Trip Programme – 2023
**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 2051922.
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 28 Jan – Mon 30 January Auckland Anniversary Weekend Trip – Rangitoto Station, Northern Pureora (Combined with Waikato Botanical Society)
Where: Rangitoto Station, a 427 ha reserve owned by Native Forest Restoration Trust, north of Pureora. Access is via rather rough rural roads – further details will be sent to intending participants
Accommodation: A fully equipped house with electricity, fridge, microwave etc and a former woolshed developed to tramping hut standards with gas cooking and solar powered lighting. The house sleeps ~12, the woolshed can accommodate a larger number. The two buildings are very close and camping is also permitted. Participants supply all food, bedding etc and own cooking gear is desirable for the woolshed. More information about the reserve is available at https://www.nfrt.org.nz/reserves/rangitoto-station/ This site has links to track information and the house but does not mention the woolshed as it is normally reserved for hunters.
Grade: Easy to moderate. There are multiple tracks, some of unsealed road standard
Cost: $20/person/night but given that NFRT has decided to raise the charge for the house to $30/night for new bookings from 01 Jan additional donations to NFRT would be gratefully received, with receipts provided.
Meeting place: As both Waikato and Rotorua contingents will need to collect a key en route, participants need to travel in one group and enter and if possible and leave together as the locked entrance is several kms from the accommodation. Saturday 0930am – 10am meeting at the accommodation would be realistic (TBC)
Given the rough nature of the road access carpooling is desirable. The roads are negotiable by any car but travel is slow and care must be taken. The reserve is very popular with hunters who normally use the woolshed accommodation. They are permitted access to help with vertebrate predator control. The gate must remain locked because poaching is a problem. No hunters have been granted access for Anniversary Weekend.
As for the walks, there are defined tracks some of which are suitable for farm vehicles, one leads up to a transmitter site. A range of walks from short to longer ones are available for all abilities. It would be fine for less agile folk to do short walks near the accommodation.
Any questions are welcome and more specific information will be circulated to intending participants nearer the date of the trip.
Saturday 11 February – Manawahe Ecological Trust and king fern population
Leader: Bill Clark 07-3228401, 021 08977261
Meet: 8:30am Rotorua or 9.30am am at 1593 Manawahe Rd-approx 3k’s past Eco trust centre coming from Rotorua-
Grade: Medium (some bush bashing and some steep terrain)
Drive in convoy to the cell tower block (good private road ). King ferns are 15 minute walk from cell tower- down hill ( then back ) but lots of botanising available in the wider block. Spectacular views, bring a mate and an inquiring mind.
Saturday 18 March – Kaharoa, gully crawl
Meet: 8:15am Rotorua or 9am at the end of Kapukapu road at the shelter
Grade: Medium hard
Meeting at the end of Kapukapu road at 9am and take 4x4 vehicles further along the reserve roads. We will make our way down some of the bait lines to explore the gullies where there are large populations of king fern Ptisana salicina (At Risk Declining). The reserve has historical records of Lindsaea viridis and Hymenophyllum australe (at both At Risk Naturally Uncommon) hopefully we can find them. The bait lines can be steep and slippery in places with the occasional use of rope for access.
Saturday 25 March – Mt Tarawera (Combined with Forest and Bird)
Meet: DOC Ashpit Road campground, Lake Rerewhakaaitu at 7:45 am.
Grade: Medium-Hard, and in particular, confidence in walking on steep mobile scoria slopes and along high and sharp ridges is needed.
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 13 March at latest.
Bring: Minimum 2 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 Rotorua Botanical Society 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 1 April – Rotorua Botanical Society/Landcare Okareka Mistletoe Restoration Project Weed Control/Plant Releasing Work Day
Meet: Cnr Summit and Loop Roads, Okareka (lake end by start of mistletoe track) @ 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 with morning tea provides.
Bring secauters, gloves, pruning saw if you have them
Sunday 2 April – Lake Rotoatua and Rotongata, Okataina
and John Hobbs
Meet: Meet at Rotorua carpark 8:30am or Ruato Bay lakefront pulloff at 9am
Grade Medium with a few small scrambles up steep slopes
Bring: High vis as it is the roar
We will park on the Okataina Road and walk down through the tawa forest off track to Lake Rotoatua and botanise around the edges of the manuka/sphagnum wetland that surrounds the lake. A good opportunity to botanise a significant wetland in the Rotorua District. In the afternoon we will head up onto the ridge and make our way down into Lake Rotongata. Hopefully if lake levels are lower we can walk around the lake margin and investigate aquatic plants in the lake and see whats regenerating on beaches and slips. Following this we will walk back through the forest to the cars.
