This Wilderness Scientific Reserve lies about 15 km from Te Anau, on the road to Mossburn.
It is a Remnant ecosystem of Bog Pine and Wooly Moss, and believed to be representative of the flora found in this region 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The bog pines (in disguise as shrubs!) grow very slowly, and are hundreds of years old.
The Wooly Moss has its own party trick - in this harsh habitat, it can survive in a dried-out state, and then begin photosynthesis seconds after rehydrating.
This area has special value for me personally. My family frequently travelled to the Eglington Valley and the surrounding forests, and passing this spot I always had a thrill. For here was Science! In the flesh, in progress, and signposted right there on the highway! It made Science real to me, in a way that school never did. (At least not until much later, when we got to play with radium...)
One of the reasons I love New Zealand is that we have places like this, and they are dear to us, so we protect them, yet still allow wide-eyed children unfettered - (and uncharged!) - access!
Wilderness Scientific Reserve, Te Anau Basin, Southland. (Takitimu mountains being all shy in the background.)
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