Friday, 1 February 2013

Peel Forest

After a rushed day yesterday and an unscheduled stop back at John’s in Irwell for a brief stroke of three of the four cats (Tiffany was absent) and a quick visit to the Lincoln Medical Centre for a bit of advice (nothing serious), we returned for our planned visit to Peel Forest, near Geraldine, after we had been told how beautiful it is.

You don't see this in the UK
It is 61 hectares of unspoilt forest and was purchased by a visiting British MP, Arthur Mills in 1861, as he was so horrified at the forest devastation done by the loggers. The forest was given its name after Sir Robert Peel, the English politician famous for establishing the Metropolitan Police Force.

There are many walks through the forest, very short walks and long hikes up to and round Mount Peel, that apparently gives very good views from the top. 

The Acland falls

As it was so hot we decided to just do a couple of short walks and then chill out on the very nice DoC campsite (luxury for DoC sites!), so we walked to the pretty Acland waterfall, that was not much more than a fast running tap, but required a paddle (or careful stone stepping) upstream, crouching through the bushes. The circle back was through regenerating forest with amazing insect and bird noises. Click on the Youtube link below to listen. The 'clicking' insect in the second video is here in this picture below and the noise is made by him vibrating his bottom! No idea what its called. The bird noise we think is a Bellbird (but it could be a Tui!)

The excitable Fantail
Jackie got really excited on an early evening amble through the woods when a Fantail came back to compete for being No1 bird, they had been knocked off the top spot by the rock wren who were so cute and performed amazing acrobatics, hanging to the underside of the fan clearing off bugs, but this fan tail was displaying and fluttering about, to and fro within a foot of my head, he was trying really hard, told them he was back at joint top spot and off he went!
The big Totara tree

This evening I took a walk to the ‘big tree’ (Jackie went back to the van) and it certainly was big. Reckoned to be about 1000 years old, it’s a Totara tree 31m tall and 8.4m round its trunk, that was by no means on its own. Well done to Arthur Mills I say for protecting this little bit of New Zealand!

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