9 Rankers Reviews
One of the best examples of swamp forest that you will come across and well worth stopping for on your journey along the West Coast.
Visions of swamp monsters rising from the murky depths, memories of Flash Gordon or more recent beasts from Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson’s 'Room on the Broom'. This is a swamp to awaken the imagination.
After heavy rains the access to the track can be under water. This is a swamp after all.
Ship Creek is well signposted 20 km north of Haast on SH6. There’s a large parking area with toilets.
A lofty lookout tower which can be climbed with ladders gives good views of the coast and the nearby Dune Lake Walk (30 min return, 1 km). Under the road bridge the track forms a loop and after rain can become part of the swamp. Extensive boardwalks allow you to walk on water and get close-up with the kahikatea. Well-designed and presented interpretation panels show the forest and swamp ecology systems and some history of the ‘butter-box’ tree.
The kahikatea is a lowland tree, which is often the dominant tree to colonise wet and boggy ground, but also tolerates drier sites. It is the tallest native tree, sometimes topping 60 metres in height, and grows at less than 600 metres altitude. Differing growth stages exhibit differing forms. The rather mangy seedling grows to a distinctive conical form in its youth. When mature, the crown opens out. The wood is straight grained, easily workable and durable. Europeans used the odourless wood to make butter boxes, as it did not impart any undesirable flavours.
The tops here are often bald, presumably defoliated by the salt laden winds.
This is the domain of Te Namu. Keep moving on still days.
South Island ▷ West Coast ▷ Haast
Decided to stop off for lunch here whilst driving between the glacier and Wanaka. Beautiful place, not great surf though, and I did not expect sandflies, but they were out on force! Worth a stop if you can beat the sandflies.
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Beautiful spot. The trees in the forest and the views of the bay were amazing.
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Very nice short walk.
Well done track through the swamp.
Ace spot. Would be 10/10 except for the sandflies.
Saw a pod of Hector dolphins playing in the breakers.
Great views of the sea over the sand dunes.
Very nice walk along the beach and dunes, lookout tower, second walk into a swamp possible.
Good place but too many sandflies.
Between Haast and Fox. Nice view and two short walks - bush and beach walk.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