Day 236 on the Road
Conical Hill Walk & Rocket Bikes in Hanmer Springs
Today is our last day in the amazing Hanmer Springs so we go out with a blast – like a couple of backpackers on a rocket bike! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then get yourself over to our amazing YouTube Channel!
Today we’re gonna be taking the most pimpin’ mode of transport around Hanmer Springs. And we’re gonna do a walk.
We’re gonna hikes the Conical Hill which is basically supposed to give us an amazing view of the whole surrounding area so Laura and I are gonna strap some bags and go climb that hill. It looks like there is a lot of conifers so…
That’s a fancy car you’ve got there, Robin. Our brand new van. Which is not new.
Leaving our fancy new car behind we only have half the day today in Hanmer Springs because we’re making our way toward Kaikoura at the end of the day. So we are rushing to get the time to do as much as possible here and the first thing we want to do is the Conical Hill walkway as mentioned previously.
The Conical Hill Walkway is probably the most popular hike in the whole Hanmer Springs area it only takes about an hour return which makes it perfect for a short activity especially if the weather is not that great or if you have anything else planned today and it gets us all the way up to an amazing viewpoint of the whole area. It seems like a perfect thing to do this morning.
As you can see the Conical Hill walkway is a lot different to any other walks we’ve previously done in New Zealand. Usually we’re walking through native forest which is really dense there’s usually lots of ferns on the ground but here we are walking through a complete exotic forest which has been planted here at around 1910.
The forest also feels a lot different as well. As soon as we enter the forest the temperature drops suddenly and there’s such a dampness clinging to the air as well it’s hard to imagine that this whole landscape was once covered in tussock lands.
Interpretation panels along the way tell us about the different trees that have been planted here. For instance there’s lawson’s cycrus, Japanese cyprus, Giant fur, Atlantic cedar and laburum.
Finding such a massive exotic forest in New Zealand is not that uncommon. They are exotic tree meaning that they are not native to New Zealand. They are really popular around here because they have been brought here by all the English settlers that needed timber to build housings and bridges and all other stuff.
But as soon as we reach the higher part of the walk we get to find some native bush which are much more prone to get a ton of native wildlife and that’s exactly what we we find. We find heaps of fantails we find some silvereye, we find some yellowhead and ton more birds. It’s really awesome.
And that leads us to the end of the track or at least the top which is our turning point for today. We are 550m above sea level and have panoramic views.
From the top right here we can really see that Hanmer Springs is quite a small quaint village. It’s really not that big.
There’s quite a lot up there, There’s a shelter, there’s picnic bench there’s a picnic area there’s even interpretation panels so you know what you’re looking at which I really like but because we have a busy day today we don’t spend too much time and we are already on our way back down.
The great thing about this walk is that it is so easy to find. It’s super accessible from the town itself if you just follow Conical Hill Road to the Conical Hill Walkway and there’s so many signs that you can’t really miss it.
The Conical Hill Walk was an awesome thing to do this morning but we still have time to do one more activity before we leave Hanmer Springs. We spotted these really funny looking bikes at the Hanmer Adventure HQ when we were starting our quad biking adventure just the other day and we decided we have to try these things out.
These things are called rocket bikes which I think is quite ironic cos they certainly don’t go fast but it’s pretty hilarious to make our way around Hanmer Springs town in this ridiculous 4-wheel bike and the problem with these bikes though is that they don’t reverse and they don’t go uphill so you really need to pick your route well.
So basically we are making our way around Hanmer Springs in a painfully slow way. It is absolutely hilarious and Laura and I are having a blast on this rocket stuff but come on, this is not a rocket.
In short Laura and I could not find a more hilarious may to finish our time in Hanmer Springs but we have a busy day so we are taking time to have lunch in an unusual place yes this is the car wash and then we’re gonna be hitting the road toward Kaikoura.
I mean, we’ll hit the road as soon as we can because you know, cows.
As soon as we hit the road, Laura and I are pumped because we are now making our way toward what we consider being the New Zealand wildlife capital. It is called Kaikoura. It’s right on the coast and there is so much marine wildlife that you don’t even know where to get started. There’s whales, albatross, seals and we are planning to see them all in all different ways.