Wednesday, April 04, 2007

16th - 28th March 2007 - Jeff & Marilyn holiday on Old Forest for the first time made possible after viewing and buying an old caravan (1976) off Trade Me (free delivery anywhere in the South Island was a bonus!). The caravan is named Trusty as although it's old and a bit battered it is good enough for holidays, hopefully it will be reliable and faithful as it's name implies.

Trusty arriving - a very big occasion.

The awning going up and everything sorted.

Jeff collecting water from a spring for the outdoor shower.

Collecting driftwood on Gentle Annie beach for our camp fire, it made a very hot fire and the first cookup of a small lamb roast was badly burnt but a later roast of pork with onions, kumara and potatoes was much more successful. Driftwood is plentiful all along the coast and 4WDs with trailors on the beach being loaded with driftwood is a common sight.

Jeff put a chain across the entrance of the driveway & made a Private sign from wood found on the beach, he used his chainsaw to carve the letters and used bright paint.

Old Forest has many beautiful plants from the tall nikau & tree ferns to mosses, berries & different types of fungus, here are a few photos.

This is right by our caravan, it was hidden away behind a couple of scraggly branches which we removed and now looks so beauitful.
Tidying up fallen branches etc.

This weta came crawling out of the branches as we sawed and chopped.
There are many birds on Old Forest, we woke to birdsong every morning and it was with us all day and every night we heard morepork, weka and once we heard a call that may have been from a kiwi. We saw kereru (wood pidgeon), tui, bellbird, fantail (both the pied phase and black phase), tomtit, robin and weka. Weka are not at all scared of people and are very curious, we had one visit us every afternoon/evening plus one came while we were out and it had pulled Jeff's socks out from the awning and also a bag of carrots and it had pecked holes in every carrot. On our last morning our visiting weka brought a chick with it, just a small round fluffy black ball.

We had a helicopter ride on of the days, we went up the Mokihinui gorge until nearly to the Forks then went up into the hills and right over Mt Glasgow and came down over Old Forest. It was a beautiful clear day and we had views for miles, the mountains east of the Glasgow range stretched as far as the eye could see and there were high tarns. It was quite difficult to pick out Old Forest and our caravan site from the helicopter as it is such thick bush and massive tall trees.

Waiting for our ride plus a view looking down over the Seddonville settlement, the surrounding farms and the Mokihinui River winding it's way out to sea, Old Forest is in the bush area in the foreground of this photo. Seddonville Hotel is hard to pick out but it is one of the larger buildings in the middle of this photo. It is the mail/postal centre for the area and it also has a wee shop with fresh bread and newspapers every day plus all sorts of other things that you might need on holiday or camping or even the locals may need. Seddonville has a permanent population of around 72.

It was quite difficult to spot our caravan in the thick bush from the helicopter and almost impossible to see our driveway when we flew over it (our driveway is about 100-120 metres long).

We walked part of the Charming Creek walkway one day, a couple of photos of Marilyn on the walk. It was our wedding anniversary, we later went to the Charming Creek Hotel at Ngakawau for lunch and then went for a walk on the beach at Hector. That evening we had a meal at Drifters restaurant/bar at Granity then called into the Seddonville pub on our way home for a drink and some conversation.

Locking up the caravan, ready to go home after our holiday.

A last look back up our driveway, it was a great holiday.