Ruakuri Bush Walk (Waitomo Caves, NZ)

The Ruakuri Bush Walk, whose trailhead is but a few kilometers beyond the Waitomo Caves attraction, is considered one of the ten best short hikes in New Zealand. In under an hour, you can see verdant forests, limestone outcroppings, caves, gorge, natural bridge, tunnel, and the Waitomo Stream, all in what is called a karst landscape.

Immediately, I was struck by the lushness, many shades of green wherever I looked—Kahikatea trees, parataniwha, tree ferns, liverworts, moss and more, all surviving in dense forest canopy. Continue reading