Day 251 on the Road
Hiking in the Remutaka Forest Park
Today we are exploring the hikes of the Remutaka Forest Park in Wellington (formerly known as the Rimutaka Forest Park). If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then simply check out our epic YouTube Channel & Subscribe!
Today we’ve decided to head for one of the wildest sides of Wellington. It’s the Rimutaka Forest Park.
It’s our first day back on the North Island and back in the capital city of New Zealand which is Wellington. But because we are still craving the wilderness that we experienced on the South Island we are finding ourselves a hike today near Wellington city.
The Rimutaka Forest Park is basically Wellington’s back garden. it’s only 45 minutes away from Wellington city centre and is home to a wealth of different hiking tracks as well as heaps of wildlife.
The walks we’re gonna be tackling today are within the Catchpool Valley which even from the car park that we arrived at there’s about 10 different hikes to choose from.
The walks range from between 30 minutes to 10 hours but we decide to go for somewhere in between as we take the Five Mile Loop Track. As soon as we start walking we are thrown into this awesome native forest wilderness environment full of ferns on the floor there are mosses on the trees and by all the leaves we can see on the ground we see that we are in this huge beech forest.
Alright guys, while Laura is getting set up for a picture, let me show you something on interest this plant right here is called the bushman’s friend its pretty soft on this side here and it’s used by bushmen for toilet paper so if you get lost in the bush look for this one, bushman’s friend, and you can go to the bathroom.
The Rimutaka Forest Park is the recreational heaven. If you guys are stuck in Wellington because that’s where you find your job during your working holiday it’s definitely going to be your weekend spot. There’s heaps of picnic benches, there is even some free campsites it’s really awesome and it’s quite incredible to be able to easily access wilderness from a capital city.
And on top of that the area is huge it covers 22,000 hectares over the Rimutaka Ranges which means that with so much space you basically never going to be hiking twice the same spot which is quite awesome. I also really love the variety of scenery and vegetation that we get to see. We are basically in really thick forest but with a lot of tropical plants which is really cool. We are passing along a little bit of a stream and on top of that there is heaps of signs to tell us more about the life of this native beech forest. It’s absolutely fascinating.
Another thing we really love about this track is the variation of terrain. Super of the track is super well maintained and wide enough for two people to walk side by side comfortably and then some of the track gets really narrow and really rugged – a lot of trees to climb over and a lot of scrambling to do but we love that sort of thing and it makes it feel a lot more adventurous.
For a good portion of the Five Mile Loop Track we’re making our way alongside a stream and alongside some steep gorge sides and gradually making our way higher and higher until we reach a crossroads in our walk. There’s so many different decisions to take but we decide to make our way back via the Middle Ridge track which we’re hoping to get some views on top of this mountain range.
But before we get to the top of that mountain there’s still quite a bit of way to go. Luckily the gradient of the track is super easy it’s seriously one of the easiest tracks I’ve hiked in New Zealand and one of the really fun things is that we can barely hear our own thoughts. Yes, the nature is so loud there are cicadas everywhere around the forest. If you remember Laura was scared of cicadas a few days ago when we went to Motuara Island and now she’s surrounded by them.
I personally think they are awesome animals you can spot them if you take the time to look around a little bit in the trees and there noise just gives you this summer feel during the whole hike so it’s pretty awesome.
As we are reaching the top of the mountain we realise that there’s not really a viewpoint because the forest is that tall. However, if we peak through the trees a little bit we get to see a a bit of the surrounding Rimutaka ranges which is pretty awesome. And this leads us to the last part of our track which is making it on the way back down toward the car park.
All in all the Rimutaka Forest Park is an awesome city escape but join us tomorrow as we are going to discover more things to do in the Wellington city centre.
It’s a bit of a wild and rugged one a little bit slippery but we make it down safely. Don’t worry.