Oct 27 1988

Pineapple Track: Information

In Leith Valley, where Otago’s first industry – sawmilling – is reputed to have started about the 1860s, is the start of the old Pineapple Track.
Originally, it was named Ross Track, after Archibald Hilson Ross, who owned most of the land in the vicinity. In the early 1920s, Mr Oscar Balk, first president of the Otago Tramping Club, led parties of trampers up this route. At the top of a rather steep section, the parties would stop to rest and often refresh themselves with a tin of pineapple. This tin was sometimes left hanging on a tree or fence, and the track came to be called the Pineapple Track.
The line of the Pineapple Walkway has deviated from the original track in places to provide more scenic variation.
The original vegetation of the area has been modified as a result of early milling, burning and stock grazing, but remnants of the milled species (podocarps) still remain. Rimu, miro, totara and matai are found in isolated pockets, mainly in damp gullies. Even so, the overall distribution of plant species retains some semblance of natural order with the larger forest trees growing at lower altitudes. Podocarp broad-leaved forest type occurs with shrub species which grade out into Dracophyllum shrub land and ultimately tussock grassland communities on the summit area.
Some common plants: fuchsia, pepper tree, lemonwood, broadleaf, totara, five’finger, wineberry, lancewood, Muehlenbeckia, Dracophyllum, Coprosma, Hebe, and wild spaniard tussock.
THere are many varieties of birds in the bush areas where there is an ample food supply to sustain many nectar-, berry-, and insect-eating native birds.
Some of these are: New Zealand pigeon, bellbird, fantail, tomtit, brown creeper, tui, silvereye, rifleman and pipit.

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