A Vast Array of Activitives
The Pine Valley Outdoor Centre site has an array of fun activities should you wish to partake in these during your stay, such as an adventure playground, confidence course and waterslide, or you may wish to do any of the following activities which are all in very close range:
- Mountain stream visit
- Mountain biking
- Flora and fauna studies
- Hunting & fishing
- Night hikes
- Glow worms
- Waterfall visit
- Nature bush walks
Pine Valley Outdoor Centre sits adjacent to Mt Richmond Forest Park
The area provides plenty of opportunities for bushwalking, tramping, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, climbing, rock hounding, horse riding, trail biking and mountain biking as well as studying botany and wildlife. Night hikes are illuminated by glow worms but not so much as to detract from the brilliant star gazing, and of course night hikes provide the best opportunity to see the wide variety of nocturnal native freshwater fish.
Mt Richmond Forest Park stretches 100km along the rugged backbone of the Mt Richmond Range and includes all 5 species of beech in New Zealand, as well as the common podocarps; Rimu, Totara, Matai, Miro and Kahikatea. Most of the smaller native forest birds find homes in the area including Bush Robins, Grey Warbler, Fantail, Bellbird, Tomtit, Rifleman and Silvereye. Tui, Weka and Kereru are also common. The streams in the area support a large number of freshwater fish including native species as well as the elusive Trout.
Points of interest
Geologically the area is very interesting, with the largest active fault in New Zealand, the Alpine Fault, running down the Wairau Valley. The rocks here match exactly those in western Otago, 450km to the south. The West Coast moves along the fault, north-east, at a rate of 2-3 metres per century.
Maori routes and trails crossed the Richmond Ranges. Stone pakohe (argillite), a very hard metamorphosed mudstone, is found in the area and was used by Maori to make tools and weapons. The stone was tool material of the highest quality and a major trading resource.
At different times from the 1860s to the 1930s, gold was panned and mined in this area. European settlers cleared vast areas for farming. To stabilise the eroded soils, pine plantations began in the mid-1960s. Remnants of the mining days (gold and chrome) and flax and timber milling can be found through out the valley and in the Mill Flat area just across the swing bridge a short drive from the Outdoor Centre.