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White Pine Bush Reserve Napier NZ


By dwyllis


Here I am again ….fed up of watching repeats of Judge Judy, but supposed to be resting up to allow my herniated disc to reduce & ease the pressure on my sciatic nerve. Time to do another blog, I think. So here is a blog on a wonderful native bush reserve a half hour drive up into the hills from the city of Napier where I grew up. I have very fond memories of walking through this bush reserve with my parents & a pesky older brother several times as a child. I always imagined I was walking through the jungle just waiting to be rescued by Tarzan swinging through the trees on the many thick twisted vine ropes hanging down from what seemed immensely tall trees. It was a very magical place, with bubbling brooks & gurgling streams weaving in & out of stately fern trees & graceful palms, before suddenly disappearing into the tangled undergrowth of fallen trees, vicious stinging nettles & deep natural mulch. The sun filtered in through the intertwining branches which formed a canopy over our heads, & gave a touch of warmth to the coolness. And then just as I thought my little legs would give out, the sound of rushing water would fill me with renewed vigour & my brother & I would dash madly off, ignoring our poor mother’s warning cries to take care …..& we would suddenly come to a breathless stop, rubbing at our bare legs because our mother’s fears had been realised & we had been stung by the nettles. But the sight of the magnificent waterfall snaking down from the high cliff above us, always made the pain diminish …for that solitary moment at least. Seconds later I would be slumped on the ground bewailing my fate as my brother called me a ‘sook’, my mother ran around looking for dock leaves, & my father rose above the commotion as he snapped photos of nature’s beauty. Then it was on to the tranquility of Lake Tutira & a picnic. Ah the memories …… I took my own children there whenever we were back in NZ & sounded just like my mother as I shouted out warnings & searched for dock leaves. My last visit was with my OH in 2004, & I found it just as magical, yet a little less adventurous perhaps, with the construction of wooden bridges traversing shallow ravines instead of thick tree trunks ….. & steps instead of the excitement of scrambling up & down fern-clad dirt tracks.

Entrance to the White Pine Bush Reserve ….there are several different walks one can venture upon, from a reasonably short circular walk for less active folk or families with small children, right up to a long walk up to the Tangoio Fals & beyond to Lake Tutira. One can start their walk from the lake side, in order to be able to view the lake & Falls without a long hike.


Where oh where has the huge tree trunk gone …oh where oh where can it be? It was such fun crossing that shallow ravine via that giant trunk ….not nearly so exciting now, but perhaps a bit safer.

NZ native bush bird ….cheeky, curious & friendly little Fantail. It will come into private gardens to feast on insects on our native bottlebrush. Maori legend has it that it is very bad luck for a fantail to fly into your house, & usually means someone in the whanau (family) will die.

Elusive & rare ….NZ Native Bush Owl ….the Morepork …see it peering out at you from the branches. Named for its distinctive call ….more pork more pork. Does not venture out of quiet native bush, & seldom seen by anyone but dedicated bird watchers.

The Tangoio Falls

The beautifully tranquil Lake Tutira.

More blog posts by dwyllis

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Thank you Dwyllis for sharing your wonderful memories and the pictures is heavenly beautiful. Hope your recover very soon!

7 Nov, 2012


Hello Dwyllis ..
Lovely blog.
I hope your days of rest ease the disc pain.
That fan tail bird is amazing :o)

7 Nov, 2012


Have enjoyed your childhood memories and what wonderful pictures to illustrate it too :o)))
You were very lucky to get such a good picture of the Morepork. My Brother-in-law is a keen "birder" and went out to NZ a couple of years ago - I must ask him if he was fortunate enough to see one...
Hope you're feeling better soon.

7 Nov, 2012


Thank you very much for guidance into this beautiful place. I so love woods. I feel there much better then in any metropol of the world. It is interesting what you wrote about that Maori legend. I mean, that it is very bad luck for a fantail to fly into your house, & usually means someone in the whanau (family) will die. The same it is said in Slovakia about ANY bird which flies into someone´s house. The most formidable bird is owl.
Just curious, but we have never had owls in our garden, nor they nest in our vicinity. In March one owl settled in the treetop of a large pine tree in our garden. Didn´t make nest there, just we saw her sleeping there during the day and hunting in the evenings. After a week she flew away. My mom said, that it was a bad sign. My Uncle died suddenly at home a week later. So far about legends...

7 Nov, 2012


we say that for owls too, in Greece.any way there are alot around my house and ....less rats. :)

7 Nov, 2012


Great blog Dwyllis, I loved hearing of your childhood memories, we too use dock leaves for that purpose, everywhere looks amazing and I can imagine the enjoyment clambering around, as you say a lot safer now, also the bridges and pathways help preserve the trails for the future.
The pics are really good, the fantail is a pretty bird, and well done getting the shot of the owl, he looks astounded, I guess you disturbed him, lol....
Keep resting that injury, I know you`re bored but you have used some of the time up for giving us a lovely walk in a beautiful place........Thankyou.....

7 Nov, 2012


A magical place, with lots of happy memories for you :o) Wonderful !

7 Nov, 2012


just what my dr ordered, a lovely blog and gorgeous photos. We have a pair of tawny owls that have roosted in the garden for 5yrs now, no fatalities yet!

love the waterfalls. isnt JJ caustic though. makes me laugh and isnt her court officer lovely. is it bert or bird I cant make it out?

8 Nov, 2012


Katarina & Bik .....when I lived in The Gambia West Africa, I knew there were owls, but never saw any. I was told by some local people that owls were considered to be bad juju & wizards, & were killed when spotted. So sad.

11 Nov, 2012


Thanks for sharing beautiful place .

12 Nov, 2012

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