Kahikatea Swamp Forest Walk

Kahikatea Swamp Forest Walk

Ship Creek

78%

Details

9 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

500 Walking

12 Haast

Maps

Photos

Information

800 m return | 20 minutes return

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.

Timing

After heavy rains the access to the track can be under water. This is a swamp after all.

Access

Ship Creek is well signposted 20 km north of Haast on SH6. There’s a large parking area with toilets.

Track

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.

Flora

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.

Fauna

This is the domain of Te Namu. Keep moving on still days.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandWest CoastHaast

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Contact

Calllocal

Callintl

Reviews

S Weslake's avatar

S Weslake

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

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.

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2018

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Simon Nienhaus's avatar

Simon Nienhaus

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful spot. The trees in the forest and the views of the bay were amazing.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in January 2017

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Florent Peytavy's avatar

Florent Peytavy

Ranking: 9/10

Very nice short walk.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Saskia's avatar

Saskia

Switzerland

Ranking: 9/10

Well done track through the swamp.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2014

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Richard's avatar

Richard

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

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.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Rainer's avatar

Rainer

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice walk along the beach and dunes, lookout tower, second walk into a swamp possible.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2013

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Sven Woelk's avatar

Sven Woelk

Germany

Ranking: 6/10

Good place but too many sandflies.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Christian's avatar

Christian

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Between Haast and Fox. Nice view and two short walks - bush and beach walk.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

DOC Managed

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner

Love Christchurch