Day 89

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January 28th 2011
Published: January 29th 2011
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Our second and final day in the Catlins. We headed out in sunshine to complete our Catlins visit and arrive in Dunedin. First of all we visited Lake Wilkie, a sort of homage to how quickly rainforest can grow, was just a short walk but interesting. Next was the Matai and Horseshoe falls. I took a tripod with me to have a play with my neutral density filter so I got some long exposure shots of these two, then we went to Purakanui falls but by this stage the clouds had gathered and it was raining hard so Helen decided to stay in the car for this one so I went alone! Next was the Tunnel Hill, an old abandoned railway tunnel hand carved out of the mountain in the 1800’s to allow timber trains to run. Was quite interesting to see the handiwork, the entire thing was done with picks and shovels. From there we headed to nugget point, yet another lighthouse and, again, Helen decided against the almost 2km there and back walk. I was glad I went, though, as I saw seals on the shore for this one. We then stopped at Roaring Bay, which has a purpose built hide to allow you to watch the penguins, but there were none to be found and so we then decided to head, in the rain, for Dunedin, and find our camp site. We did so without too many mishaps but, after waiting 20 minutes to see if the rain was going to ease up, we ended up having to put the tent up in the rain, and, despite our best efforts, there was, of course, some wet patches inside the inner compartment, so hopefully we’ll get some sunshine tomorrow to dry it out a bit! Needless to say, 20 minutes later it stopped raining! We headed into Dunedin itself and just drove around for a while, before grabbing some food and heading back for an early night. Have 2 nights booked here at the moment, and there looks to be lots to see and do so might well be a few more days needed! Hoping for sunny weather tomorrow!

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29th January 2011

NZ rainforest
Lake Wilkie is a sort of homage to the complexity of our native rainforest, nit the speed at which it grows. The podacarp tress (rimu, matai. miro) which make up the mature trees of the rainforest here, take 500 years to mature and they can't start to grow until there is well-established canopy of smaller trees such as the kamahi. Step One is the dracophyllum and open country plants step Two the manukas and shrubs that can tolerate light and wind Step Three the kamahi, pittosporum and canopy species, and then Step Four, the podacarp species can begin to grow After about a thousand years we have a forest. Lake Wilkie is a superb place to explain this progression as all the stages can be seen there. I am pleased you enjoyed your visit.

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