Lake Colenso

A pristine natural lake in a podocarp basin in the middle of the Ruahine Ranges

Iron Bark Hut • By Gaiters. Licence: C.

Lake Colenso is a special place. The only lake in the Ruahine Ranges it lies in a natural basin in the upper reaches of the Mangatera River.  The basin itself is surrounded by white-stone cliffs, isolating it from the surroundings, and providing a spectacular backdrop.  The surrounding area is predominantly beech forest, but the vegetation within the basin is varied podocarp bush - a complete contrast to the surrounding monoculture.  

Travelling to the basin through the surrounding forest you are occasionally rewarded with the twitter of native birds, or the whistle of a blue duck in the rivers.  But arriving at the head of the surrounding bluffs a continual symphony of varied birdsong greets you - the change from AM radio through a crystal earpiece to dolby 5.1 surround-sound!
Trees, ferns and flax come right to the lakeshore, so this isn't a beach location. But stand there and look at that pristene lake : populated with waterfowl; verdant native plantlife along it's shores; white cliffs towering beyond; and the tussock tops of the main Ruahine Ranges crowning the lot - stand there and tell me this is not a special place.
The nearby Colenso Hut provides accomidation, on the river banks, rather than the lakeshore - but only a 3-5 minute walk away.  The river provides fishing opportunities, and deer are also present.
ID 4136

About this place

Added 23 June 2009 by madpommadpom. 2 revisions, most recently 14 April 2012 by pmckepmcke.
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