Some fascinating plant-life is found in and around this unique area from microorganisms to prehistoric mosses and even very rare species of fern.
The Christella fern is of significant botanical interest because although it is found only in a few geothermal areas south of Rotorua, it is also found in abundance in the rainforests of South America. The reason for this is that New Zealand, Australia and South America were once one land mass known as Gondwanaland, all sharing the same plant and animal life. When this land mass separated approximately 85 million years ago, the Christella fern was one of a very few species that survived the split!
There are also mosses present in the Otamakokore Stream. Mosses such as geothermal club moss are an ancient form of plant-life dating back some 360 million years. They represent an evolutionary step up from algae, one of the simplest life-forms on earth.
Enjoy our Eco-Trail
and learn more about the fascinating life-forms which make our beautiful Waikite Valley so unique.