The Fern Walk
The early part of the track passes through Mills Bush, 16.2 hectares of virgin podocarp forest containing giant lowland tōtara, mataī and kahikatea trees, many of them probably 1000 years old. Their roots are spread across the path. In 1881 these were saved from the axes and saws thanks to the efforts of a visiting English MP (Arthur Mills) who bought the land to protect the forest. Ferns abound along the walk – most of the 68 species of ferns in Peel Forest can be seen along the way. Look out and listen for bellbirds/ korimako, riflemen/tītitipoumanu, grey warblers/ riroriro, tomtits/miromiro and silvereyes/tauhou.
From Geraldine town centre, take SH79 north out of town and over the Orari River Bridge. Keep left as you come off the bridge and follow along the Inland Route 72 for 3kms before turning left onto Peel Forest Road. Stay on Peel Forest for approximately 13 kilometres before turning left onto Blandswood Road. The walking tracks starts at the end of Blandswood Road.