Saturday 15 April – Visit to Awahou stream regeneration project
Leader: Rob Fairley 021 024 77 614
Meet: 1 Central Rd, Awahou. 9am. Gateway is on the left immediately after you turn into Central Rd from the Hamurana Rd and just before a small telephone exchange. If you reach the bridge you have gone too far. There is an obscured 3 digit number on his letterbox- ignore that as it is an old number. For those coming I suggest we meet at his gate around 8.50 and then we can proceed up to his house. If anyone is a little late just proceed up to the house. Jaap will introduce the project at his house and take 15 to 20 minutes to do so before we head to the stream.
Grade: Easy/Medium- few small hills
This has been organised as a day for a visit to Jaap van Dorsser’s regeneration project along the Awahou stream on the north side of Lake Rotorua. This is not an official Rotorua Botanical Society trip. It has been arranged for other reasons and an invitation has been extended to members of the RBS, who are very welcome to come. In fact Jaap would really love it if some of you could come. Allow 3 hours at least. For those who don’t know, Jaap used to be the head of the nursery at the FRI as it used to be known (now Scion). He is a real enthusiast and loves sharing his project with others as well as picking up any new ideas that may be helpful for him. Below is a link to a video that talks about his project. https://vimeo.com/275610535?1&ref=fb-share
6th May – Moutohora (Whale Island) Combined with Eastern Bay Forest and Bird
Meet: White Island Rendezvous Carpark- (time will be based on the tides details to follow)
Cost: $120.00- cost of the charter vessel. Preference booking for those who were listed on last years cancelled trip
Transport: Charter boat Ngati Awa Tourism or another concession provider. (24 people max)
This trip is subject to weather, vessel availability and DOC approval. Interested members are asked to register by 31 March, contact trip leader as numbers are limited. The hope is to explore an area on Moutohora, the Island has been regenerating from goat and rabbit predation, they were finally completely removed in 1985. The last botanical survey was completed in 1989- 90, which has informally been added to since. The goal would be to assess and record the transformation of the island biodiversity as the coastal forest matures back to its former state.
If this trip cannot take place, then the alternative walk will be around the Ohiwa spit- western Ohope side. A coastal exploration out onto the back and fore dune areas past the golf course and around the spit and into the harbour entrance. Hopefully finding a broad range of coastal natives as the landscape changes into several different habitats, from dune felids to harbour. Expecting plenty of exotic weeds for those enthusiasts too.
Saturday 20 May – Ohuanui (Tikitere)
Meet: Meet at Rotorua carpark 8.30am
Trip description: We will park on the edge of the farm, then follow farm tracks (for about 2km) to a remnant of rewarewa/tawa forest which we can then explore. There will be a relatively steep uphill climb for about 100-120m, into the forest initially so we can botanise slowly along the way. Then there is a slight terrace which could provide further interest and potential lunch spots. The understorey is likely to be relatively open, making walking off-track somewhat easier. The forest adjoins the western margin of Ōkataina Scenic Reserve. We will return back to the vehicles heading down the hill, making a loop back to the farm track. On the walk back to vehicles, enjoy the stunning views over Lake Rotorua and the surrounding caldera.
Bring: Minimum 1 litre drinking water, lunch and snacks, wet weather and warm gear, sun hat, sunblock, boots or sturdy shoes.
Saturday 10th June – Waharoa QEII Covenant Visit (combined with Waikato Botanical Society)
Meet: Meet at Rotorua carpark TBA at entrance to Hawes Bush, Walker Rd Waharoa, time TBA
A perfect mid winter trip. It’s a little gem of forest on private land at Waharoa, very close to the Matamata Piako District Council owned Hawes Bush. It’s flat, easily accessible, unlikely to be muddy, not difficult to navigate, has diverse species and many mature trees – definitely an easy and relaxed trip. It is in the process of being protected with a QEII covenant, so a detailed species list will be useful for both QEII and the owner. Work has already begun on weed control in this forest remnant but participants could help by coming prepared to pull out weed seedlings. The forest is on a working dairy farm so time and access arrangements will not be finalised until close to the date, to avoid interfering with farming requirements. It may also be necessary to limit numbers.
Monday 12 June - Annual General Meeting and Guest Speaker: Dr Matt Renner
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, Matt Renner who will speak on Recherche Bay to The Tip: highlights from a career in botany’. This talk will explore the bewildering diversity of opportunity for discovery, and rediscovery, that continue to be an integral component of everyday professional botany in Australia. Some particular highlights from his 11 years at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney will be the basis for this wide ranging talk.
Saturday 8 July – Pikowai Dunes and Wetlands
Meet: Rotorua carpark at 8 am or Pikowai Campground at 9 am.
