Day 332 on the Road
Awesome Waiheke Island Walk!
Today we are checking out one of the many walks on Waiheke Island! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then head on over to our New Zealand YouTube Channel!
Today we’re gonna take you to the bird sanctuary that its the Onetangi Reserve right here in the heart of Waiheke Island. Dramatic introduction for such an amazing day.
Today we are heading to the Onetangi Reserve which is an amazing New Zealand native bush right in the heart of Waiheke Island but before we enter the forest we are washing our shoes with a special solution in order to help stop the spread of a disease called Kauri dieback that attacks kauri trees which are New Zealand native trees.
There are multiple different entrances to the Onetangi Reserve and we’re starting from an entrance on Trig Hill Road and making our way toward Onetangi Beach sort of following the whole network of tracks that there is here.
Almost instantly as soon as we get into the forest we start seeing some amazing trees, we see a ton of kauri trees which obviously are very present in this area, kauri trees are some of the oldest type of trees to be found in New Zealand and some of the biggest and the tallest.
After about 10 minutes walk we stumble upon Kauri Grove which is an amazing raised platform about mid-way up in the canopy of this bush.
Look at those kauri trees, all around, that is so cool.
It’s a very unusual view where we get to see a complete different angle on the New Zealand native bush. We get to see the tall trees above us but the lower trees just below us.
So right here is an iconic New Zealand picture, we’ve got kauri trees right here which are the biggest, tallest in all the trees in the country, we’ve got punga which are silver ferns, fern, which are everywhere but thick dense bush which is home to thousands of birds and you also get nikau palms trees which are those kind of palm tree-like trees coming out here and they actually the only palm trees that do not have nuts, nikau means no nuts.
The kauri trees that we’re seeing right here are all pretty young trees but it’s still really impressive how tall they can grow and if you remember really way back in our trip at the start of our 365 days doing 365 activities we went into a kauri forest where we saw huge kauri trees and we’ll link that up to that video in the cards above and don’t judge us cos it was pretty bad those videos in the early day.
Moving on we get back onto the main track of the Onetangi Reserve and start making our way a little bit higher on top of a mountain ridge, the vegetation is getting a little bit thinner which means that we can get more chances to see birds in the trees.
For instance, we get a super close encounter with a really noisy and colourful tui bird.
So right now we’re seeing a massive tui which is right above us.
It’s really worth taking the time when you’re going on a New Zealand bush walk to really keep an eye out for all the birds around you they’re really easy to miss, but this tui not in particular is easy to miss because it was so so loud.
As we continue on the hike we can’t believe how many different types of trees we’re seeing every step of the way we’re seeing loads of different trees from the nikau palm, the kanuka, the ponga, the pohutukawa, we’ve learn loads about all the different trees since being in New Zealand and in particular when we went on the EcoZip Adventures tour yesterday and we’ll link to that in the cards above, and that’s a really good ziplining tour to find out more about the New Zealand natural environment.
While walking through the forest, we hear a ton of bird calls, it’s one thing that I love the most about walking in New Zealand forest is the amount of life that you can just hear by walking around, It’s quite amazing. At this point, we get to see some silvereye which is also called waxeye they are super scared birds, it’s very hard to get a glimpse of them but when you get a glimpse of them you can see why they’re called silvereye, they have this big ring which is silver around, well, their eyes.
We also see a tone of insects, a ton of plant life like those amazing mushrooms and right up the canopy we get to see a glimpse of some bigger birds like the tui and maybe the kaka bird which is known to be spending time in this very forest.
As we stumble upon some trees which look easily climbable Laura and I just can’t help ourselves and we actually make our way up in the trees to try to see if we get a bit of a different view. Sadly we don’t really it’s the same amazing canopy all around and this is not going to help us get a birds eye view of the forest.
This forest has a very different look than most forests because there is a big mix of trees, we see a lot of nikau trees and if you remember a little bit early on in this video we explained a few facts about it but this whole forest has a very tropical look cos it’s not often that in the middle of the New Zealand native bush you’ll find some palm trees.
After a good hour walking through the very dense bush we start making our way a little bit uphill there is still some awesome plants to check out some awesome bird calls to hear but we get to feel that we are arriving at a turning point of our hike and indeed we do.
At the top of the Onetangi Reserve the whole view opens up to reveal the amazing coastal and forest views of Waiheke Island and it looks absolutely beautiful in this midday sun and even out in the distance we can even make out the faint skyline of Auckland city and Rangitoto island.
After a short walk on the open ridge we then delve back into the forest where we’re heading downhill now toward the Onetangi Beach and this side of the Onetangi Reserve is a lot more adventurous and rugged, there’s a few stream crossings to cross over and the track itself isn’t as well maintained as before. Nevertheless, we are getting every closer to Onetangi beach where we clean our shoes and make way for the next part of our walk.
All done, this hike was fantastic now it’s time to find our way back to our hostel which is somewhere on the complete other side of the island.
From this end of the Onetangi Reserve luckily it is only about 10 minutes walk to Onetangi Beach where we’re gonna be catching a bus to Oneroa which is the main settlement of Waiheke Island and yes, there is actually a bus service on Waiheke Island and the buses run pretty regularly thank God.
Just to note guys, actually in New Zealand you do need to do a hand signal if you want to wave the bus down basically otherwise a lot of the time they’ll just drive right past. Anyway on the bus heading to Oneroa and then from there it’s a pretty short walking distance back to the Hekerua Lodge which is the awesome hostel where we’re staying in for our Waiheke Island stay.
Hands on top of your head, obviously so I can see you have enough space. I think you do.