This is a shot of the famous New Zealand silver fern. If any of you have ever wondered why the Kiwis use that white fern on everything (like their Olympic and other national sporting uniforms), it is because of this plant. In this pic, I'm turning one of the ferns over to show its very bright silver/white underside. It really is incredible, and I was shocked to see it all over the park. Anyway, supposedly, if you are tramping (hiking) in NZ and get lost or hurt, simply turn these ferns over along your trail or around you. Those searching for you, both on foot and from the air, can see the overturned ferns very easily and use them to track you down. So there you go; learn something new every day!
And finally, Mt. Taranaki! It is so wild how this one lonely mountain dominates a massive area around it. If you look at a map of the North Island, you can see that the lower left corner is quite rounded. It is almost a perfect semicircle because of this mountain...wild. The locals are very proud of their mountain as well. Most of the tourists that venture to the area are there to climb (or get a chance to climb due to weather) this very lonely volcano.