After a short bush bash we got to the cliff edge high above the Pohangina River. From here, a trap line runs through the strip of bush between the road and the cliff. Ian told us about the trapping efforts of the local community and how RECAP had installed this trap line about 6 months ago, while showing us the operation and set up of the first DOC200 trap along the way.
We were quite fascinated by the forest with Rewarewa as the main species, mixed with matai, rata, silver fern and lots of others. Particularly noticeable was the thick undergrowth with tree saplings of different ages, including kahikatea and totara. Every now and then there was a gap in the trees, allowing views up and down the Pohangina River Valley with stands of tall forest along the meandering river. Every now and then we would pass a magnificent specimen tree, including a giant rata with 13m circumference.
Trap after trap we inspected was empty, until we came across one with a stoat! It was the first one ever caught in this trap line. A good result even though it remained the only catch for the day.
At the end of the line, we met the road and walked back to the base in no time. Pohangina Base was used by DOC rangers to carry out their work in the area, before it was closed and became a bookable accommodation facility. Last year it was renovated and we had a cuppa and a good look around before heading back home.
(Text by Jorinna)