Heading further south, I decided to go spend a night at remote Waitutu Lodge. There are no roads in this area, so the most common way to get here is to take a jetboat from Lake Hauroko down the river to the coast.
Along the way, Johan stopped to tell us about the natural history of this unusual area.
After a very bumpy and exciting high speed trip, we arrived at the coast.
That is $35 NZ Dollars, which is about $24 USD. You can get linen and towels for $20NZD extra. Very good value. This lodge was built by local people over many years, largely by hand due to the remote location.
Rose and Pete are charming and helpful hosts.
Waitutu Lodge is the work of this group, who have preserved this primordial forest area.
The large amounts of tannin in the water of this fern and old growth Rimu trees make it dark red/brown.
Further along the jungly South Coast Track is one of the most basic cable bridges, a ‘wire bridge’ consisting of just 3 wires. It’s your responsibility to not slip off the bottom wire and fall into the river. More fun than an amusement park!
The Tasman Sea
Walking in this primeval forest made me think of the iconic images in the movie Avatar.
It also led me to write this short poem in my head while hiking there:
I so often hug a tree,
Pull it right inside of me,
Share its tall tranquility,
Yearn for such simplicity.
It drinks the earth, it breathes the sky,
It builds a tower way up high,
Up where the clouds go floating by,
Untroubled by the question: why?
While I go rushing ’round below,
Thinking there’s so much to know,
New places that I have to go,
Ideas that I have to try.
The ancient forest calls to me,
It says we all came from the sea,
Long before humanity,
And metal birds we use to fly.
We live together but alone,
In cities made of steel and stone,
Forgotten is our wild home.
There I found some clarity:
When I lay me down, you see,
The earth can make a tree of me,
In harmony we then will be,
Alone, together, family.