Kathryn and I took the kids and one of Georgia's friends up to Hanmer for the Queens Birthday weekend. It was a bit cold so I was the only brave soul who elected to go for a walk over the weekend. As Mt Isobel was covered with snow and the weather was a bit iffy, I went for a 2 hour walk in Hanmer Forest Park instead.
All of the tracks in the local forest start from the car-park by the old Ranger Headquarters. There are tracks on both sides of the road which take from 30 minutes to 4 hours. The forest Park is awesome, I throughly recommend a walk here if you ever find yourself in Hanmer springs.
|Car-park outside the ranger station|
The start of the track is the most developed, all of the short and longer tracks start here. It is primarily a walking track but I have encountered MTB riders on these tracks before.
|Start of the Forest Amble Track|
The forest park is a curious cross section of different timber species. They have been planted in this area as trial plots by NZFS, and latter forest owners. The selection runs the gamut from Aspen to Pine, Redwood, Spruce, Fir, Beech and Cypress.
|Nice wide clear track|
There is plenty of clear well thought out signage in the forest. It has got much better since Ngai Tahu took over ownership of the forest as they seem to have put a bit of money and time into maintenance.
|Start of Forest Walk track|
|One of the interpretive signs on the track|
As you travel along you strike a lot of these small bridges over the drainage network in the Forest. I've never seen any water in the ditches but it must happen occasionally.
|One of the bridges over a drainage ditch|
There are a mixture of walking and MTB tracks in the Forest, sometimes it is hard to tell them apart.
|Forest ride, part of the MTB track network|
|Start of the Forest Journey|
|Me half way round the track|
|Moving along the track|
|Another bridge for walkers/MTB'ers|
|Looking East at a track junction|
Yes, it was very quiet in the forest, I only passed 3 walkers and 2 MTB'ers the whole time I was there. As I said, it was really cold in Hanmer over that weekend.
|Toadstool near the side of the track|
I stopped at this nice seat after an hour of walking for a drink and just to take in the surroundings. It was so tranquil listening to the sound of the wind in the trees, and the scent of pine resin.
|Nice seat for a scroggin stop|
|This beast is only 15 years old!|
|On the track back to the car park|