Archives For Forest Park

By Chrissy Wickes, Biodiversity Ranger, Te Anau

Over two days my partner, our child and I biked the Rimutaka Incline outside of Wellington and camped at Cross Creek. DOC and the Wellington Regional Council jointly manage the incline as the Rimutaka Rail Trail.

Phil riding along the Rimutaka Rail Trail with the chariot.

Riding along the Rimutaka Rail Trail

A tunnel on the Rimutaka Rail Trail.

A tunnel along the way

It was fabulous and the surface of the track was excellent for our two and a half year old son Shannon in the chariot. The only rough bit was coming down from the summit where there had been a washout. This was the only section that we had to push the bike and the rest of the way could be easily ridden. The incline was an easy grade as it was originally used by a train.

Camping was great and we were treated to the wonderful call of a passing morepork.

It was an easy trip and you could do a day trip to the summit and back. The western side is the better track.

Chrissy and Shannon outside their tent.

Setting up camp.

There are lots of cool tunnels so take torches to explore and make sure you check out all the neat interpretation signs along the way as there is heaps of historic stuff to look at.

There were quite a few people out there enjoying it, providing plenty of folk to chat with along the way.

Riding along the Rimutaka Rail Trail.

There is lots to explore along the way

Karl Rollinson and Corey Watkins are performers who moved north from Christchurch at the start of the year. Looking for some inspiring work, and with a love for the natural environment, they signed up for six weeks of volunteer work with DOC. They share their experiences.

In January we made the shift from Christchurch to Levin. We made the move seeking new adventure and creative opportunity.

Karl and Corey sitting in front of a waterfall.

Karl and Corey

Our intention was to find work, but where to find work was the question. As keen performers, musicians and artists, with a love for the natural environment, we were looking for a job which involved all these things.

By word of mouth we heard about volunteering for DOC. It worked in perfectly with our circumstances and our passions.

We went to DOC in the Manawatu and were absolutely thrilled when they agreed that we could help out. We signed up for six weeks volunteer work.

Oroua river in the Ruahine Forest Park.

Oroua river in the Ruahine Forest Park

With help from DOC staff we were able to experience a wide range of activities such as weed control, pest control and track maintenance. We can honestly say there was never a dull moment, and our appreciation for conservation–and our curiosity and insight–only grew stronger as the weeks progressed.

We have an interest in performing in the outdoors and showed DOC staff a video of our House on Fire performance. Impressed by the video, we were asked if our film skills could be used by DOC. We were generously offered transport, food and accommodation at the lovely Iron Gate Hut, which is about one and a half hours drive north east from Palmerston North. Excited by the prospect of adventure, and making a short video, we coordinated a plan for filming and set out.

The Iron Gates Hut sign in the car park.

The sign pointing us to our destination.

When we arrived at the car park at the start of the walkway to our destination, we were dumbstruck by the view. The journey had just begun and we were already in a constant state of awe.

We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at Iron Gate Hut, and immediately began to make ourselves at home at the tidy, well kept hut. We felt a true state of tranquillity being amongst such beautiful scenery. We paid attention to the sounds of birds in the area and felt extremely comfortable and ready to relax for the night.

Iron Gate Hut.

The topic of our video, Iron Gate Hut

Being able to film and mix this video has honestly been one of the best things that has happened. The whole process was a really great experience. As for Iron Gate Hut? It’s awesome, see for yourself: