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2015 Field Trips

Day trips to locations in the Wellington region are usually held on the first Saturday of each month. Extended excursions are usually held at New Year, first weekend in February and Easter.

The following programme is SUBJECT TO CHANGE.   If you wish to join a Saturday trip, please tell the trip leader on the Thursday p.m. at the latest, or if you wish to join an over-night trip, please tell the trip leader on the Wednesday p.m. at the latest, so that the leader can:
~   contact our hosts, if we are visiting a private area, to confirm the visit
~   print enough copies of a plant species list, if one has been prepared for the site.

Remember the weather can be changeable on field trips.   Sun hat, balaclava, waterproof/windproof parka, may all be used on a day trip.   Recommended trip gear at bottom of page.

Non-members are welcome to join us on our field trips.

Click here to get more information about attending field trips.

2015 Programme

7–13 January 2015:   Summer Camp Trip – Nelson Lakes National Park and vicinity

Trips possible:   Peninsula Walk, St Arnaud Track, Lake Rotoiti - both sides, Travers Valley - both sides, Mt Robert Track, Speargrass Valley Track, Howard Valley, Beeby’s Knob, Red Hills, Rainbow Skifield, etc.
  • Maps:   Topo50-BR24, BR25, BS24, BS25, Nelson Lakes Park map 273-05.   Brochures $2 each at DOC Wellington Visitor Centre, 18–32 Manners St: Walks in Nelson Lakes National Park, Angelus Hut Tracks & Routes, Travers-Sabine Circuit.
  • Accommodation:   Travers-Sabine Travellers’ Lodge, St Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti.   Bunk room c. $20 per night; double room c. $65 per couple per night.   No camping.   Nearest campsite is run by DOC, near lake - but campers will need to be completely independent of the Lodge facilities.   A motel is also nearby: c. $130 / couple / night.   We depart on 14 January.   Bring fresh antihistamine in case of wasp stings.
  • Leader and Contact:   Booking ESSENTIAL.   Contact Mick Parsons, 04 972 1148 or 06 273 8078 or 027 249 9663, mtparsons (at), if you intend to go.   Menu organiser: Bev Abbott.
  • Registration:   Registration form included in the September newsletter or down load here.

Saturday 14 February:   Field trip – Centennial Park, Miramar

Botanise this fascinating, little-known reserve of regenerating, semi-coastal native forest.   See kiekie en masse – a marker of what Dr Geoff Park classed as ‘primary forest remnants’.   Enjoy off-track travel up a beautiful gully.   Admire a pre-1911 concrete dam.   Travel on Corrections Department land which is to become part of a Watts Peninsula reserve.
  • Maps:   street map; NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.15 a.m. at Miramar bus terminus, Darlington Road.   No.2 Miramar bus 8.35 a.m. from Wellington Station Stop A to Miramar bus terminus, Darlington Road.
  • Co-Leaders:   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025;   and Barbara Mitcalfe, phone 475 7149.

Saturday 7 March:   Field trip – Hawkins Hill

Explore remnant and regenerating vegetation south of Brooklyn wind turbine, towards Hawkins Hill 495 m.   We’ll cover roadside herb communities to short forest, with a mix of interesting (and often little-noticed) indigenous species.   Spectacular views of city, suburbs, the ranges and Cook Strait.

Easter Friday 3 – Sunday 5 April:   Easter field trip – Horowhenua

Enjoy this chance to botanise a variety of ecosystems, such as semi-coastal forest, wetland, estuarine, duneland sites, etc.   Thanks to advice from Tim Park, Viv McGlynn, Robyn Smith and others.   We are seeking permission to access sites on Maori and private land, from Levin southwards, as well as possibly visiting Kuku Beach, Waikawa Reserve, and DOC’s beautiful Lake Papaitonga Scenic Reserve.

Saturday 2 May:   Field trip – Rangitatau Reserve, Strathmore

Botanise regenerating coastal forest and shrublands, plantings, and Tarakena Bay’s coastal platform.   See impressive views over Cook Strait, and Maori and WWII sites.   We shall prepare a plant list as we walk, so we’ll provide you with a blank plant list form – a good chance to practise doing a botanical survey!
  • Maps:   street map; NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.15 a.m. at Strathmore bus terminus, Kekerenga St, Strathmore.   No. 44 Strathmore bus 8.35 a.m. from Wellington Station Stop C to Strathmore bus terminus, Kekerenga Street.
  • Leaders:   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025;   Barbara Mitcalfe, phone 475 7149.

