Our precious environment: Lake Daniells

Last updated 11:30 04/12/2012
Lake Daniells
Ian Gill

Ian Gill loves listening to the dawn birdsong around Lake Daniells.

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Lake Daniells in the Maruia Forest near Reefton is probably the most family friendly tramping destination in New Zealand.

I first went up there about ten years ago with my daughter who as aged four at the time and my wife who was pregnant with our second.

It's an 8.5km walk to the lake but the route is so gentle that it opens possibilities for a wide range of people and abilities - it's just a matter of setting a nice realistic pace and enjoying the scenery.

Since that first trip I've been lucky enough to have been frequently back to the area though my work with the Department of Conservation.

My favourite thing in the whole world is sitting on the jetty at 4:45am listening to the dawn chorus in sound surround, it's simply amazing. The area hosts the most incredible array of wildlife, including käkäriki, kaka, morepork, robins and tomtit, and the lake offers great trout fishing and swimming.

My most recent work task at the lake was to set up a cluster of ten bat detectors inside the forest for the JohnPaul II High School's "Big Bat Research Project". In February a team of senior students and teachers will use GPS to find the detectors (similar to geocaching) and they will begin gathering long-term data about bat occupancy in the area.

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This video was taken on November 20, 2012.

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