March 31, 2009

Purakaunui Falls and Native New Zealand Bush

Purakaunui FallsThese photos should give you some idea of what the entire Catlins area looked like before the arrival of European settlers who felled and burned most of it to raise sheep.

The lush green forest of trees and ferns around Purakaunui Falls is a good example of the dense forest of the area. The forest was once inhabited by the "moa", a large flightless bird, one species of which stood 12' tall and weighed over 5oo lb. (3.7m/230kg) and the largest eagle ever known to exist, the Haast eagle. However, both were hunted to extinction by the Maori by about 15oo AD.

Photos of Purakaunui Falls and surrounding New Zealand forest

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