We had a group of 6 trampers for this daywalk with stunning sunshine weather; the day it was forecasted to be sunshine for another 10 days! We had 2 cars and met Grant the ranger at the main car park whereupon he let us in to the water collection area through a couple of gates and past the house he rents. We parked one of our cars by the Recreation Centre and took Grant’s car and one other, through into the forest on the other side of the river to start our adventure.
Grant decided to take us up Drummond Ridge on the right side of the valley. His first talk was about the pest control program they run in what they call the “Island” area of the Wainuiomata Catchment. They have trap lines that go horizontally across the ridge which start with the letter ‘A’ and end with (what’s the last letter of the alphabet?) ‘Z’. So we knew that we would be halfway to lunch around ‘K’. Grant shared lots of interesting information about the birds, flora and of course pest control.
One interesting thing he told us about was to do with the birds. Now don’t punish me for not remembering the type of birds! But basically there is a bred of bird(1) that migrates over to the forest in summer time and pretty much takes over the nests of another bird(2) then lays its own eggs for bird(2) to raise… how sneaky, but also quite damaging to the population of bird(2). Wish I could remember the bird species though!
Next he showed us some of the possum traps and how they work. He also talked about the trees and how our Pohutukawa tree is actually a species of the Eucalyptus trees which are in Australia mainly. Something new to me!
Then we got to our lunch point at the top of the valley with 360 degree views!!!
After that we had a bit of a steep downhill back into the valley with a nice walk along the river back to our start point.