Site Index
Field Trips Page

2016 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.

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

Click here to get more information about attending field trips and recommended trip gear.

2016 Programme

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:   Registration is now closed.
  • 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.

Saturday 13 February:   Field trip – Plant propagation at Otari-Wilton’s Bush

Curator Rewi Elliot will firstly talk to us about Otari’s nursery and show us how they propagate and care for a wide range of NZ native plants.   We will look at seed sowing, cuttings, propagation mixes, and our nursery facilities - 1 hour.   Then botanise one of Otari’s less well known areas, led by Chris Horne and Barbara Mitcalfe.
  • Maps:   street map; NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.15 a.m. at Information Centre / Te Marae o Tane, 160 Wilton Rd, Wilton.   Catch no. 14 Wilton bus: Kilbirnie shops at 8.30, Courtenay Place at 8.47, Molesworth Street at 8.54.   Alight in Warwick Street.
  • Leaders:   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, mobile 027 474 9300;   Barbara Mitcalfe, phone 475 7149.

Saturday 5 March:   Field trip – Baring Head - Tupoki Takarangi Trust

This private land is recognised by Greater Wellington Regional Council as part of the Baring Head Key Native Ecosystem.   We will botanise the property starting where we finished off in August 2015.   We will add to that species list as we walk up and over the hill, investigate the escarpment where it is safe to do so, then botanise the block’s coastal edge.   Although the weather should be kind, do bring extra layers as this site is very exposed.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at car-park with large sign at park entrance on Coast Road, c. 16 km south of Wainuiomata.   Ample parking, toilets.   Catch 8.35 a.m. train on Hutt line from Wellington to Waterloo Station, or no. 160 Wainuiomata bus: Queensgate at 8.55, Waterloo at 9.02; to Wainuiomata bus depot.
  • Leader:   Robyn Smith, 04 236 6086 (h), robsmithii (at)   If using train or bus, please ring Robyn to arrange to be met at bus depot.

Easter Friday 25 – Sunday 27 March:   Easter field trip – North Wairarapa

Friday:   Botanise Priscilla & John Paulik’s “Kowhainui” 2-ha QEII covenant, 19 Mangamahoe Central Rd, Mauriceville, 20 minutes from Masterton.
Saturday:   Botanise east side of Pukaha Mt Bruce Scenic Reserve, with option to traverse west side to Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre.
Sunday:   To be decided – suggestions welcome!
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BN34 Shannon & BN35 Alfredton.
  • Meet:   10.15 a.m. at the junction SH2 and Opaki-Kaipororo Rd, c. 6 km N of Masterton.
  • Accommodation:   Eketahuna Camping grounds, Stout Street, Eketahuna, 1 km from SH 2.   Please make your own bookings   Web:   Rural setting in 5 ha native bush.   Pot-luck dinners.
  • Co-leaders:   Sunita Singh, phone 387 9955, mobile 027 405 2987; Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, mobile 027 474 9300.   If you would like a lift, or have space in your car, please tell the co-leaders.

Saturday 7 May:   Field trip – QEII covenant, South Makara

Botanise Janet & Mike Warren’s 24-ha QEII Open Space covenant, ‘Erin go Bragh’.   See original podocarp / broadleaved forest, subject to intensive goat and possum control since 1994, the year of BotSoc’s first visit.   It is part of Wellington city’s remaining 1% of pre-European forest.   See rimu c. 700 years old, with abundant regeneration of many species.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m., at the gate of 509 South Makara Rd.
  • Co-leaders:   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, mobile 027 474 9300;   Barbara Mitcalfe, phone 475 7149.

Saturday 4 June:   Field trip – Huntleigh Reserve, Crofton Downs

Botanise this podocarp/broadleaved forest, among the best preserved of Wellington’s remaining pre-European bush.   See large podocarps, numerous liane and fern species, first on a broad track, then down a valley.
  • Maps:   Street and NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   10 a.m., at Silverstream Rd, Crofton Downs, opposite Ngaio Playcentre.   Catch 9.32 Johnsonville line train, WN to Crofton Downs Station, then walk 10 minutes up Silverstream Rd.
  • Co-leaders:   Chris Moore, phone 479 3924;   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, mobile 027 474 9300;   and Barbara Mitcalfe, phone 475 7149.

Saturday 2 July:   Field trip – Orongorongo Track

A pleasant, easy walk along a formed track.   We may take a few side trips into the bush, but the day will be suitable for those who haven’t been out for a while, those who are botany beginners, children and grandchildren.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   10 a.m. at Rimutaka Forest Park’s Catchpool car park, c. 15 mins along Coast Road, south of Wainuiomata.   If you require a lift from Woburn Station, ring Ian and / or Jill the night before, and we will arrange a pickup.   If there are no phone calls, there will be no pickup!
  • Co-leaders:   Ian and Jill Goodwin, phone 475 7248.

Saturday 23 July:   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 planting and weeding gear: gloves, kneeler, weed bag, and your favourite weeding tools, e.g., trowel, hand fork, grubber, loppers, pruning saw, jemmy.
  • Maps:   Street and NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   By car: At 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: Catch 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 6 August:   Field trip – Silversky Track, Crofton Downs

Botanise along this recently completed track through regenerating native forest which includes a sole large totara, and the fern, Blechnum parrisiae.
  • Maps:   Street and NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   10 a.m. at the top end of Silverstream Rd, Crofton Downs. Catch Johnsonville line train 9.32, WN to Crofton Downs, then walk 15 minutes up Silverstream Rd.
  • Co-leaders:   Chris Moore, phone 479 3924;   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, mobile 027 474 9300;   and Barbara Mitcalfe, phone 475 7149.

