Birdwatching – some of NZ’s rear breeds have $ rewards – but you must have photographic evidence!
Jackson’s Retreat is lucky to share the home of an extensive range of native birds. Many of our native birds are critical for dispersing seeds and pollination of native trees.
Kereru, which was protected from hunting in 1922, also known as Wood Pigeon spread the seeds of trees with large fruit such as Miro, Puriri, Tawa and Tairare, funny to watch when they eat the fermented berries and literally fall out of the trees DRUNK!
Tui being one of our earliest protected birds in 1873 & Bellbirds both are known for not only their stunning musical calls early in the morning and at dusk, they also pollinate several native species that you will find around our Park like Flax (Harakeke), Kowhai and Fuchsia (Totukutuk) trees
Other species you will see around our Park or in the Rainforest:
- Daily – Kereu, Weka, Falcon, Tui, Bellbird, TomTit, Silver Eye, Fantail, Song Thrush
- Often – Shag, Paradise Duck, Kingfisher, Grey Warbler, Chaffinch
- Occasional – Shining Cuckoo, Rock Wren, Rifleman, NZ Robin, Kaka
- Rear – Yellow Crowned Parakeet, Kea
- Night time Only – Morepork, Great Spotted Kiwi – listen for their shrill call
Don’t forget our well-loved chickens – Sylvester – he’s the boss of the girls (sorry if his morning call is a bit early!), Queenie, Twinkle Toes, Serena, Morticia, Princess, Eenie, Meanie, Minie & Mo, & lastly Sweet Pea…….we have their fresh free range eggs available @ The Camp Pantry.
Kiwi Spotting – why are New Zealanders called Kiwi’s? Well, here’s one story…..
New Zealand’s servicemen were by and large country & farm boys. They would have been very familiar with the kiwi bird as they were still very numerous in rural areas around the turn of the 20th century. Perhaps it appealed to their sense of humour to take on the identity of a bird where the male had a glorious far reaching call and the female just growled, where the female laid a huge egg which the male incubated. It sounded all too much like married life to the New Zealand male. Being such aggressive scrappy birds with their strong legs and sharp claws they would take on anything and anyone. The soldiers made the bird their own.
Sporting women & men today have the silver fern on their uniforms, but they all represent their country as proud Kiwi’s
NZ’s national icon is here in the bush and have been seen wandering into the Park grounds or been spotted on the way to the Glow Worm dells.
Male great spotted kiwi has a high trilling whistle call repeated between 6 and 20 times and the females call is lower and harsher. Google their call so you know what to listen for.
Remember they are nocturnal and very very shy. Waiting for complete darkness and when most campers are tucked up in bed, now is the time to see if any Kiwi have ventured out – remember your RED light and you must be very quiet, use a white light and you will miss out!
A fabulous site to check out all about The Kiwi https://www.kiwisforkiwi.org
Flora & Fauna – our Rainforest has many majestic Rimu 500+ years old
You will find many native trees on and around our Park, Rimu – Kamahi – Rata and Fuchia to name but a few.
Many of our native trees are protected like Rimu which has a truly beautiful grain for furniture making, these can grow up to 50 metres high and the majestic ones you see around and behind our park can have a life span of 800-900 years.
Kamahi “The Honey Tree” is produced on the West Coast. Kamahi is in fact a honey with very complex flavours and after tones that send honey gourmets into paroxysms of delight.
Southern Rata is also another major honey tree for the West Coast but more importantly it is also known as NZ’s own Christmas Tree as the beautiful flowers are abundant during December & February turning the Alpine forests crimson.
NZ native Fuchia is a fast growing soft wooded tree that you will see abundantly around our park, Bellbirds, & Tui love the nectar and when the flowers are spent the Kereru gobble up the berries – watch out walking around or under the trees Kereu will fly in at low altitude. The berries also can be eaten and used for cooking of chutneys & sauces.
NZ Ponga – Silver Fern and Wheki are our main tree ferns on and around our park. Koru is a spiral shape based on the appearance of a new unfurling silver fern frond. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, Pounamu carving and tattooing, where it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. We have a beautiful range of locally crafted Pounamu available for sale @ The Camp Pantry.
During your travels on our tracks you will also have the opportunity to see various species of Fungi, these could be bright colours or weird shapes like Stink Horns, Puffballs & Earthstars, Wood-ear and the Tooth fungi. Let the children’s imagination go wild with Forest Fairies and their fanciful fungi playground.
Not only will you be serenaded by bellbirds and Tui but you will be followed by TomTits and chatty Fantails which will be flitting around snapping up the little insects that you disturb on the way.
NGARIMU WALKING TRACK – ngarimu means “The Rimu” Strong & Proud
For your safety while walking the tracks or trails on and around Jackson’s Retreat please always be aware of your surroundings, the terrain suites most abilities with a moderate fitness level, ensure you understand your own walking abilities and do not take any risks.
Parts of our tracks and trails will require you to have “route-finding skills”, we have various markers on our tracks, but they may not always be visible or continuous. We advise you not to tramp alone but if that is your plan please let someone know your intentions before you start.
Remember to prepare for your trip so that it is safe and enjoyable. Your safety is your responsibility, make well informed decisions to suit not only yourself but your whole group especially small children, ensure they are always supervised especially when around the various creeks that boarder our property and in the Rainforest.
Our forest has no snakes, spiders, leeches or nasty animals, you are completely safe to roam and enjoy. Our tracks are not suitable for cycle or pushchairs.
Waterfall 40min return trip The start of the Ngariumu walking track is the RED gate, follow the spectacular true Kiwi Bush Track to our stunning Ngariumu waterfall. Summer months wonderfully refreshing coming straight from the snow! We would love to see your photos and add them to our guest collection on Facebook, TripAdvisor or our office TV movie.
1860’s Quartz mine relics 2.5-3 hrs return trip Carrying on the main Ngariumu track you are walking through untouched historic native rainforest. The trail ends at the old 1860’s quartz mine abandoned working area with a few relics scattered, you can see the platform areas where their huts would have been and if you forage in the nearby stream you may uncover some more relics.
**It’s not always about the destination but the journey through the forest**
Land is considered a resource to be respected according to the principle of KAITIAKITANGA