Danongdafu Forest Park: Enjoy The Unique Huatung Valley Forest In Hualien 大農大富平地森林園區:感受花蓮光復鄉绿宝石之美

After viewing 3 different types of lakes/ spring for the first half of our Hualien private tour, we proceeded to Danongdafu Forest Park, the highlight of our day. More accurately, I should say it was the highlight of the evening, because this was where we would enjoy a firefly night tour in the forest. 😅 I accidentally found out about this annual night event in Danongdafu, touted to be the largest & earliest place in Taiwan where one may see beautiful fireflies glittering in the dark forest. Since it was a special event & we would be in Hualien at the right time, this was definitely a must-do! 🤗

才过了半天,我们就一次过走访了花蓮三处优美的湖泊。紧接着,我们继续在花東縱谷游走,前往当天最令人期待的景点 ——大農大富平地森林園區。为什么是最令人期待的呢?因为我们报名参加的全台最早、规模最大、以及早方便到达的赏萤火趣活动,正是在大農大富平地森林園區举行。既然是年度盛会,我们的行程又刚好排到花蓮,当日不可以错过!🤗

Located in Guangfu Township between the Central Mountain Range & Coastal Mountain Range in Huatung Valley, Danongdafu Forest Park is a manmade forest project started by Taiwan Forestry Bureau since 2001. Occupying an expansive plain of 1,250 hectares, Danongdafu is Taiwan’s first flat forest park, a massive size equivalent to 48 Da’an Forest Parks. Nearly 20 species of common low-altitude trees can be found in the vast forest, providing an invigorating lush green space where everyone can visit to recharge & relax.

大農大富平地森林園區位于花蓮縣光復鄉,地处花東縱谷,两侧是中央山脉和海岸山脉。21世纪开始,林务局积极推动平地造林,让花蓮人在10年后终于有了全国第一座平地森林。1,250公顷的园区,相等于48座大安森林公园。这里种了近20种,逾百万株低海拔常见的树种,为大家提供一整片清新的绿色休憩空间。

Totoro Tunnel
龍貓隧道

3 weeks before the night tour, I had already registered online for the first session that would start around 6 pm. However, we arrived at the park before it got dark, so that we could still admire the beautiful forest views in daylight. Our first stop was the Totoro Tunnel pictured above. Apparently, the scenic area within the woods located outside Po district of Taichung is the better known Totoro Tunnel, but I thought this one in Danongdafu resembled the scene in popular animated Japanese cartoon “My Neighbour Totoro” too. 🙂 This was also where we would pass by later for the firefly tour.

赏萤趣活动3星期前,我已抢先上网报名当晚的第一梯次。虽然网站说明活动大约傍晚6时才开始,但我们趁天还没黑就抵达园区,希望欣赏这平地森林白天的美丽景致。第一站就是上图的龍貓隧道。据说台中后里區与外埔區交界处的无患子森林才是人们较熟知的龍貓隧道,不过我个人觉得大農大富的版本也不赖嘛,蛮像日本动漫里可看到的景点。😊 我们稍后的赏萤趣活动也会经过此地。

I had expected the park to be quite crowded with visitors, since it was a weekend with the firefly night tour. But throughout the time we were here around 5 pm, there was only 1 cyclist who passed by (too bad couldn’t capture a nice shot of him zooming past)! Guess the park is so huge so there wouldn’t be any overcrowding issue. 😂 Really love the serene atmosphere & veritable fresh air here! 😉

原本有点担心园区有很多游客,因为到访当日是周末,而且还有赏萤活动。还好,我们在龍貓隧道拍照的当儿,完全没他人干扰,除了一名自行车骑士经过而已。应该是因为园区很大,所以没有人挤人的困扰吧。高耸清幽的树林与无比清新的空气,真的让人心旷神怡!

Then, we made our way to the flower exhibition area. I didn’t really check which flowers were in season then, but it seemed that we had missed the full bloom period for most flowers. Only the bright sunflowers were still in bloom. 😐 Although we had already seen them in Luye Taitung [click for more lovely photos in this article: 7 Great Things To Do Other Than Hot Air Balloons In Luye Taitung], we couldn’t resist the temptation to cam-whore with these pretty flowers again. 😛

然后,我们到花海展区赏花。到访前并没有刻意查看花开的季节,但好像是错过了多数花朵最盛开的时期了,好像只剩向日葵还是很茂盛而已。纵使在台東鹿野已看过遍地的向日葵花海【延伸阅读:台東縣鹿野鄉除了热气球之外的7大好去处,但美丽的景象谁不爱?我们还是抵挡不了美景,拍了不少照片。😝

大農大富花海展区

Thereafter, our tour guide Jing Jie told us that the equivalent of Taitung Chishang’s famous “Mr Brown Avenue” right at Danongdafu! Before the firefly tour began, she quickly drove us to the spot, which is actually near the main entrance of the park.

