the most noticeable thing when you start to get only a minute or so in is all the noisy nature! by the road where we parked the car was pretty much silent, but as we walked in we could hear all sorts of birds calling and enormous bees buzzing around. as we got past the flax swamp area and into the bush, the bird calls echoed and there was a continuous swoosh of branches and grasses in the wind. there was an overwhelming feeling of being enveloped in nature.
some of the more interesting pieces in the forest were the dead and dying pine trees that were poisoned in order to restore nature trees. their giant dried up branches looked eerily impressive.
earlier that day, we went to himatangi beach to see the dunes and the surf was booming and crashing like a storm was brewing and in fact it did start to rain just as we left round bush.
we also briefly stopped at the manawatu estuary to see the vegetation and the long mudflats were speckled with air holes and other little baubles i couldn’t identify. it would be great to see the flats during the spring and summer when the birds are out in full force.