Do you or your kids have a great imagination?
One place in New Zealand where it takes little to stimulate it is the “Goblin Forest”.
Located within the lush rainforest surrounding Mount Taranaki you will discover a track abundant in vegetation and holding secret twisted kamahi trunks covered with mosses and ferns.
This is the Kamahi Loop Track, a short 600m walk and suitable for all ages. 15-30 minutes return, dogs are not allowed. To reach the walk, from Stratford, follow the signs for Egmont National Park and the track begins just above the Stratford Mountain House, 15km along Pembroke Road.
The Mountain House is a step back in time, a mix of old world colonialism and stately charm. Originally planned for the Plateau the first house was constructed in 1899 by Curtis and Penn. A ramshackle building it was improved in 1900 and later turned into a two room cottage. When the exposure of the Plateau proved the location was inappropriate the building was moved to its current spot.
The twisty trees, covered with moss on this enchanted walk are a wonder of nature’s making.
When Mount Taranaki erupted approx. 400 years ago it wiped out the rimu forest around it’s base. The kāmahi tree is a common New Zealand native found from just south of Auckland all the way to Stewart Island.
The often irregular trunks and the fact the kamahi often starts as an epiphyte (an organism that grows on the surface of a plant) which has attached itself to the remains of the former rimu trunks and logs, plus its thick leathery leaves and smothering of mosses and ferns, lend to its fairytale appearance and giving that sense this could be the home of goblins, hobbits and other fairytale characters.
As well as the 600m Kamahi Loop Track, you can also take a 30 minute walk from Dawson Falls Lodge nearby which also has the Wilkies Pools at the end with their very own rock water slide!
For anyone visiting the Taranaki region a visit to this track is a must and you never know, you may just find a lost elf, or gathering of fairies!