Rotorua Botanical Society Trip Programme - 2021
**Please note: We would like intending participants to give the leader a call during the week before the trip. This will give the leader an idea of the party and enable them to give you any last minute information. If the leader is not available contact Paul Cashmore 07 349-7432 (wk), or 027 650 7264.
The meeting place for all trips, unless otherwise stated, is the carpark between the Convention Centre and the Police Station, Fenton Street, Rotorua (hereinafter called “the carpark Rotorua “). We will carpool with a donation for petrol expenses for cars/boats to drivers please.
Reminder to trip leaders
Saturday 23rd Jan – Mon 25th January Auckland Anniversary Weekend Trip – Mokau (Combined with Waikato Botanical Society)
Leader: Thomas Emmitt
Meet: Outside the River Run Café on SH3 at 10 am. You are welcome to join us for the day or for the weekend.
Bring: Food, bedding, clothes, sturdy footwear, camping equipment and a hand lens.
We will be visiting Tainui Scenic Reserve, home of the Critically endangered Pomaderris apetala subsp. apetala on the first day. Second day we will be investigating the Mohokatino wetland which also has some of the Pomaderris and on the last day will be heading south to the coast to have a look around Tongaporutu and the Three Sisters area.
Please confirm attendance by mid-December. Let Thomas know where you have managed to book accommodation.
Saturday 20 February – Mamaku wetland, Tokoroa Ecological District
Meet: The carpark Rotorua at 8 am.
Grade: Wetland. Wet but relatively easy.
Another interesting wetland up on the Mamaku Plateau. Potential habitat for several Threatened and At Risk species, and regionally uncommon species, including Schoenus carsei (Threatened-Nationally Critical), Schoenus brevifolius, Ranunculus macropus (data deficient), Deyeuxia aff. quadriseta (“Volcanic Plateau”) (Data Deficient), Prasophyllum hectorii (At Risk-Declining), Lycopodium laterale (Regionally Uncommon), and Astelia grandis (Regionally Uncommon). It will be an interesting day out!
Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 March – Makatiti Dome Scenic Reserve, Rotorua Ecological District
Purpose: In partnership with Rotoiti 15 Trust, we are pleased to invite you on a 1- day hikoi whenua/ hike (with an option to stay overnight and continue on Sunday) to botanise Makatiti Dome.
Start: We would meet at carpark Rotorua at 8 am or the Rotoiti Rugby Club (next to Te Urumahue Rd) carpark at 8:30 am
End: There are two options:
Day Trip: Expected to vacate the forest at 4:30/5 pm on Saturday
Overnight Trip: Expected to vacate the forest by 2 pm Sunday
RSVP to Paul Cashmore by Friday 26 February 2021 with vehicle details for those bringing a vehicle (4WD/SUVs only) and which trip you will be attending.
Please note all participants (not just drivers) will need to complete a short online Health and Safety programme in order to receive a permit for the visit for access through Hancock’s managed forest. Carpooling will be encouraged. Go to https://hancock.worksite.nz/ to complete.
Accommodation: Sat night – BYO Tents at hut site (see below)
Equipment: For those staying overnight, BYO tents, camping gear, food, water, cooking gear at hut, (gear will be transported in by quad but please keep gear to a minimum). Only need to carry day packs. A lunch will be provided by the Trust on the Saturday.
The Work: This will be a rare opportunity for the Botanical Society to explore and more thoroughly botanise a very large track of seldom-visited high altitude forest in the Rotorua Ecological District. This large block at 2,479 ha includes several small lakelets, kamahi-broadleaf-tawari-Hall’s totara forest, Hall’s totara-northern rata/tawa-kamahi forest, Northern rata/tawa-rewarewa-mangeao-kamahi forest, and Kanuka forest/scrub and kanuka-manuka-monoao dominated shrubland and silver tussockland as a post-Tarawera eruption succession.
We will be hosted and joined by Rotoiti 15 Trustees, whānau and Hunting Club members who whakapapa to this whenua (land) block and surrounding plantation forest through which we will access it.
One of our aims for the weekend is to work with Rotoiti 15 whānau to document and update the information on the flora of Makatiti Dome Scenic Reserve for future biodiversity restoration work.
- Saturday: We aim to botanise the high altitude forest around the summit at 934 m before heading south towards Tapahoro (Tarawera outlet) end of the block. There is an option for members to return back to vehicles at end of the day for those wanting a day trip. For others remaining we will make our way to the small hut at 1905280E, 5768895N where we will camp for the night.
