llona lead a group of us up to Cone Hut in the Tararuas in search of some cool flora and fauna. I was a new member to the club so was excited to see what the Tararuas had in store. We made out way down the Waiohine river gorge (via a small detour) and started with a super swing bridge – awesome to see the forest canopy from above. Illona kept us entertained with all the flora knowledge – from the very strokeable rimu to the supplejack and of course the mingimingi. Many different bird calls were heard and we learnt to distinguish between them. Upon reaching the hut we set up a few flies (busy times at the Cone) and trucked on with dinner and socialising. Shauna, our resident sharp-eye, spotted a Ruru in the trees about 20m from the hut. Very cool seeing it up close. When darkness fell we donned our headlamps and went spotlighting for bugs. Their shiny eyes were like Christmas lights in the bush.
After a good nights sleep we packed up and made our way out – spotting riflemen and kakariki on the way out. It was an interesting and informative tramp – especially learning about the edible plants we have (not many) and seeing such diverse plant and bird life. Also can I say – what a cute hut Cone hut is! Nice river near as well so can fall asleep listening to the water. Now that’s zen. Cheers Illona and the flora and fauna tramp crew!