与向日葵争艳斗丽后,导游静姐说花蓮也有条伯朗大道,就在大農大富平地森林園區入口那儿。趁还有点时间,我们即刻赶往花蓮版的伯朗大道!😉

Main entrance to the firefly night tour of Danongdafu Forest Park
这里是大農大富平地森林赏萤活动的入口

Unlike Chishang’s Mr Brown Avenue which is only open for cyclists, Hualien’s version of Mr Brown Avenue was open to vehicular traffic too. Since this was the way to get to the firefly night tour, we had to be extra patient & cautious when trying to take photos of the road to capture the exact feel.

花蓮的伯朗大道是可以让车子行驶的,不像池上的道路只开放给自行车使用。因此我们拍照时必须很小心,不只要注意后方有无车子,还要看准前方无车,才能抓到对的FEEL。

在这条道路拍照并非易事,既要注意后方车子,又要看准前方无车才有对 FEEL!😅

Fortunately, we came at the right time when there were fewer cars. ✌ In case you haven’t seen or visited Chishang’s Mr Brown Avenue yet, please refer to my Chishang article from last year’s visit to compare the 2 sites: Taitung Private Tour Day 1 Part 2: Wandering Through Chishang’s Paddy Fields.

庆幸当时的车子并没有太多,无须花太多时间等候!✌ 如果你从未看过或到访原版伯朗大道,可以参考我去年到访后写的文章,比较一下正版与山寨版的神似度:台东包车游第一天-池上田园好风光

Now that you have seen both, do you feel the above road is a replica of Mr Brown Avenue? 😉 Personally, I feel it is only about 60% similar, because the real one cuts across paddy fields while Hualien’s version is flanked with taller trees & plants. 😛

怎么样,大農大富的这道路与池上的伯朗大道相似吗?😉 其实我觉得还好而已耶,相似度或许只有60%,因为原版的是乡间田野路,道路两旁都是稻田,而花蓮的两旁则是茂密与较高的草丛树木。😜

Happy to receive our tickets at 198 TWD (~S$8.95) each, which included a local produce of our choice!
拿到赏萤入场券的一刻好兴奋哦!😊

Finally, after scrambling through the crowd to complete registration & payment, we got our tickets to the tour & were split into various groups. It was around 6.15 pm when the tour started & the sun had began to set.

在拥挤的排队人潮种折腾了一阵后,终于拿到赏萤入场券,然后导览员集合团员,大概6时15份左右开始行程。当时太阳正徐徐下山。

天开始黑了,跟着赏萤趣导览员就进入园区里吧

As it wasn’t dark enough to see the fireflies yet, our guide took his time to provide more information about the forest park as we walked along the trail. In case you didn’t know, the male lighting bug glows to attract mates of the same species. Night time is time for romance in their world, & after mating, they would complete their life cycles. For the female lighting bug, she glows to lure a male so that he becomes her dinner. Oops, looks like you should never underestimate the female power. 😂

由于天色还不够暗,萤火虫不会那么早出来,导览员先向大家介绍平地森林园区,以及提供一些关于萤火虫的有趣资料。你知道吗?雄性萤火虫发光的主要目的是为了吸引异性的目光,而晚上是它们浪漫的最佳时刻,交配之后,它们算是任务成功而会逝去。雌性萤火虫发光则是希望引“狼”入室,成为她的晚餐。哇,所以千万不能小看女人哦!😂

As seen in above collage (no enhancements made to the photos), it got darker from the top right to bottom left photo, & we could barely see anything in the bottom right photo except for some lights in the middle of the pic. That was actually a train passing through in the background. 😉

我特地把天色渐黑的景色拍出来给大家看。上述拼图里,右上图是活动刚开始时拍摄的,然后是左下图,最后是右下图。影像是不是越来越模糊,到最后只有几盏灯在图中,是远处火车经过的画面。