- Sunday: We will botanise the manuka-monoao shrubland and silver tussock land clearings immediately in front of the hut which are a rare vegetation type in the Rotorua District and possibly explore some of the gully systems on the southern side of the block before making our way back to the vehicles in the afternoon.
Saturday 20th March – Mt Tarawera (Combined with Forest and Bird and Waikato Botanical Society)
Meet: DOC Ashpit Road campground, Lake Rerewhakaaitu at 9 am.
Grade: Medium-Hard and in particular confident walking on steep mobile scoria slopes and along high and sharp ridges.
Registration: Minimum age 14 years old. Maximum of 25 people on trip on a first come basis but must register first with Paul Cashmore by Monday 15 March at latest.
Bring: Minimum 3 litres water, lunch and snacks, wet weather and warm gear, sun hat, sunblock, boots or sturdy shoes, gaiters and/or leggings an advantage for loose scoria, gloves for pulling out pines
We will be driven to the top of Mt Tarawera by 4WD bus and vehicle to the crater rim and hear a bit about the history and ecological values of the mountain. We will be led by Ruawahia trustees and DOC staff with assistance from Kaitiaki Tours. This year we will cross the crater onto ‘the fan’ between Ruawahia and Wahanga domes with time to take in the flora, fauna and 360 degree views of the Bay of Plenty. We will then spend the rest of the day on the Tarawera ‘fan’ helping to handpull wilding conifer seedlings to assist the Ruawahia Wilding Conifer Project which aims to control the spread of wilding conifers in order to protect the unique values on the mountain.
Saturday 28 March – Pūtauaki (Mt Edgecumbe) summit and wetland
Meet: The carpark Rotorua at 8 am or Māori Investments Ltd (near the entrance gate), Waterhouse Street, Kawerau at 9.00 am
Grade: Medium – Hard; we will be utilising the bait station tracks where possible. However there will be steep, slippery and uneven terrain to navigate on and off track.
Bring: Tramping boots or gumboots for wetland.
Registration: Minimum age 16 years old. Maximum of 25 people on trip on a first come basis but must register with Mieke Kapa by Monday 22 March at the latest. Five 4WD trucks with confident drivers will be needed to drive the summit road to the top. All drivers and their vehicles will be required to have a permit which the trip leader will organise.
We will mostly be following the pest animal track system to botanising the wetland within the dome then explore around the crater and summit forest. Pūtauaki is a significant ecological feature, landscape feature and icon of the Eastern Bay of Plenty. I suspect lunch will be looking out at the amazing view!
Sunday 11 April – Homunga Bay, Waihi (Combined with Waikato Botanical Society)
Meet: Barry Road junction with SH 25, northern outskirts of Waihi (becomes Golden Valley Road, and signposted to Golden Valley Road) at 10 am.
A little used rough coastal track to Orokawa Bay and for the adventurous a through walk to Waihi Beach. Coastal cliffs, lowland puriri forest, regenerating forest and scrub, and steep rocky shores with odd small beaches. From Orokawa Bay to Waihi a well-formed track that is often very busy.
Saturday 15 May Utuhina Walkway, Rotorua City
Meet: We will meet near the proposed walk, to be advised during the week before.
We will continue the exploration of the walking/cycling tracks alongside the two major stream systems of western Rotorua, Utuhina and Mangakakahi Streams. There will be a wider range of garden escape exotic plants present than a usual botanical society trip, but a good chance to see what is establishing in the western Rotorua gully systems.
Sunday 13th June – Whakarewarewa wetlands including 5 Mile Gate
Meet: 8 am Rotorua Council Carpark or 8.30 am outside 5 Mile wetland (SH 5).
It is a 5 km cycle from Te Puia using “Te Ara Ahi” to 5 Mile wetland
Bring: Tramping boots/gumboots, lunch, binoculars etc.
These lesser known wetlands are found in Whakarewarewa Forest and have spent many years becoming weedier and weedier.
A management plan was written by Wildland Consultants for their restoration and in 2020 the “Whakarewarewa Pest Free Trust” https://www.whakarewarewapestfree.co.nz/ with advice from the Rotorua DOC, expanded their trapping network to include these wetlands. With the re-cutting of old forestry roads around the 5 Mile Gate wetland, we have a unique chance to once again botanise this area and look at progress already made on pest and weed control and some of the regionally threatened plant species recorded from there. Time and access permitting we will also look at some of the other wetlands which are targeted for restoration.
