Having stayed in the House Truck in Motueka for the past few weeks we decided it was about time we made it out to the Kahurangi National Park. Located in the northwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Kahurangi is New Zealand’s second largest national park and just west of Abel Tasman.
In places it is an untrekked wilderness, elsewhere a wonderful network of tracks lets you explore wild rivers, moss-covered trees, high plateau, alpine, and coastal forests. We made our way up the dirt road about a 30-minute drive from our place. The access road into the Mount Arthur area (Graham Valley Road) is steep and narrow and prone to corrugations and slips. They recommended 4WD vehicles only since the road had potholes, intense gravel, and was basically 1-lane the entire way up.
Once we got to the car park we were relieved that the car made it up in one piece. We set out on our journey and along the way would spot traps for invasive predators like weasels, opossums, and other rodents that have been decimating the local bird and wildlife population. Warning signs were posted saying no dogs allowed due to the fact that endangered Kiwi birds live here in the forest.
The hike was only 2km to the Flora Hut. The path was mostly shaded and the entire way the river could be heard down below. No uphill intense mountain mile trekking, but a lax and level path, my kind of speed.
We stopped at one point and went off the beaten path and into the bush. This place would have to be the mossiest place I had ever been to. The greenery and thick blanket of lichen covering everything was majestical. A weka strutting around was spotted and the initial surprise of seeing them has worn off, they’re actually quite common. Most of the time they’re confused for being Kiwi.
Continuing on we finally made it to the Flora Hut.
With picnic tables to sit it was nice to rest out in the sun. Checking out the hut, inside are bunks and a fireplace for overnight stays. The huts are available on a first come first served basis. In the middle is an open space with chopped wood for the fireplaces. Inside the hut is a log book where people who stay overnight or pass by can leave notes. Many visitors mentioned spotting and hearing Kiwi cries down by the river at night.
On the way back to the carpark, we stopped alongside the river where the air was cool and fresh. There was a tiny waterfall, if you could consider it one. Sitting in silence and listening to the running water and the bird song was meditative and serene. It was a great way to cap off the last bit of our journey before heading back home.