WELCOME TO THE ENCHANTED FOREST
The Log Flume gates have finally re-opened! Scroll on to get some background on the fresh new characters and fantastical lands you’ll see!
Come and meet your new friends in person!
Unicorn Meadow is where all the magic happens. One of the most serene places in the Park, this is home to a blessing of dazzling creatures. Here you'll find inspiration, healing... and of course, a bit of mischief.
Aja roamed wild through the Waikato plains and Central Plateau for centuries with his sister, Akeso. He's the only stallion in the herd and always stands proudly at the top of the hill. He's a bit of a show-off!
Akeso and Lily
These two are good friends who keep a close eye on the naughty little ones! Akeso loves to graze, twitch her tail and eat grass. Lily loves a good rest in the meadow, all tucked in and peaceful.
LADY and Dandelion
These are two orphaned siblings found their home here. You can catch Lady running down the hill - she has a lot of energy! Dandelion is a baby foal, constantly looking over her shoulder to see who's coming.
Our magical woodland family started with Aja the Stallion, and his sister, Akeso. Over time they met Lady, and orphaned siblings Lily and Dandelion.
Weary of roaming, they have made their home in a small perfect meadow in the Enchanted Forest, with fresh running water, medicinal herbs and healing flowers. Pure and graceful, our herd are the shy forest peacemakers and healers, although there’s nothing shy about the two little ones who are constantly running around and getting up to mischief. They are sensitive to conflict but brave and loyal to their new forest friends, and while they’d rather soothe than fight, their loyalty and bravery is second to none and comes to the fore when magical healing powers and a calm presence is needed. When they’re not in the meadow, they love to roam the riverbanks on their way to visit Iris the Fairy and Clover the Unicorn at their farm on the outskirts of the forest.
The winged Nui family perches high up in Dragon Dale, guarding their special haven. They protect all travellers wading through their lands. Ancient secrets whisper through this lush, narrow valley, and the Dragons know them all - can you hear any?
The Dragon Dale is a lush, narrow valley, that has been home to the Nui family, the Kaitiaki (guardians) of the forest for generations. This ancient connection has drawn Tama home with Atawhai to protect and safeguard this special haven. As the sun sets and the forest begins to sleep, the Nuis huddle on the rocky overlook and keep a watchful eye on the World.
Atawhai (Mama Nui)
Part Dragon, part Taniwha, part Serpent, all bad-ass, Atawhai is our magnificent 3-headed she-beast.
You really do need 3 heads when your kids can fly. Atawhai is the better half of Tama. She’d like to help forage too but she’s perched waiting for her youngest to hatch, just past the Enchanted Forest waterfall. It looks like they’re hatching right now!
Atawhai’s got a great sense of humour and a heart of gold when Tama’s not making her see red. And she always knows just what to do - 3 heads are better than one 1 right?
Listen out for her chorus of roars as you glide through the forest - she’s calling out for Tama to hurry on home - THE BABY IS COMING!
Tama (PAPA NUI)
Tama is 10 metres long from his majestic snout right to spikey tail tip! And he weighs a whopping 800 kilos! Tama is very young in Dragon years, only 300. Tama met his wife Atawhai on his OE. Funny how you fly around the World only to meet someone from home!
For Tama and Atawhai the Enchanted Forest is the perfect place for their young whānau, and they care deeply for the envirornment. He has everything he could wish for, but you’ll still spot him trying to escape for 5 minutes peace away from his fire-breathing three-headed wife.
After a hard days foraging Tama likes to rest and cool his wings on the struts of the Goldrush Coaster that runs through Dragon Dale. After Junebug told him he was scaring some of our little visitors to the Enchanted Forest, he makes sure to stop roaring and tuck his teeth away when she gives him a heads up.
Pipi the toddler is the little hatchling you'll see coming to life! She is the oldest child in the Nui family and at 50 years of age, is still a toddler and learning to fly. She’s sweet and eager and just wants to hurry up and get big like papa so she can go on adventures!
Pipi’s mum calls her Tama's atarangi iti or “little shadow" because she’s been hopping along after dad from as soon as she could move. Tama has to be careful sometimes not to squash Pipi or knock her off her perch with his huge wings! Sometimes when they’re playing, he’ll pop Pipi on his back and fly her over the forest while she squeals happily.
Pipi's noisy squawks sometimes rile Wal up - it scares the birds! But he can't help but smile as she clumsily flies in to see him, always landing with a little crash and a giggle!
Pēpi the newborn has been named!
Meet little Dannie the Dragon! Named after Producer Dan from The Edge radio station, little Dan is our cutest hatchling, still learning it's mighty roar!
Be sure to listen carefully when you pass so you can catch a gust of those wee squeals!
