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Fern Walk – Te Wanahu – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

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

From Te Wanahu Flat, follow the signposted track for Fern Walk. Though on a map it seems that this walk is on the edge of the forest, it is impossible to tell as much from this walk. The trees and vegetation immerse you in nature immediately.

You will pass through Mills Bush for the first part of this walk. Mills Bush is 16.2 hectares of virgin podocarp forest. The tōtara, mataī and kahikatea trees in Mills Bush are thought to be approximately 1000 years old. These trees can be massive and you will most likely have to find your way around or over their roots as they spread across the path.

Peel Forest has 68 species of ferns. Fern Walk is so named because most of them can be seen along this walk. 

Fern Walk is not only significant for its vegetation, but for its wildlife as well. Keep your peeled for bellbirds/korimako, riflemen/tītitipoumanu, grey warblers/riroriro, tomtits/miromiro and silvereyes/tauhou.

Though the walk is rather long, the track is easy and is suitable for children.

Return the same way or arrange transportation from Blandswood Road.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Geraldine, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 1.5 hour walk
        • Distance: 3.3 km
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Bikes allowed: Unknown
        • Route: One way
        • Elevation: Unknown
        • 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 native trees, most of which are estimated to be 1000 years old.

  • Track Quality

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

  • Hazards

    Tree roots

  • 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 Fern Walk – Te Wanahu – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Here is the map for Fern 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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