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Today we did several short hikes around Ruatapu just south of Hokitika.

The Mananui Bush Walk took us through more beautiful forest and out to some cool sand dunes beside the ocean.

This species of tree fern doesn’t drop its old fronds, leaving a ‘skirt’ around its trunk!
Over the sand dune to the beach
Lots of tangled driftwood
The artsy version. Some things lend themselves to black and white
The clouds and the sun position made for some simply amazing sky shots.

The Jum Michel Track ended at pretty Lake Mahinapua, home to a flock of rare white herons

An old steam paddle wheeler from the gold rush era.

In the parking lot we found some Weka, a mom with several chicks. One of the youngsters thought Dave’s blue and orange shoelace looked tasty and tried to peck it. We only wish we were fast enough with the phones to record a video. It was quite cute.

Mom had caught a small bird and was teaching the youngsters how to eat it (slightly cannibalistic, but a bird’s gotta eat)

And we ended the day at the slightly touristy but still nice West Coast Treetop Walk where we got great views of the surrounding rainforest from their elevated boardwalk. It opened in 2012 and has 13,500!! bolts holding it all together.

We can’t imagine what it would be like with several bus tours worth of visitors – this afternoon we had the place almost to ourselves!

View of Lake Mahinapua and further out to the Tasman Sea
It’s cool to look down on the forest canopy.
This fern looks small, but it’s probably 20’ tall and 8’ wide.

Tomorrow we are off to hike in a river gorge and see some kiwis .

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