Danongdafu Forest Park is open only from 0800 to 1700 hours daily except Mondays. Only during the annual firefly viewing festival, usually from mid-March to mid-April, will the park extend its opening hours till about 9 pm. Flash photography isn’t allowed during the firefly tour so as not to alarm the fireflies. Prior to the tour, I had heard it would be extremely difficult to catch good shots of the twinkling fireflies, unless you use a DSLR camera with a stand. Unfortunately, both of us don’t have a DSLR. Attempts to take photos with our mobiles & powershot camera proved futile. In fact, the guide kept stopping me from using my powershot although I didn’t turn on the flash. I feel he thought the monitor light from my camera’s handheld night scene was the flash, that’s why he insisted I turn off the device. 😦

没有赏萤趣活动的日子,大農大富平地森林園區只在早上8时至傍晚5时开放(星期一休园)。夜间赏萤活动一年仅举行约一个月,通常是在三月中旬至四月中旬举办,也只有这时才会开放至晚上约9时。赏萤游时,不可使用闪光灯摄像,主要是因避免萤火虫受到惊吓。出发前已听说要成功地拍到萤火虫美美的照片是很困难的一件事,除非你使用的是数码单眼相机,最好还要有用脚架。我们俩都没有此专业摄影器材,只好硬着头皮使用手机与有手持夜景功能的数码相机碰碰运气。结果不难猜测吧?就是什么都拍不到咯!😭 最气煞的是,导览员一直阻止我使用我的数码相机,虽然我根本没开闪光灯!不晓得他是否错把相机屏幕的灯误当闪光,才一直“警告”我。😓

没有数码单眼相机,根本都拍摄不出我们用肉眼欣赏到的灿烂景色(左上图)。感谢静姐提供在4月份拍的其他三张萤火虫照片

See the vast difference in the photo collage above, as I deliberately put my failed pic together with Jing Jie’s beautiful shots (using DSLR) when she joined the tour a few weeks later in April. Frankly, I don’t think we saw such a spectacular scene that night though, because just like what our guide had mentioned, the best time to catch a magical scene would be in April because of there would be more fireflies. So do take note if you plan to join the tour next year! 🙂

看看上图,就可知道使用专业相机与否是成功的关键吧!左上角的黑漆漆图片就是我拍的,而其他三张则是静姐在四月份参加赏萤活动并使用专业相机所拍的漂亮萤火虫照。其实,也不完全是因为我们的摄像工具差啦,一部分原因也是像导览员所说,赏萤最佳时机是在4月份。我们到访时是3月24日,活动才刚举行一周。因此,下次要到大農大富参加此夜游活动的话,尽量把行程排在4月份哦!

It was a long firefly night trail which ended almost 1.5 hours later. Before leaving the park, we collected a souvenir of our choice using the ticket, from a selection of local produce such as steamed bread & black rice. We thought that was the end of an eventful day in Hualien but Jing Jie had a surprise for us. 😉

这夜游大農大富平地森林区的赏萤活动历时约一个半小时,还蛮长的。离开园区前,我们到柜台领取了在地农产伴手礼各一份,可选择的伴手礼包括馒头与紫米等。原本还以为这悠闲的花蓮一日游应该就到此为止了,怎知道静姐还为我们加码准备了惊喜的行程……

Just a 10-min drive away was the now defunct Hualien Sugar Factory during the Japanese colonial period. Jing Jie drove us here because she thought the views around the old Japanese style houses, which served as the workers’ dormitory in the past here were pretty alluring. Indeed, with the illumination of the street & houses, the place looked beautiful. Thanks to Jing Jie, now we know! 🙂

原来是到离大農大富平地森林園區约10分钟车程的花蓮糖廠。这里现在虽然是花蓮著名的观光吃冰点,但在日据时期,她是所如假包换的制糖厂。静姐带我们到这里,是想让我们看看夜晚的旧糖厂员工宿舍的风貌。街道两旁的旧日式建筑,在夜晚灯火的照耀下,看起来还别有一番滋味的。感激静姐的特别介绍!😁

It was a memorable evening visiting the first flat forest park in Hualien, Taiwan. Happy to have found this promising eco-tourist attraction nestled in picturesque Huatung Valley. Danongdafu is certainly a unique destination to check out for a relaxing day out in wonderful nature. 🙂

造访全台第一座平地森林,的确是不一样的花蓮体验。难得在入夜时分欣赏到特别的花東縱谷山林景观,感受大自然的奥妙,还看到灿烂的萤火虫在我们四周飞舞。下次到花蓮游玩,不妨到访大農大富平地森林,投入这顆翠绿宝石的怀抱里!

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