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Big Tree Walk – Te Wanahu – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Geraldine  »  Big Tree Walk – Te Wanahu – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

The Big Tree Walk is aptly named as large mataī, kahikatea and lowland tōtara can be seen along this track. This walk and these trees are in the section of Peel Forest Park called Mills Bush. Some of the trees are estimated to be nearly 1000 years old. 

The largest tree on this walk is a lowland tōtara and it is almost 3 metres across! With trees of this size, it is no wonder that you will see their roots breaking out of the ground.

This is a short walk but it is enough to show you what Mills Bush has to offer. Fern Walk is a longer walk that also allows you to experience these massive trees. 

The fantails in this area are also reported to be extremely friendly, so they might come close. The sheer size of the trees combined with the incessant birdsong truly gives this forest a primitive feeling.

Alongside the track, you may still be able to see remnants of a bush tramway route. The tramway stands out better from the top of the embankment, where wooden edges indicate the width of the tramway.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Geraldine, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 30 minute walk
        • Distance: 1.6 km
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Bikes allowed: Unknown
        • Route: Loop
        • Elevation: Unknown (some steep parts)
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: There are toilets at the public shelter.
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Poor coverage
        • Last Updated: June, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    This track takes you through Mills Bush and the massive trees within.

  • Track Quality

    This track is well-maintained by DOC, though it is important to be mindful of the tree roots.

  • Hazards


  • Transport


  • Water

    Drinking water is available at the public shelter.

  • Driving Instructions

    Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve is 22 km north of Geraldine. Head north on SH72 for 8 km. Turn left after Orari Bridge on Geraldine Arundel Road. Turn left after 3 km onto Peel Forest Road. Continue for 13 km.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    There are a couple shops and restaurants nearby, before entering the reserve.

  • Area & Track History

    Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve is the largest reserve in the Geraldine area, covering 783 hectares.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    Yes, there is a camping ground at Clarke Flat.

Map of Big Tree Walk – Te Wanahu – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Here is the map for Big Tree Walk – Te Wanahu – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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