Saturday 3 September:   Field trip – Tawhai St Reserve – Horoeka Street Reserve loop, Stokes Valley

Botanise these reserves on the south- and west-facing slopes above Stokes Valley, Lower Hutt.   See podocarp / northern rata / beech forest with various liane, fern and ground-cover species.
  • Maps:   Street and NZTopo50-BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at Horoeka Street Reserve car park.
  • Leader:   Michele Dickson 972 2350;   Co-leader:   Sunita Singh, phone 387 9955, mobile 027 4052 987.

Saturday 1 October:   Field trip – Can’t tell a moss from a liverwort, don’t know a lichen?   Learning by doing

Continuing our enquiry into lichens, mosses, liverworts and hornworts, we will visit Otari-Wilton’s Bush to go on an exploratory walk for about two hours, collecting a few of them, and getting a feel for their various habitats.   The rest of the morning will be spent in the Leonard Cockayne Centre with microscopes, learning to identify our collections to genus and even species level.   Depending on the weather, we may take another walk in Otari, or continue until about 3 p.m. on identification.   Bring a hand lens, note book, pen and your lunch.   Tea and coffee provided.
  • Maps:   Street and NZTopo50-BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at Otari-Wilton’s Bush Information Centre / Te Marae o Tane, 160 Wilton Road, Wilton.   No. 14 Wilton bus, Kilbirnie 8.30, Courtenay Place 8.47, Molesworth Street, 8.54; alight at first stop in Warwick Street.
  • Leaders and helpers:   Rodney Lewington, phone 970 3142; Carol West, phone 387 3396; and Peter Beveridge, phone 237 8777.

Saturday 5 November:   Field trip – Rimutaka Forest Park

Botanise the Nature Walk near the park’s Catchpool Valley access road.   Enter the park from Coast Road, c. 15 minutes south of Wainuiomata.   The bush has a wide variety of native trees & ferns.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50 map BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   10.00 a.m. at the car park at the start of the Orongorongo Track.   We will shuttle some cars to the other end of the Nature Walk for the return.
  • Leaders:   Ian & Jill Goodwin.   Please phone 475 7248, or 021 519 461, with your e-mail address so they can send you a plant list.   Also phone them if you would like a lift.

Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 December:   Field trip – Palliser Bay, South Wairarapa

Day 1: Botanise Manganui Valley (private land) containing several swamps with interesting floras, e.g., Gratiola sexdentata, Gunnera prorepens, Ranunculus amphitrichus, R. glabrifolius, and a wide variety of rushes & sedges; over 60 fern species, e.g., Botrychium biforme, Hymenophyllum cupressiforme and H. minimum.   See dwarf mistletoe / Korthalsella salicornioides on large kanuka, and Drymoanthus adversus on several different host trees.   The hillsides support mature black beech & hard beech forest, with an interesting flora of orchids & other sub-canopy species.

#   It may not be possible for non-4WD cars to ford the Wharekauhau Stream on the way to Sunita’s bach if it rains heavily in the days prior to the trip.   At least one 4WD vehicle and one 4WD ute will be present and will transport any wanting to stay overnight at Sunita’s bach or the DOC camp.   Check with Sunita.

Day 2: It has become necessary to cancel the plan to botanise a side-valley of Mukamuka Stream due slips resulting from heavy rainfall and/or the earthquake making the road unsafe and unstable.   The alternative trip is to the Western Lake Reserve, including lake-side and an area of wetland and bush above the reserve at the Featherston end of the bush block for which there is a separate list.
  • Maps:   BQ33 Lake Wairarapa, BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   Day 1 - Meet 9.30 a.m. at Dorset Square, Featherston, corner of Moore St & SH2.
  • Accommodation:   At Sunita’s bach, Ocean Beach, near Corner Creek, 2 tent sites, 4 bunks, plus DOC campsite 300m away.   Alternatives: Featherston Motels & Camping, 4 Fitzherbert St, Featherston.   Ph 06 308 9852; camping $15pp / backpacker room $35.   Race Track Ranch, SH2, Tauherenikau, Camping $15 / room $20. Ph 06 308 9026 / 021 271 0364.   Pot-luck dinner Saturday night.
  • Co-leaders:   Pat Enright / Chris Hopkins ph 04 528 5195, e-mail hopkinschris (at) so he can e-mail you a species list.   Sunita Singh 387 9955, 027 405 2987, sunita (at)

11–18 January 2017:   Summer Camp field trip – North-West Nelson

Located in a DOC reserve between Kahurangi National Park & Tai Tapu Marine Reserve.   Next to NZ Native Forest Restoration Trust’s Mangarakau Swamp, the largest remaining wetland in the Nelson / Marlborough region.   Fascinating native plants and wildlife.
  • Base camp:   “The Outpost”, Mangarakau.   Sleeps 28 indoors, and has plenty of camping space.   Approx. 5 hours drive from Picton.   One hour west of Collingwood.   Full details and booking form in September newsletter.   About 5-hr drive from Picton.   One 1 hr west of Collingwood.
  • Maps:   BN23 Patarau River (the most useful), BM24ptBN24 Cape Farewell, BN22 Kahurangi Point, BN24 Collingwood, available at Bivouac Outdoor, 39 Mercer St & Map Shop, 121 Thorndon Quay.   (Parkmap 274-13 Kahurangi 1:150 000 is out of print).   Brochure: Farewell Spit & Puponga Farm Park. $2, DOC Visitor Centre, 13-27 Manners St, WN (note new location).
  • Leader and Contact:   Booking ESSENTIAL.   Contact Chris Moore, phone 04 479 3924, or mobile 027 4313 789, Email moore.c (at), if you intend to go.   See information and registration in the September newsletter or download here for doc version or here for pdf version.


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