Hiking through West Coast Rain Forest

Welcome Flat Hut track through rainforest near Fox Glacier - Westland NP, West Coast, New Zealand

With an annual rainfall of up to 12,000mm on the West Coast of the Southern Alps, it’s not a surprise that the rain forests here are lush and green. These forests belong to a group of temperate rain forests with vegetation made up of coniferous podocarps and broadleaf evergreen trees, with rather cooler temperatures, usually around 10 degrees C. These are some of the factors distinguishing temperate rain forests from tropical ones.

Some of the best examples of the temperate rain forest on the West Coast of the South Island are easily to be seen in the Westland National Park, on a beautiful track toward the Welcome Flat Hut, not very far from the Fox Glacier Village. Hiking for several hours through the juicy green bush, as we call it here, offers not only soothing on one’s soul but also a reward at the end of the day – natural thermal hot pools by the hut. But I’ll post about this feature next time.

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