Dennistoun Bush | Peel Forest | Winter '16
The Dennistoun Bush walk, is described on the Department of Conservation (DOC) website as a 1hr round trip. It's a flat easy walk through about 40 hectares of magnificent podocarp forest (totara, matai and kahikatea) with a short sidetrack to one of the historic sawpits in the area.
With a 3 year old, a 4 year old and 18 month old on back we completed the track in a little under an hour. The track is mostly flat as suggested and we started it a little further up the road where there is a parking area and picnic tables next to the Kowhai Stream which we walked along to begin with.
It was a little squishy under foot as we were there in early winter but no mud issues to speak of and the kids found it a breeze.
Plenty of funky wee fluorescent orange toadstools lined the tracks in places as well as these glossy critters which appear to be Armillaria novae-zelandiae and Armillaria limonea. (There ya go, you learnt something new today! 'Ah-mill-ear-ee-ah' If you need to prove to the kids that you know everything)
We spotted a few nests up in the naked winter branches of a few trees and in no time the kids had pockets full of seeds, sticks and stones.
The size of the trees here were outstanding with the three largest trees in Peel Forest falling under the Podocarpaceae species. They include kahikatea (white pine), totara and matai (black pine). You'll also find some large kohai trees in the mix too!
It was a flippin' cold wind by the time we got out of the shelter of the forest so a rushed lunch up near the river was followed by the trip home with the heater blasting and a coffee at Verde in Geraldine!
#BonusTip - There is a tidy long drop toilet in the trees at the carpark on the left once you drive past the Dennistoun Bush walk entrance.
No doggies allowed on this one sadly but we will find one eventually!
Here is a bit of history of the Peel Forest are and other track among the reserve. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org