New Zealand Walk: If you go down to the woods Kohitere Forest capers
On a fine winter’s day in mid June, 30 Wednesday trampers headed to Kohitere Forest near Levin, intending to explore the mountain-bike / walking tracks through the forest.
With an 8.45am start, three groups formed, and the fastest group set off towards the hill at such a pace that they missed the turn-off and had to be whistled back. Finding the right trail, we climbed the hill on an easy zigzag path through mature pine forest. Coming out onto the forestry road, we turned left towards Arapaepae lookout.
Trip leader had advised group one to continue on this road beyond the lookout, as far as Makahika, before returning to the lookout for lunch. But either her instructions and maps were not clear enough, or the group had not listened, we were surprised to see them returning towards us before we had even reached the lookout!
The second group continued along the road, and down the hill almost to Makahika, while group one explored a side road which went nowhere. Both groups returned to the lookout for lunch, and enjoyed the extensive views.
The third group had ventured only as
far as the lookout, then returned south to the Trig for their lunch stop.
Most of us took another off-road trail towards the Trig, but some members of the party chose the road and raced ahead. From this point we descended firstly on a forestry road. Trip leader had cautioned her troops to follow their guides, as the track to return to the car park was one of several side-tracks from this road, and could easily be missed.
Four eager trampers raced ahead and were well past the turn off point when we tried to call them back. Three returned, but Evan was out of range and could not be recalled. While four of our group stayed behind to try and contact him, the majority followed the correct trail, and voted it the nicest trail of the day, passing by some impressive tree ferns.
Apart from a few slippery wooden bridges, these tracks were in good order and not too muddy. A nice alternative to walking on the forestry roads. All trampers had returned to the vehicles by 2.30pm, even the wayward Evan had found his way back by then.
Above: The view from the lookout with the township of Levin in the middle of the photo.
Below: A fine specimen on the zig zag track.
Above and middl e : The group enjoying l unch at the lookout.
Below: The briefing at Denton Road.