Monday 14 June - Annual General Meeting and Speaker
Venue: DOC 99 Sala St, Rotorua
Time: 6 pm
Cheese and other finger-food, wine and juice will be provided.
Following the meeting there will be a guest speaker, Ewen Cameron, who will speak on ‘Costa Rica flora and fauna – visit to a magic place’.
Saturday 10 July – Western Matata dunes
Meet: Rotorua carpark at 8 am or corner of Kaokaoroa St and Clem Elliot Drive, just west of Matata near the rail overbridge, at 9 am
Explore sand dunes and wetlands on the coastline west from Matata. See spinifex, pingao (At Risk – Declining), and possibly Carex pumila. We will also look at the indigenous seedlings that are establishing underneath the tall eucalyptus forest. If there is time later on we may explore the dunes further west, at Pikowai Beach.
Sunday 1 August – Waimangu, Hapeotoroa
Meet: The carpark Rotorua at 8.30 am or Waimangu Valley car park at 9.00 am.
We will follow the valley walking track to the summit of Mt Haszard then veer off north and follow a watercourse and deer trails to the summit of Hapeotoroa. The area should have a good range of vegetation re-established after the 1886 and 1917 eruptions. At the summit we should have views over Rotomahana, Mt Tarawera and Lake Tarawera.
5th September - Handcock Road, Te Kopia Forest, Paeroa Range (with Waikato Botanical Society)
8:15 am Rotorua Council carpark or 9 am at the gate at the end of Handcock Road, off SH 5 (between Waiotapu and Mihi).
This forest is in the Paeroa Range sandwiched between Reporoa and Waikite valley and often not explored due to difficulty in accessing the reserve which is surrounded by private land or cliffs! With permission from the Handcock’s we can access this part of the range which is private land from SH 5. This mixed broadleaf/podocarp reserve goes from 600-1000m and still contains rare species such as Peraxilla tetrapetala and dactylanthus. We will explore streams, the regenerating bush of old skid sites and mature forests; while not walking on maintained tracks, old forestry roads and high numbers of deer make the going relatively easy.
Sunday 3 October –Matawai Conservation Area, Matawai
Meet: Opotiki I-site/DOC office at 8 am. Option of going over to Opotiki on Saturday night with accommodation.
We will visit Matawai Conservation Area (2649 ha) on Te Wera Road-a large forested plateau dominated by silver beech forest and podocarp with mistletoe species possibly still present (Alepis and Peraxilla spp).
Saturday 16 October Okareka Mistletoe Restoration Project Weed Control/Plant Releasing Work Day
Meet: Cnr Summit and Loop Roads, Okareka (lake end) @ 8:45 am
Grade: Medium-Hard – Activities suitable for all ages and abilities will be provided. This will include releasing our plantings from weed growth and doing further weed control.
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 November – Coromandel (with Waikato Botanical Society)
Meet: at campground. Each day planned at the time. Details the night before. Contact 027 5703123
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Accommodation: Fri/Sat. Suggest: Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park or Shelly Bay Top 10 Holiday Park.
Bring: Independent stay overnight tent or cabin.
The intention is to explore a few places close to the town. Some possible walks are short and easy but at least one long walk is intended. Much of the area has been modified by kauri logging or mining up to 150 years ago but the last mines closed and logging ceased about 1950. There are some substantial regenerating kauri stands with many of the species typically associated with kauri.
Saturday 27 or Sunday 28 November –Taupo Reserves and some geothermal sites (with Waikato Botanical Society)
Meet: The carpark Rotorua at 8 am, or in Taupo (to be advised).
The final date will be determined in the next newsletter. The aim is to visit several reserves in and around Taupo. We will pay a visit to part of a geothermal area near State Highway 1 and see if we can see any orchids of interest. If time allows we will look at some geothermal ferns and other species alongside Otumuheke Stream. We should see some plants of Cyclosorus interruptus, the geothermal form of Christella dentata and Hypolepis dicksonioides.
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT FOR DAY TRIPS
Lunch, drink, waterproof parka, warm hat, sturdy shoes or boots, sunblock, hand lens, note book, pen & pencil, first aid kit*, compass, GPS, map, whistle, aerial photos, plant species lists, money for driver’s petrol expenses.