Unfurling fern frond, Pororari River, Paparoa National Park
Paparoa National Park, on the northern part of the South Island West Coast, contains some of New Zealands most luxuriant lowland temperate rainforest. With a high annual rainfall and a predominantly limestone geology, the park is also well known for its deep gorges, caves, rock outcrops and a dramatic rugged coastline.
The Pororari River is one of several rivers that flow westward from the Paparoa Range, cutting a spectacular limestone gorge as it nears the coast at Punakaiki. Lush rainforest cloaks every part of the landscape here, the understorey featuring a profusion of ferns of many different species. This photograph of an unfurling fern frond was taken in the lower part of the Pororari River gorge, a short distance upstream of Punakaiki village.
The unfurling fern frond is also known as Koru in Maori, symbolising growth, development, a new life or beginning, harmony and peace.