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Trip 3 to the Matatā-Otamarakau Dunes. Enjoy a mid winters day in the sun exploring the dunes east of the Pikowai Motorcamp, which will be a good place to park. There are wetlands (including Machaerina articulata, raupō, and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani), low dune vegetation (spinifex, Muehlenbeckia, Ficinia nodosa, Lachnagrostis billardierei, Carex pumila, and Oxalis rubens), eucalyptus forest, and there may be some Kunzea toelkenii (Thornton kanuka, a local threatened endemic) which we saw in 2022 just to the east of the area we will be exploring in 2023. Other species to look out for include native Alternanthera.
Saturday 5 August – Tutaeheke, Highlands Station, south of Rotorua
Meet : The carpark Rotorua at 8.30 am or 8.45am at intersection of SH5 and Highlands Rd sth of Rotorua
Grade : Moderate
We are returning to the Highlands farm to botanise the higher block of forest remnant and make it to the trig on Tutaeheke 719m. A steep gully runs down through this block and we can work our way either into the gully or around it’s edges. Hopefully lunch with more impressive views.
Saturday 2 September– Woods Mill, SH5 Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park (Combined with Waikato Botanical Society).
Meet: 08:30am between the Convention Centre and the Police Station, Fenton Street, Rotorua or 9am at the track entrance on State Highway 5 between Rotorua and Fitzgeralds glade.
The track entrance is easy to miss. The track entrance is about 8.6 km east of the Fitzgerald Glade café on the north side of the road. The track entrance is about 9.4 km west of the Mamaku turn off (Maraeroa Road) on the north side of the road.
Grade: Easy / Medium.
We will walk along a 8.5 km DOC track through regenerating native forest and scrub and some large clearings which should provide some good potential orchid habitat. The track ends with a walk down to a stream through mature tawa forest with a different range of habitat. From here we will head back to the cars on SH 5 along the same track.
Saturday 7 - Sunday 8 October –Motu River mouth and upstream
Meet: We will meet at the Motu Bridge around 9am (TBC) Saturday
Grade: Sat -Motu Rivermouth easy-medium flat , Saturday night and Sunday will head upriver in jetboats -medium to hard options
Accommodation: For those going upriver on Saturday night we have access to a private hut has 3 bunks available for botsoc members Sat night. Everyone else plenty of room for tents. Let Paul know if you would like a bunk. Water from hut roof, longdrop available
Bring: For those staying overnight for Day 2 everyone needs to be fully self sufficient with full camping gear – small tents, bedrolls, groundsheet, sleeping bag, cooking gear and food, insect repellent, tramping gear, toiletries. Please keep gear to an absolute minimum and no loose gear as we have limited space in jet boats.
Option of a day trip botanising around the Motu River delta. . We may need a boat ride across to the odd island if the river is high. Vegetation is dominated by exotics but this area is extensive as has not been well botanised before so will be an opportunity to explore this area in more detail. For those wanting to stay on for Day 2 in late afternoon we will head upstream in jetboat to a private hut 30 min upstream for the night. On Day 2 we will botanise some further native forest blocks around river which have not been botanised in detail before (exact location to be confirmed closer to the time) before returning back downstream in jetboats to our vehicles.
Saturday 14 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.
Saturday 4 November - Western Bays Track - Waihaha River section to Western Bay, Lake Taupo (Combined with Waikato Botanical Society).
Meet : The carpark Rotorua 8 am or the Waihaha Carpark at 9:30 am.
Grade : Medium
We will meet either in Rotorua or at the Waihaha Track carpark on State Highway 35 (times may be adjusted closer to the time). We will head towards the Western Bay of Lake Taupo along the cycle trail. This is a very scenic part of the Lake Taupo Cycle trail with good views of the Waihaha River and 37 m tall Tieke Falls. We may leave some vehicles at the end of Waihaha Road to make this a round trip of approximately 10-12 km in length. Most of the trip will be on a well formed track, but we may do a bit of bush bashing if the terrain allows.
Sunday 3 December - Otawa Trig from Rocky Cutting Road
Meet: Rotorua at 8:30am or at Rocky Cutting Road carpark at 10am. (Best route via Waitao Rd then Kaiate Falls Rd off Welcome Bay Road).
Track initially follows an old logging road line through pasture with interesting road banks. It then sidles through logged tawa forest, crossing several small streams and wets with a good variety habitats and species. Finally it leaves the road line and climbs more steeply through the ridge line and follows this to the trig through varied forest with several steep bits. Here the track varies between mature tawa forest and rewarewa dominated shrubland. We probably won’t reach the trig.
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.