Whisky Creek, Ferns and Fuchsia

We haven’t done any walking tracks for ages but Sunday afternoon 22 April we headed out from Gore in the direction of Dolamore Park and made a spur-of-the-moment decision to try the Whisky Creek track. This track offered an interesting variety of native flora and was pretty typical of what you expect when walking a New Zealand bush track.
Gore, Southland, New Zealand

Like many NZ tracks, it headed uphill. At the lowest level we climbed through a relatively dark zone with plenty of trees and impressively thick ground cover of native crown ferns (Blechnum discolor).


This crown fern by the path was proudly displaying its lovely new fronds


Trees and crown fern ground cover


Me disappearing along the track. The orangey-brown trees near me are native tree fuchsias, one of our very few deciduous trees (Fuchsia excorticata). They add welcome colour to our predominantly green bush landscape. Photo taken by Nigel


Track view; in the centre you can see a fuchsia tree


Tree fuchsias have wonderful colour and texture. Close-up shot of the same fuchsia – look at this peeling bark!


Tree fuchsia with hound’s tongue fern (Microsorum pustulatum). Photo taken by Nigel


Large round boulder by the track with hound’s tongue fern


Track view. Photo taken by Nigel


Nigel standing under a tree fuchsia that formed an arch over the path.


We came across some ferns that had formed massive buttresses beneath their foliage. Photo taken by Nigel


Turn-off for Whisky Creek Falls; tempting but it looked steep and muddy and we weren’t wearing the right gear for those conditions so we kept going straight ahead until we reached another intersection.


‘The Road Not Taken’… the track marker pointed us to the left but that path went downwards. We wanted to stay on higher ground so kept to the high track instead.
‘…the passing there had worn them really about the same’. Couldn’t help thinking about Robert Frost’s poem when we made our decision!


The track marker that we ignored.


After more uphill walking we came closer to a creek, catching glimpses of it and hearing its murmuring as it rushed along. It was difficult to get a good shot unfortunately so this will have to suffice.


We eventually reached a large grassy clearing and decided to call it quits but we could have crossed the clearing and gone on further. That can wait for another day when we’re better prepared for a longer walk.

Text by Liz; Photos by Liz unless otherwise attributed; Exploring Colour (2018)




31 thoughts on “Whisky Creek, Ferns and Fuchsia

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  1. I’m originally from NZ although I’ve lived in Australia for many years. I’ve walked in the NZ bush many times and it’s always a wonderful experience: the smell alone is something to treasure. I never knew about these grand fuchsias so I’ve learnt another new thing from blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve only been aware of them since we’ve been down south. We lived in the Catlins for a few years and there’s lots of them there along the side of the highway. I’m dead keen to have more of a look at Australia, there’s so much on offer there too!


  2. These Tree Fuchsia are the most intriguing tree that I have ever seen. They definitely warrant further investigation on my part. I was wondering if they flower or bear fruit. The crown ferns appear very similar to the ferns that grew in the woods surrounding my childhood home. This must have been a delight filled trek for both Nigel and you. I’m glad that I am able to share this through your gorgeous photos and narration. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank-you so very much for all of these marvelous links. I thought that I remembered a flower plant called fuchsia. The flowers on the trees look very similar to my memory, but needless to add that there wasn’t any fruit on the plants. Are those possums a problem where you visited? You must gather those berries when in season and make a pie, it sounds…interesting! Once again, I’m grateful for your research to find the answers to my questions.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. NZ bush is typically on the dark side when you’re in it due to dense canopy but thins out as you climb higher and its often something of a relief to finally break out into the open above the tree-line!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha… I was quite taken aback when I saw your response as the ‘high maintenance’ thing was the last thought on my mind. These are cool trees and I’d have one in my garden anytime. The papery stuff hangs on the tree for ages so the bark shedding isn’t a big issue, just odd bits here and there. Like any deciduous tree they’d be best in a border where they can lose their leaves without causing problems with unwanted leaf litter. Their flowers also attract our wonderful native bellbirds that sing beautifully so I’d always be keen to have these trees in my garden!


    1. The crown ferns are lovely, I’ve been surprised how far they’ll spread when conditions suit them – they form a very large carpet of ground cover under the trees. I’ve seen them also like this in native bush at Glenorchy near Queenstown.


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