Showing posts with label Day Tramps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Day Tramps. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve II: Fern Walk : 24th January

More adventures in  Peel Forest...


Continuing on from my last post, the other walk in the Peel Forest area we did was the Fern Walk. There was a world of difference between the two tracks: Dennistoun Walk is in an area where logging has previously taken place, whereas the Fern Walk has never been logged. The bush along the Fern Walk was much denser as well as containing many more examples of mature native trees.

My daughter Juliet on the Fern Walk, Peel Forest Reserve

Fern Walk, Peel Forest Reserve:


The primary tree type on the Fern Walk is the Totora, although you still find magnificent examples of Fuchsia, Kahakitea and Matai as well. What is also in residence is a thick ground cover of ferns, they are really prolific along the sides of the track. Makes sense given the name of the track...


Tracks in the Peel Forest Reserve

The Fern Walk can be accessed off the main Mt Peel Road, it is about 2 kilometres past Mt Peel township. It takes 1-1.5 hours to walk all of the track, the terminus is at Lookout Road which joins the far end of Blandswood Road. We walked along the first 45 minutes worth and then returned to the start. 

Kathryn and Juliet at the Fern Walk track start

As is the case with fathers everywhere I take every opportunity to embarrass the girls when we are out in public. Hence the awesome pose!

Yes, I am an embarrassment to the kids!
The bush is really dense alongside the Fern Walk, the forest was more diverse and much thicker.

The advantage of never being logged?

I read somewhere that the area was used for jungle training back in WW2 and the Malaysian Insurgency. I can see why, it is as thick as any jungle I have seen in the Islands. It is obviously popular as we saw 5-6 other people as we travelled along. 

Juliet about 100 meters along the track, Fern Walk
As is the way with teenagers, Georgia was super happy to go for a walk. Thankfully (and as expected) she enjoyed herself and was much happier by the end. 

Ah...feel the teenage love!
Awesomely happy Georgia and dense bush Fern Walk, Peel Forest
There are some large Totara and Kahakitea trees in the area the largest would be a good 6-8 meters around, 500-700 years old. There are some very large Fuchsia trees along the track, some of these would be 2-3 meters around the trunk which is BIG for this type of tree. 

Juliet and Kathryn next to large Kahakitea Tree


Dense ferns and undergrowth, Fern Walk

Juliet with one of the large tree ferns, Fern Walk

Ferns and young Matai saplings alongside track

Heading up the Fern Walk, about 30 minutes along
The Fuchsia below was big: this is one of the examples with a 2-3 meter round trunk. 

Large Fuchsia tree, Fern Walk

Nice wide track, Fern Walk
I was trying to explain to the kids how easy it is to get lost even on a good track like this (bush lessons # 365 in-situ...) but they were unconvinced.  So I walked about 15 meters into the bush, it was so thick I couldn't see the track at all and I was completely invisible to them.

Vine community on a young Kahakitea tree, Peel Forest

My girls in front of large Kahakitea tree, Fern Walk, Peel Forest


The Big 3: Kahakitea, Fuchsia and Matai on the Fern Walk



Fern Walk, Peel Forest: track side fern

One of the set of steps on the Fern Walk
For the most part the track is flat or on a slight incline. There are a couple of places where you need to climbs some stairways to cross intervening Spurs, especially towards the Blandswood Road end of the track. If you wanted a nice easy walk, just do the first 20-30 minutes as there is only one stairway along this stretch.

At the top of the first stairway, Fern Walk

Descending one of the stairways, Fern Walk

Juliet and I descending some steps on the Fern Walk, Peel Forest
The girls utilised the thick lichen growing on the trees along the track for some quick cosmetic changes to their appearance...

Fern Walk, Peel Forest: Georgia channelling a 70's outlaw biker!

Nice eyebrows Juliet, Fern Walk, Peel Forest

This is a very nice track, it is in excellent condition and beautiful with the mature trees and dense under-story. The track is well signposted on Peel Forest Road and Blandswood Road.

It would have been a wonderful sight to see this area before milling. The forest reached all the way from Peel Forest to Coopers Creek about 12 km's away to the south. The current reserve is about 900 hectares so you are talking 20-30 thousand hectares at least. 

Red outlines historic extent of Peel Forest prior to mid 19th Century timber milling


Great wee track this one, once again highly recommended go have a look if you ever find yourself in Peel Forest.

Access: Fern Walk is clearly signposted on the Peel Forest Road. Go through Peel Forest township, the track is approximately 2.5 km's past the township on the left.
Track Details: Fern Walk is a through track to Blandswood Road. The whole track takes 1.5 hours one way.
Miscellaneous: All weather track, some stairs to negotiate in several places.