Day 62 on the Road
The Mangawhero Forest Track
On today’s episode of New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year where we are doing 365 Days: 365 Activities, we are doing the Mangawhero Forest Track in Ohakune!
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Today is going to be our last day in Ohakune before we leave for the winter although we will be back don’t you worry. Rain, here we come we are doing the Mangawhero Track.
We park the campervan and find the beginning of the track which is literally where we parked the campervan which is perfect. We are on Mt Ruapehu doing the Mangawhero Loop Walk. This is a loop walk it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to complete and it goes through the forest follows the Mangawhero River and then merges back where you came because that is the essence of a loop track. But most importantly the Mangawhero track is almost entirely covered by the canopy and all the native trees and bush and rocks and all of that so despite the rain we are still going to have a good time doing the track. What is Mt Ruapehu famous for, Laura? It is New Zealand’s largest volcano and it has three ski fields on it. Aw it’s like it’s hugging it, no I think it’s a baby tree and it’s hugging its mum. This right here is a prime example of a baby tree hugging a mummy tree. Where some really huge trees have fallen over, they’ve cut through the tree to put the path through it and beside they’ve put a little wooden box that says A home for wetas. Wetas are these native insects that can grow to like massive sizes welcome all wetas. No wetas.
This track is very easy track there’s not too many steep climbs or anything, the track itself is really well maintained which is one of the really awesome things about the hikes in New Zealand like most of them are managed of the Department of Conservation and they usually do a really incredible job in maintaining the tracks and making them easy for most people to use. Oo. It’s bleeding. Look how red is that tree. Looks like like eh wounds. Yeah when you fall over and scratch your knee. Yeah. I almost want to touch it. You’ll hurt it. Huh. That’s really cool. So there is a lot of trees lot of shrubs there is a lot of ferns also all those beautiful circle ferns most of them are actually silver fern which are the symbol of New Zealand. Almost every trees along the track is signposted with their name and a few of their characteristics which is quite cool.
That is a pest trap. What are they trapping? They are trapping possums cos the possums destroy the native trees in New Zealand. So they attract the possum with an egg and then.
We’re going through the forest which is sort of reminding us of the Enchanted Track on Taranaki but the difference is this forest has much more variety of vegetation here, it’s just crazy there’s like huge trunks that are the size of cars I don’t know if that’s an exaggeration but the trunks are literally a huge width and they sort grow in sort of an upward spiral towards the sky and just tower above you and you feel so small beneath them. And they’re all covered in green moss as well and then next to them are all these tiny little trees like little twigs and things looking so crazy like contrast between these huge trees and these small trees and then there’s also some trees that are dead basically. The wood has been rotting so much that you can see holes right through tree trunks and that looks really bizarre. And about halfway through the hike we arrive at a road crossing. We are currently doing the Mangawhero Forest Walk we have 1.7km remaining for about 30 minutes total I think we’re going to do that pretty quickly. We’re about halfway through right now. Let a car pass.Took us a good four minutes to let this car pass I guess. And right now, we are still on the Mangawhero Forest Walk and we have 25 minutes left so I think I think the next 25 minutes will take us about 30 seconds. So this is the probably the shortest walk in New Zealand.
So keeping on going with the hike there is a lot of mud on the floor since it has been raining quite a lot lately but the good thing is that they always gravel a little bit the easier tracks and then let the forest take back over it. So it’s never too muddy. It’s always pretty practical which is quite good. to be honest the rest of this track is just much of the same of this like beautiful forest and we just take the time to you know enjoy it but also power walk because it’s nice to like walk really fast through the forest sometimes just like oh yeah erm we even see a girl that like runs past us because she’s exercising and the locals are pretty lucky here to have that as their like place to go out for a run. For us it’s time to head on the road again. The views are amazing I mean you get some rolling green hills there all dotted with white dots of beautiful hairy sheep there is some forests there is some lengthy road there is some ups and downs and it’s a blast to drive it’s actually an amazing road just the drive to Ohakune to Taihape is amazing to do and is definitely a must do in my book. So we arrive in Taihape for the night Taihape is world famous in New Zealand for being the Gumboot Capital of New Zealand. Keep up with our adventures because I may be driving a tank sometime soon if it’s raining enough. You think they’re going to let us drive the tank? No Robin. Don’t think they’re going to let us drive the tank. Do you think they’re going to let us fire from the tank? Oh yeah, sure. You think we can get to drive the tank though? Erm, if you ask really nicely the man will say no. Still. You think they’re going to let us drive the tank? I’m bored of your questions.