos the Awa Awa Reserve is full of them. They range from about 15 minutes to 2 hour loop walks so at first we’re heading on the Awa Awa Walk but we then end up on all kinds of different walks, the Alder Track, the Ridge Track, Opuke Track, Scott Saddle tracks and eventually to the Pudding Hill Stream. But we don’t really care where we’re going cos this forest is absolutely beautiful.
People mostly know Mt Hutt as being a ski field but we really wanted to show you guys something different if the mountain is closed because the weather is not good the Te Awa Awa Reserve is the perfect place to come because it’s so sheltered from the wind for example today it’s 77km force wind and we are so sheltered right here we don’t even notice it and the birds don’t notice it either the little rifleman are having a blast on the trees and are not bothered whatsoever by the huge wind outside the forest.
And the rifleman birds are really prone to being bothered by the wind because they are the smallest birds in New Zealand at only 8cm long.
the walk then leads us from really big lush luxuriant New Zealand forest to a massive pine tree forest it’s really interesting how the scenery changes so drastically but one thing that doesn’t change are the birds they are still all around us and now we are finding a beautiful fantail or piwakawaka in maori.
Fantails are probably the most common birds you’ll see in New Zealand. they’re so small and named after their fan shaped tail if you hadn’t already guessed that and they’re super inquisitive as well often when you’re walking in the forest they’ll come over and just come and check you out. So we spend some time getting some good photo opportunities and filming opportunities of this cute little fantail.
After spending some time with this fantail we’re moving on with our hike onto the Pudding Hill Stream Track which is a little rougher and a bit narrower than the other tracks but it has some awesome views along the way and of course we’re still going through awesome New Zealand forest and much of this forest around us was what once covered the Canterbury Plains.
The really cool thing about tall the hikes in the Awa Awa Reserve is that there are a tonne of them so you can do all the hikes as it pleases you you can basically link a couple of hikes together to make it longer or make it shorter and there are some sections that are going uphill but because all the hikes are reasonably short you can definitely take your time and fit every single level of fitness.
One of the lowest points of the Te Awa Awa Reserve is the Pudding Hill Stream. it’s a really cool area to arrive for a snack or even for picnic is you come here at lunchtime. It’s really remote and from there all the hikes are actually unmarked so we decided to head back toward the Te Awa Awa Reserve and toward the marked trail after taking the time to rest around here.
We actually spend a good half an hour here because there is heaps to see from all the beautiful insects to the stunning landscape all around it’s definitely worth taking the time to explore the area but not just stop here and have a snack and move on straight away.
As we’re making our way back toward our campervan we are stopped once more by yet another bird this one is a silvereye they are reasonably common around New Zealand but they are really quick birds and extremely elusive so it’s pretty rare to get such a good look at one of them.
From the Pudding Hill Stream we’re making our way back through the Awa Awa Reserve trying to remember which tracks we took to come here and again enjoying the awesome mix of exotic and native forest.
Because it is still morning we realise that we actually have a lot of time left in the day to explore more of the Methven area so we’re sort of making a plan as we’re walking we’re gonna check out a few cafes in town later today and we hear that there’s a really awesome cinema in Methven which is like a boutique style cinema so we’re gonna be checking that out as well so once we get to Methven we’re going to the Arabica Cafe which is an award winning cafe and trying out some of their food and amazing coffees. But clearly we only have eyes for the dessert.
Yum. Are you already eating? Yes.
Now that we’re stuffed we’re gonna go try and find the cinema.
So we are in the busy street of Methven and going to the small Paradiso Cinema which I have heard also has an ice cream parlor.
The Paradiso Cinema is a boutique cinema meaning that it’s really small but it has a lot of charm there are painting of famous actors or even just elvis all over the world the popcorn is super fresh the ice cream is really awesome there are old projectors everywhere the cinema itself is really small there’s only about 40 different seats but it’s a great experience for a rainy day in Methven.
So tomorrow is my birthday and so we’re going archery Robin is gonna be playing Robin Hood for his birthday so don’t miss it we’re actually going to be in the hood… So don’t miss it cos we’re actually gonna be in the hood. We’re doing archery tomorrow. Laura said it better. Don’t miss it.
Tomorrow we are going to be making like Robin Hood and doing some archery in the woods so join us then.