Swamp Forest Walk

The 30 minute Swamp Forest Walk starts by the Ship Creek visitor shelter and takes you down the south side of the lagoon. It runs through a rainforest, then makes a loop on boardwalks through the swamp with its ghostly kahikatea trees. This walk is the only easy access to a south Westland swamp, so take some extra time to have a closer look at the native flora.

Kahikatea (Europeans called them white pine) are wet feet tolerant and adapted for the lowland swamps and wetlands around the region. Unfortunately, they also made excellent butter and cheese boxes. As such, they were quite heavily milled on the West Coast in the late 1800s as dairy farms were established. There is an interesting panel and an example of a butter box as you walk around the track.

These photos were taken after a dry spell, but when wet, it is even more dramatic, so don’t let bad weather put you off.

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