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)