Friday, August 21, 2015

Pelorus Scenic Reserve

50 kilometers isn't much of a drive, but on many days here that's been the extent of our travel. The NZ landscape alters so quickly it's honestly difficult not to stop every 25K. Friday we left Blenheim under blue skies and temps nearing 60F and headed west toward Havelock and the Department of Conservation campground at the Pelorus Scenic Reserve (minimal internet so no map).

Sheep among the grapes

What I've been calling "folded hills" (I'm sure there's a proper geological name for them) soften the landscape.

We stopped briefly in Havelock looking for some fresh green-lipped mussels or other seafood, to no avail. However, this funny mussel pot with terrified running mussel made it worth the pause.

And soon we arrive. One of the last stands of river flat native forest lies in the Pelorus Scenic Reserve. The remnant of an ancient forest, it exemplifies the type of fertile lowland forest that covered the valleys of this region before European settlement. Enormous rimu, totara, and kahikatea trees grow thick against the sky. We found a campsite and walked.

Trees also growing out of the ground. The birdsong here is extravagant!

The Pelorus River, where the famous barrel scene was shot for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.

 Fern tree filters light.

 A short driving day leaves plenty of time for reflection.

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