Saturday 6 June:   Field trip – Kohekohe Loop Track, Paekakariki

Walk 500m along Ames Street, cross SH1 bridge over railway, 300m along Paekakariki Escarpment Track, then round Kohekohe Loop Track through Nga Uruora plantings, regenerating bush and original kohekohe bush.   Great views of Kapiti Island.   Loop Track takes c. 1 hr to walk and botanise, climbing c. 40 m on graded paths.   We’ll prepare a plant list as we travel.   See: weeds from Paekakariki gardens; plantings; native forest.
  • Meet:   10 a.m., St Peter’s Hall, Beach Rd, Paekakariki (cnr. Beach Rd / Wellington Rd).   By train: 9.14 a.m. Kapiti line train from Wellington to Paekakariki: Car: park in Wellington Rd opp. St Peter’s Hall.
  • Leader:   Ken Fraser, phone 04 905 3714 / 022 6417 658, or email fraserjk (at)   Co-leader:   Paul Callister, phone 04 9058037 / 022 086 2405.

Saturday 13 June:   Field trip – Te Marua Bush workbee

In partnership with Greater Wellington, BotSoc has been committed since 1989 to do weed control and revegetation in this important matai / totara / maire remnant in Kaitoke Regional Park.   Our biennial workbees must continue so that we keep ahead of re-invasion by weeds, particularly around the plantings, so please come to help with this important work.   This is a major planting session - we have 80 plants to plant, so please join us!   Bring planting gear: gloves, grubber, spade or trowel, kneeler.
  • Meet:   By car: Te Marua Bush 9.30 a.m. (250 m north of Upper Hutt’s Te Marua Store and then left, off SH2 for 50m, along the road to Te Marua Lakes, Kaitoke Regional Park.   By train: 8.05 a.m. Hutt line train from Wellington – ring leaders to arrange to be met at Upper Hutt Station.
  • Co-leaders:   Glennis Sheppard, phone 526 7450;   Sue Millar, phone 526 7440.

Saturday 4 July:   Field trip – Northern Porirua Scenic Reserve

Last year’s visit to this kohekohe - tawa hillside forest was so interesting that we’re going back to explore a different area.   We will see a good diversity of native forest plants, including some uncommon in the wider Wellington region.
  • Maps:   BP31, map.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. near 80 Rangituhi Cres, Elsdon, Porirua.
  • Leader:   Leon Perrie, phone 381 7261 (wk), mobile 027 419 1378.

Saturday 1 August:   Field trip – Taparanga Block, Baring Head

Botanise this private property on the northern boundary of East Harbour Regional Park’s Baring Head section.   Walk 15–20 minutes up from Coast Road, then up valley on farm tracks.   It looks an exciting place - Streblus banksii, Melicope ternata and M. simplex, are part of a range of mature broadleaved and podocarp species, and perhaps there will be some more interesting finds.   It is lightly grazed by sheep and cattle.   The gullies just north of the park boundary look the most interesting, but if you wish to go further, you may.   Be as energetic, or not, as you feel.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at carpark with large sign at park entrance on Coast Road, c. 16 km south of Wainuiomata.   Ample parking, toilets.   By train/bus: Catch 8.35 a.m. Hutt line train from Wellington to Waterloo Station, or no. 160 Wainuiomata bus 8.55 a.m. from Queensgate, and 9.02 a.m. from Waterloo, to Wainuiomata bus depot.
  • Leader:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083.   or email owen.spearpoint (at)   Contact Owen if transport required from Wainui bus depot.

Saturday 5 September:   Field trip – East Harbour Regional Park

Botanise coastal broadleaf, manuka and beech forest on Korohiwa (Bus Barn) Track and Kowhai Street Track.
  • Map:   BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at bus terminus, Muritai Rd.   By bus: No. 83 Eastbourne bus 8.50 a.m. from Courtenay Place. to terminus.
  • Co-leaders:   Mick Parsons, phone 473 1142 / 027 249 9663;   Gavin Dench, phone 387 9955 / 027 405 2987.

Saturday 3 October:   Field trip – Bodhinyanarana Buddhist Monastery, Stokes Valley

Botanise this 51 ha property with mixed areas of regenerating beech and kamahi forest.   See three ancient rimu.   Sturdy boots and walking pole recommended.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at the end of Stokes Valley Road, at 17 Rakau Grove.   Limited parking inside monastery gates, plenty outside on Stokes Valley Road.
  • Co-leaders:   Sunita Singh, phone 04 3879955, mobile 027 4052987;   and Simon Fern.

