Hidden only 5 kilometres from Wellington City is a large area of original native forest known as Otari-Wilton’s Bush. Weaving through 100 hectares of ancient and regenerating bush are 14 kilometres of track to explore. Classified as a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, Otari-Wilton’s Bush is home to some of Wellington’s oldest trees including an 800-year-old rimu. Managed by Wellington City Council and open 24 hour’s, 7 day’s a week, with free entry, Wellington is very fortunate to have such a magnificent place to visit and enjoy.
We spent an amazing few hour’s exploring a few of the tracks, with the girls wanting to know more about the native species and Sophie asking me to read out every sign we came to. We meandered through the forest, stopping to swing on the vines, watch sticks race under bridges and pet a few friendly dogs enjoying a walk in the bush too.
With Zealandia (formerly known as Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) in close proximity the native bird-life was prolific and enjoying the opportunity to dine on a gourmet feast of native berries. We were fortunate to spot a Kereru, but weren’t quick enough for the camera. The trill call of the Tui followed our footsteps throughout the bush and numerous other birds flitted past us too fast for us to identify them (we weren’t exactly peaceful explorers – especially with Sophie carrying her ’emergency’ whistle around her neck!).
A beautiful place to visit with fabulous facilities for those with children (plenty of toilets, picnic and BBQ areas). There are tracks to suit all abilities and ages and the native bush really is magnificent.