Site Index
Trip Report – Rimutaka Forest Park

Trip Report – 2 July 2016 :   Rimutaka Forest Park

Twenty-seven BotSoccers set off to explore the Old 5-Mile Track on a lovely cloudless day.   This provided wonderful light and delightfully clear vegetation as a result of Wednesday’s heavy rain.   Before setting off, Leon explained how Tmesipteris lanceolata had not been seen in the southern North Island, and described its characteristics, in case we should see some.


Nikau.   Photo: Leon Perrie

Peter Cooper, Catchpool Restoration Project Coordinator, Rimutaka Forest Park Trust, described the objectives and activities of his restoration project in the Catchpool “eco hotspot”, and the Trust’s progress in re-introducing kiwi to a part of the park.   He was looking forward to the trip to advance his knowledge of the area’s botany, and to help with establishing a 2016 benchmark of the botany of the Catchpool area, with a particular view to quantifying how effective his revegetation project will be in future.   A 1080 drop is being planned for September.   It will be the first-ever possum cull in the area.   A helicopter spray programme is also planned for the many wildling pines above the car park.   This will be a pinus-specific herbicide to avoid damaging the native replanting among these pines.

We spent the morning among predominantly open beech forest on the Old 5-Mile Track to the start of Clay Ridge Track.   The Old Five-Mile Track proved surprisingly rich in botanical interest.   Three members who had to return earlier than the main party opted for the sign-posted DOC route down to the Orongorongo Track over a (dry foot) bridge.

The remainder then continued on the Old Five-Mile Track no longer maintained by DOC, down through magnificent mixed broadleaf podocarp forest, and rich understorey, to cross a ford over McKerrow Stream.   We then went off-track and had lunch in lovely warm pools of afternoon sunlight before crossing Catchpool Stream to reach the well-formed Orongorongo Track and Catchpool Loop track, then return to the car park by 4 p.m.

We made more than forty additions to the indigenous vascular plants on the list, originally from August 2009.   Examples of our additions include: Alepis flavida [planted], Coprosma rotundifolia, Elaeocarpus hookerianus, Melicope simplex, Syzygium maire, Tmesipteris tannensis, Asplenium flabellifolium, A. hookerianum, Hymenophyllum flexuosum, Hypolepis lactea, Acianthus sinclairii, Drymoanthus adversus.

Pat’s and Leon’s trip photos are available at:

Participants : Bev Abbott, Eleanor Burton & ‘Mackie’, Barbara Clark, Peter Cooper, Joe Daish, Kat de Silva, Gavin Dench, Michele Dickson, Carolyn Dimattina, Pat Enright, Ian and Jill Goodwin (leaders & scribes), Michael Harrison, Chris Horne, Rodney Lewington, Barbara Mitcalfe, Chris Moore, Richard Parfitt, Leon Perrie, Lynne Pomare, Lea Robertson, Darea Sherratt, Karen Sievwright, Sunita Singh, Julia Stace, John Van den Hoeven, Julia White.


Please Email comments regarding this web page to webmaster (at)