21 February 2020: Forgotten World Highway
We are not in a hurry so why not return to the Bushlands Campground located near Forgotten World Highway!
The weather is not great but we will still walk on the old railway track where...
tunnels were dug in the hands of men in the 1920s. We advance in the dark with a frontal to see where to set foot, the atmosphere is humid and cold. There are a 20 tunnels on 82 miles of rail and settle for two (1km each) seems to us to be well enough to live the experience! There is a guided tour, in "golf cars" on the rails, which allows you to stop between the tunnels and visit villages or farms to 349 Nzd!!!
23 February: Destination le Mt Taranaki
A little "fresh air" awaits us in Egmont Park at Mt Taranaki. The further west you go, the lower the temperatures and...
The fleece is needed to start the 3 hour walk with a return through the ridge.
Trees and ferns are dense and the earth is still dripping following recent rains, but the course is covered with braces to stabilize the ground and keep feet dry,
just like this bridge to pass from one side of a river to the other...
The 39km-long Manganui River joins the Waitara River further north!
24 February: Rotokare
The Rotokare Reserve is located southeast of Mt Taranaki. It is a unique place where only endemic species are allowed. Access is via an airlock and two sets of automatic doors, a real fortress!
Since 2004 a group of locals decided to protect endangered species by installing a barrier, deeply planted in the ground, 8.2kms that encircles the 18 hectares of the reserve
to prevent rat intrusion, mouse, marsupials that disrupt the multiplication of birds, Pukeko, kiwis, fan tail, the tui ... and native plants from NZ.
Funding for this project comes from sponsors and donations. It is only volunteers who maintain the premises and each year the number of births increases.
It is at the lakeside that vans are allowed to stay no more than 3 nights and no more 6 Vehicles. We arrive in the middle of the afternoon and find the perfect spot facing the lake, except that...
an hour later we are surrounded by van, tents that sit in front of us. To top it all off the boats and jet ski arrive to make rounds in the water until late in the evening! We who thought that a sanctuary was tranquillity assured. It's a failure.!!
The next day it is under a morning mist that we wake up,
time to walk around the lake and we leave the reserve towards Whanganui river in 120 kms from Rotokare!