Surrounded by a flock of giant Monarch butterflies, sunny as can be, the Golden Glen is a stunning hiding spot for a runaway Phoenix. This sub-tropical glade is known to bring good luck and warmth to all who venture through it.
Sunbeam travelled to the enchanted forest in a cage on the pirate ship but managed to escape when his cage broke during a conflict in the top lake.
The Glen is the sunniest spot in the forest, and Sunbeam loves to snooze in the rays of light that filter through the trees. His tail of feathers and flames has made the plants flourish and attracts butterflies who thrive in his warmth and gentle song.
Sunbeam’s birdsong is Wal’s favourite and his warmth and beauty bring joy to all who bask in it.
This gentle and private creature mostly keeps to himself, happily singing away hidden form prying eyes. Seeing a Phoenix brings good luck - so if you’re lucky enough to catch Sunbeam out on his perch, good will lies ahead and you’ll have no problems getting past The Sentry, to continue your journey to the Fairy village!
Just past Unicorn Meadow and Dragon Rock, you'll see a giant monarch chirruping happily and gently fanning her wings on a log.
Maggie is our social butterfly and when she’s not flitting around the park swooping into parties (she LOVES a disco), Mags enjoys listening to Sunbeam and cooling her wings in the chill shade of a Totara Tree at the entry to the Golden Glen.
The Tree Spirits reside along the lush forest grasses of the river. As old as time, these orators merrily guide visitors through the river journey. Their wise and gentle personalities love to give advice - ask them what you wish!
Valdarr a.k.a Wal
The Gentle Giant
Legend has it Valdarr was the first tree spirit in the forest. His friends nicknamed this ancient dryad "Wal", and what Wal doesn’t know about the forest would fit on a teeny tiny leaf.
Wal's bark has been toughened by centuries of challenge, but his heart is still big and brave and true, and he’d do anything to keep the Forest safe and sustainable for centuries to come.
The wise Wal loves a bit of peace and quiet so he can enjoy the birdsong and chill for once in his incredibly long life. But our noisy creatures up the river can really turn him into a grouchy tough-guy. Wal is most happiest when the dragons fly off, because what's when it's quiet. So he hates it when people feed them - because then they don't go away to forage!
So please: Do. Not. Feed. The. Dragons.
A learner for life, Ākonga loves a good story and theory. He can spin a yarn about anything ever found in a book! If he had his way he'd be lecturing all who pass by him on Manukau Urbanisation. It's not as boring as you think... until you hear his keynote on it for the hundredth time. The other creatures in the forest reckon if they must listen to it again it might be time for him to become a log.
When no one’s looking Ākonga sneaks in a steamy romance novel – he’s a sucker for a story about lovers who met way back when, and has written a period film called "Under the Rollercoaster".
Ākonga's soft wooden heart is dedicated to his crush on Junebug. If you look closely at his bookcase, you’ll see a picture of them together from the Forest Christmas party next to his favourite romance 'Forbidden Love in the Bushes'.
Junebug is our littlest tree. She's made a wee home her herself, tucked in amongst the hollows where she can share a bit of Earl Grey and chinwag with guests who come by.
She lives next to the Dragons and constantly twitches her leaves to see what they're up to (she's a little nosy like that, and knows all the gossip around here).
Junebug inherited her prized possession, the tea set, from picnickers who left in a hurry after getting quite a fright from the dragons. Junebug knows that the beasts are actually gentle and kind, even though they look big and scary. She makes sure that any kiddies who look a bit concerned about the dragons around the corner don't worry too much, because she makes sure to tell our biggest dragon to tuck his teeth away as they drift past.
The Kind One
Lili-Ha is an old friend of Junebug. This bright tree is young at heart but has been in the forest for centuries, almost as long as Wal.
Many moons ago she uprooted to retire in the mountain as a Cave Tree, where the warm glow of fairy fire warms her leaves, and the gentle song of the fairy village makes her smile. Cave crystal intertwine with her roots and help keep her youthful glow.
She loves looking at the logs floating by trying to pick out if it’s someone she used to know. Sometimes if she sees a really special old tree float by, she’ll get so excited she’ll start chatting to them, even though they can’t answer anymore.
Last character in the forest is the Sentry, our biggest tree. Gruff and officious, The Sentry guards a bridge which is gate to the top lake and into the fairy village.
No one in the forest knows what his name is, he is just known as The Sentry. He even calls himself The Sentry. If he is ever telling anyone a story about his day, he always refers to himself in the third person - any chance he can get to tell people he’s The Sentry of the Enchanted Forest! The Sentry is very excited because his plans have finally been approved by the Enchanted Forest Council Planning Permission Department and ‘The Sentry can start building a proper fortress gate’.
He is dedicated to making sure no one passes to the village who shouldn’t be there. He’s been tricked once before by pirates - never again!