A Walk in the Bush

View of bush

Bush as it was before settlers came

It had been a beautiful morning and I had been at the computer for hours.  So I decided to take Madam for a walk in the bush.  What is ‘the bush’? In New Zealand, it is the native forest, which once covered most of the land. Dense and dark, it was alive with birds, insects and lizards, but sometimes impenetrable to humans.

Much of it was cleared by the settlers but here in Wellington we are fortunate to have the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve.  This is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants.

BushwalkThe reserve consists of 100 hectares of native forest, and five hectares of plant collections. Some of Wellington’s oldest trees are here, including an 800-year-old rimu.  The reserve is owned and managed by the Wellington City Council

Bushwalk 4

The area now known as Otari Wilton’s bush was originally covered in forest.  The name “Otari” is Māori for “Place of Snares”.  The bush/forest was cleared by the settlers for farming and timber.  Then in 1860 a far-sighted local farmer, Job Wilton, fenced off a 7 hectare block of land from cattle.  This was the beginning of the reserve.


Paths have been created to allow one to walk freely in among the trees.


This is a native NZ flax with strange bright flowers growing on it.  I couldn’t find the name tag for the plant alas.

By the time we arrived it had started to rain but the dense bush gave good shelter to us.  At first I was surprised that there was little birdsong but once the rain stopped the birds came out and we saw many of them flying around.  Native birds here include tui, kereru, fantail, silver eye, kingfisher, grey warbler and morepork.

We spent about an hour wandering the paths and taking photos with my trust i-phone – how I love that small phone.  Then it was time to go home, but Madam aka Lotte and I shall return again soon.

Home again

Another exciting day for one small dog, comes to an end and she finds somewhere to rest her tired little legs.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?


30 responses to “A Walk in the Bush

  1. A very “far-sighted local farmer” indeed. 🙂
    It looks like a lovely relaxing place to take a walk.

  2. One of my very favourite places Judith. My parents ashes are buried here beneath a memorial Rimu tree which has been grown from one of the ancient rimus in Otari. We visited the tree and Otari on Sunday. We are very lucky to have such a reserve.

    • I hadn’t been there for many years Lynley and was so pleased that I went yesterday. And with the rain drizzling down, the trees shielded us from most of it.

  3. What beautiful places you have to take walks in!

  4. What a great place for you and Lotte to walk! Don’t our pups make such a great companions?
    Thanks for the walk!

    • Lotte asks so little of me and gives so much in return. She really is my loving companion.
      One day you might like to take the walk with us but meantime….

  5. –I want to take a walk w/ you and Madam!! :)) Lovely.

  6. Thanks for sharing your walk with us.

  7. Wonderful way to take a break from the ‘puter.

  8. You live in such a beautiful place, Judith. Is it spring there now?

    • Yes Susan it’s spring but today it has rained all day and now at 6pm the temperature has suddenly plummeted. That usually heralds a southerly wind. 🙂

  9. jacquelincangro

    It looks so beautiful and peaceful. I bet Lotte loved all of the smells. I know Reggie would.
    Is the bush walking distance for you?

    • That particular bush is 5kms from the city so we take the car. But there are pockets of bush all around us and yes, Reggie would love it and Lotte would love a companion. 😀

  10. What unusual, dense foliage your first picture shows. It looks like a work of art. Madam looks quite comfy snuggled up in the chair. Thanks for sharing more of the beauty of the area in which you live. Most of the birds you mentioned, I’ve never even heard of–only the kingfisher, which I’ve seen some, and some types of warblers we have here. Don’t know of a gray one, though.

    • Apparently this was how the whole of NZ was before the settlers came. The Maoris occupied small areas but the dense forest was everywhere. And the birds – the fantails are lovely little things but the Maoris are very superstitious of them. If one comes into the house, and they often do, the Maoris say that a death will follow. The morepork is so called because that is the sound of his cry and is usually heard at night. The other birds are not so plentiful in the suburbs but are abundant in bush areas.
      Madam finds a place to settle after her walks each day. Sometimes on a couch, a chair or if the fire is on, in front of it. It’s surely a dog’s life!

  11. How lovely to have such beauty close to you. Good for you that you take advantage of the area. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  12. Awww! How cute Lotte looks curled up in that chair!
    Such gorgeous photos of the forest…I find myself more and more wanting to visit New Zealand someday as I see more of it through your wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing the beauty of your home with the rest of us!

  13. It looks like such a wonderful place for a walk. 🙂

  14. The “bush” looks like such a lovely spot…another motivator for me to get to see New Zealand…I LOVE lush green forests with ferns and moss! Lucky you to have such a special spot so close by for walks!

    • I agree that I am so lucky to have the bush and the ocean all within about 10 minutes driving from where I live. Do come to New Zealand. There are many more lovely places to share with you. 🙂

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