After the bush fire of 1878 a patch of native bush was discovered still standing in an area then known as Upper Bush. It later became known as Kelcys Bush in honour of two old pioneer brothers, Julius and Frank Kelcy who helped to clear the land after the fire and who scattered seed to help regenerate today's bush.
There are two walking trails;
Caution: With a number of stream crossing due to recent rainfall, it is recommended suitable footwear be worn when walking in this area.
Sanders Waterfall - easy 20 minute return walk to the waterfall.
Intake - 1.5 hour return walk with some stream crossings
Walkers are rewarded with the sound and sight of bellbirds and the delightful fantails.
Kelceys Bush is now supported by the 'Friends of Kelceys Bush' whose efforts help to develop this area.
'Friends of Kelceys Bush'
Since the inception of the group in 2002 members have worked hard preserving and improving this public asset in a shared management role with the Department of Conservation.
The key function of the group is to provide voluntary labour, materials and support for specific works and projects within Kelceys Bush working together with DOC and landowners enhancing the uniqueness of the bush.
Developments todate includes new signage, planting of native trees and shrubs, new toilet structure and the installation of interpertation panel and seating.
Members maintain the Sanders Falls and Intake walking tracks, both of which are now relatively easy tracks having greatly increased in popularity.
The group have also developed a 'Getting to know Kelceys Bush' programme for schools which aims to increase the environmental awareness of children in the Waimate district.
An Information Board has recently been erected with relevent information on the bush and its history - another milestone for the Friends of Kelceys Bush.
If you are interested in learning more or becoming a member of the Society, please contact John Stevens on 03 689 7186
Kelceys Bush is a lovely native bush area, suitable for picnics, bush walks and outings situated 8km from the Waimate township via Mill Road.