Saturday 31 October:   Field trip – Te Marua Bush workbee

In partnership with Greater Wellington, BotSoc has been committed since 1989 to do weed control and revegetation in this important matai / totara / maire remnant in Kaitoke Regional Park.   Our biennial workbees must continue so that we keep ahead of re-invasion by weeds, particularly around the plantings, so please come to help with this important work.   Bring weeding and planting gear: gloves, kneeler, weed bag, and your favourite weeding and planting tools; e.g. grubber, loppers, pruning saw, jemmy.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at Te Marua Bush (250 m north of Te Marua Store and then left, off SH2 for 50 m, along the road to Te Marua Lakes, Kaitoke Regional Park).   Coming by train? - ring the leader to arrange to be met at Upper Hutt Station.   Catch 8.05 a.m. train on Hutt line from Wellington Station.
  • Co-leaders:   Glennis Sheppard, phone 526 7450;   and Sue Millar, phone 526 7440.

Saturday 7 November:   Field trip – Hawkins Hill

We'll explore the ridge from the Brooklyn turbine south to the Airways Corporation Radome.   The roadside banks are full of interesting plants, in a habitat that is perhaps the closest to subalpine sites near Wellington city. There are also fantastic views (on good days).
  • Meet:   9 a.m. at the car-park at the Brooklyn turbine car-park, up Hawkins Hill Rd, off Ashton Fitchett Drive, Brooklyn West.
  • Leader:   Leon Perrie, email leon.perrie (at), phone 381 7261 (w), 027 419 1378;   deputy leader:   Lara Shepherd, email lara.shepherd (at), phone 381 7379 (w).

28–29 November:   Featherston area – Manganui Valley - we're sorry but this trip has been cancelled due to heavy rain forecast

Day 1:   Botanise Manganui Valley (private land).   The valley flats are grazed but contain a number of swamps with interesting floras, such as: Gratiola sexdentata, Gunnera prorepens, Ranunculus amphitrichus, R.glabrifolius and a wide variety of rushes and sedges.   Sixty-plus ferns are listed including Botrychium biforme, Hymenophyllum cupressiforme and H. minimum.   While dwarf mistletoe Korthalsella salicornioides can be seen on large kanuka and Drymoanthus adversus is seen on a number of different host trees.   The cover on the hillsides is of mature black and hard beech forest, with an interesting flora of orchids and understory of plant below the canopy.

Day 2:   Botanise lower Tauherenikau River gorge track, above the true right of the river.   This area contains regenerating bush after farming ceased some 20 - 25 years ago.   There are some pockets of regenerating beech forest and an interesting range of plants competing for canopy space elsewhere.   Along the track margins good populations of corybas orchids, pterostylis orchids, a small libertia sp.? and a swamp with Coprosma tenuicaulis and wetland plants can be investigated.
  • Meet:   Saturday 9.30 a.m. at Dorset Square, Moore St, corner of SH2.
  • Accommodation:   Featherston Motels & Camping, 4 Fitzherbert St, Featherston.   Phone 06 308 9852.   Book via Google.   $12 pp/night for use of all facilities, otherwise $8.   ALTERNATIVE: If you would prefer a room: Race Track Ranch, SH2, Tauherenikau, $16 pp/n (bring own sheets/pillow), phone 06 308 9026 / 021 271 0364.   Simple rooms with 1 bed or 2 beds available for the same price.   Bookings must be made in advance.   See: OR email (at)   Pot luck dinner Saturday night.
  • Meals:   Bring own breakfast, lunch and Potluck dinner.
  • Leader:   Chris Hopkins, phone 04 528 5195, e-mail hopkinschris (at);   deputy leader: Sunita Singh, phone 04 387 9955, 027 405 2987, email [up to Thursday 26th evening only] sunita (at)

17–24 January 2016:   Summer Camp Field trip – Western Waikato

Our base at Te Kauri Lodge is in 1100 ha of well-tracked native bush, and close to karst landscapes, wetlands, Pirongia Forest Park, and Kawhia and Aotea harbours and more.   More information and registration form in September newsletter.
  • Accommodation:   Te Kauri Lodge, SH3, Kawhia Rd, Te Awamutu.   Space for camping is limited as the lodge is surrounded by bush.   As The lodge is over seven hours drive from Wellington, to break the journey, we propose to stay the night of 16 January at Andy Maloney’s cottage, Horopito, near Ohakune.   Here, we will assist by preparing a plant list for the property before driving to Kawhia on 17 January.
  • Bookings:   Please tell Mick as soon as you can about your interest in coming.   This will allow us to cater for individual needs on a satisfactory basis, and allow distribution of trip information earlier.   Registration form in the September newsletter.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50 BE32 Kawhia, BE33 Pirongia.
  • Further information:   BotSoc Bulletin no. 43 April 1987 – Flora & vegetation of parts of Tawarau Forest, Western King Country.
  • Deadline for registrations and deposits:   30 November 2015.
  • Leader:   Mick Parsons, phone 473 1142 / 027 249 9663.


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