Our journey to Arohaki Lagoon begins early in the morning, from a walking track at end of River road in the Whirinaki Forest Park, near Minginui, on the beautiful North Island of New Zealand. The map below shows our route. Note that the name was changed from Arahaki, when we first visited and on the map, to Arokaki as it is today.
There really is nothing like having breakfast in a forest. When you are walking through it, everything around you is quiet - or just birdlife calling out in alarm. But when you stop and spend an hour our so, just listening, everything returns to normal. There is a constant chatter as the locals go about their daily business and have their breakfast too. We are having Kiwi fruit for breakfast with Ru and Snowy this morning.
We know this track well, now, having visited here five times, often staying for a week or more. We have even named some of our favourite places along the way. We silently climb along the spur track; it can be steep in places and we have to take our time. September is the best time for us to visit. We breathe in the cool moisture and the earthy forrest air. We listen to native birdlife announcing our intrusion into this magical realm. We pass through "Moss world" where living carpets of delicate and glistening greenery clings to fallen trees, rocks and the walls of the track. Sparkling water droplets, baby fern fronds and tiny red berries are so beautiful to see, but far too fragile to touch.
Refreshed and now continuing on our way, we cautiously enter and creep our way through "Tree Fern world", where a parliament of a dozen or more ancient tree ferns seem to be contemplating important matters of state. We politely say "excuse me", and move on, so as not to interrupt their deliberations.
We usually stop for morning coffee somewhere and another short rest. Here we are at neayby Waiatiu falls with Ru.
After the long climb we are relieved to start descending into a secluded clearing in the forest. It becomes intensely quiet here and we are surrounded by a refreshingly light rain and cool mist. The track passes through a sentry of gigantic podocarp (kahikatea) trees. We notice that their mighty buttress roots are inundated in crystal clear water, sparkling here and there, in the sunbeams that venture through the forest canopy. This is a magical place. The water is only inches deep and the bottom is covered in moss, tangled roots and vibrant green grasses.
What a mysterious place to be! So quiet that on our first visit here, I wondered if our video tape camera, which was making a strange noise, was broken. It was then I realised I had never noticed its motor working before! One time when we were here, it was completely dry and we could walk across the empty lagoon quite easily. Another time it was wet, but so noisy with frogs we could barely hear ourselves.
Julie at Arohaki Lagoon car park
Moss World - Glistening, georgeous, green
Moss World - A growing green carpet over fallen trees and branches
Moss World - Baby ferns and mosses just spring into life everywhere
Moss World - Earthy, succulent, misty, moisture
Moss World - Tiny red berries in an ocean of green
Moss World - Starbursts of green over rocks
Breakfast with Ru and Snowy in the Whirinaki Forest Park
Morning coffee at Waiatiu Falls
Approaching Tree Fern Word - Sentries guard the path
A parliament of ancient Tree Ferns deliberate matters of state
Even the path is alive
We walk like precession of honour along the ranks
The path starts to decend from the plateau to the lagoon
The forest clears
Giant podocarp trees hold firm - Their butress roots inundated by crystal-clear water
The colours of forest floor here are amazing
Joe and Julie at Arohaki Lagoon
Afternoon tea at Arohaki lagoon landing