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Rainbow Nature Hike

Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge, New Zealand

Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge Links:

March 12th, 2002

1.9 miles
305 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:18

Rating: 7/10

Directions:   View Driving Map

I picked up one of the A-Z guides before starting the hike from just behind the lodge. There are signposts lettered A through Z next to the trail, with matching descriptive text on the guide. I can't remember all the different letters, but I'll give you the highlights.

I started off on the trail and immediately went off on a side trip up to a lookout. There's a bench and some pretty good views of the valley from here. After taking some pictures, I returned to the main trail. I walked through a beautiful beech forest with a carpet of moss on the ground. Beech trees have little tiny green leaves which turn brown and fall to the ground, leaving a distinctive covering on the trail. It also makes the trees easy to recognize from a glance at their leaves, even from afar. The splash of color gives it away.

View from the first lookout

Rows of planted Douglas fir trees

Black Range

Beech forest

At signpost G, I stopped at the Bruce Terrace Lookout. There's a great view of Bruce Stream and Bealey Spur. Unfortunately, this is best viewed in the morning light; in afternoon it's a bit dark. One of my favorite signposts was J, where there's a mother beech tree. The tree is very large, with a wide trunk and branches which snake outward and upward, creating a very broad tree. Surrounding it are lots of very thin straight trees. Amazingly, they're all beech trees. The mother grew up without competition for sunlight, letting it grow to it's "natural" shape. The newer trees have to grow tall fast to grab as much sunlight as possible, hence the thin straight look.

Another view across the Bealey River valley

I walked through a beautiful fern gully before reaching a shortcut which would have taken me back to the lodge. I should have taken it, but kept going on the main trail instead. For my efforts I was greeted with a dried-up Te Iringa Falls and tiny Dragonfly Tarn. But I did race back in time for the guided walk coming up.

A close-up of some interesting tiny plant life

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