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2017 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.

2017 Programme

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.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50–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.

Saturday 11 February:   Field trip – Barry Hadfield Nikau Reserve, Paraparaumu

Botanise around the loop track in this regionally significant kohekohe / nikau coastal forest remnant.   See also kiekie, pukatea, astelias, small-leaved milk tree, etc.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50–BP32, Paraparaumu; street map.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at the reserve’s parking area, immediately east of SH1.   Take the Lindale Interchange, just north of Paraparaumu over-bridge.   Turn left off Nikau Valley Rd - the parking area is a short distance north.   If you would like a lift from Wellington, or to be met at Paraparaumu Station, please phone the leader.
  • Leaders:   Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, mobile 027 474 9300.

Saturday 4 March:   Field trip – Seaweeds for beginners

An introduction to seaweeds, looking at what is common on Wellington’s south coast.   We’ll deal in the basics: if you already know Carpophyllum from Cystophora, you’ll be qualified to help (and even replace) the trip leader.   Otherwise, bring your camera, drawing pad, or whatever else you use to record your botanical discoveries.   If you can, please bring a seaweed book (such as Wendy Nelson’s NZ seaweeds: an identification guide) and / or a printout of NIWA’s free Beautiful Browns guide (   We won’t walk far, but sturdy footwear is essential for the coastal rocks.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50–BQ31 Wellington; street map.
  • Meet:   10 a.m. near toilet block, Te Raekaihau Point (between Island Bay and Lyall Bay).   No. 23 Houghton Bay bus: Mairangi 8.15 a.m., WN Station Stop A 8.36 a.m., Courtenay Pl 8.44 a.m.   Alight at terminus and walk east along The Esplanade to meeting place.
  • Leader:   Leon Perrie, phone 027 419 1378.

Saturday 1 April:   Field trip – Kaukau and Te Wharangi ridge to south

Botanise along the ridge and bush edge south from Mt Kaukau to above Ngaio / Crofton Downs.   Access is 4WD track from 109 Rifle Range Rd, Ohariu Valley.   We will walk back along the top to the cars.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50–BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at 109 Rifle Range Rd.   If you would like a lift from Johnsonville Station, please contact the leaders.
  • Co-leaders:   Eleanor Burton, e-mail trogs (at), phone 021 058 8324, or Jane Humble, email jhumble16 (at)

Saturday 6 May:   Field trip – Mystery trip to Akatarawa Forest

Mystery trip in this GWRC forest.   Botanise cut-over northern rata / podocarp / broadleaved forest in headwaters of the true right branch of the Whakatiki River, GWRC, Akatarawa forest.   This branch drains the southern side of Mt Wainui.   Access will be from the Maungakotukutu Valley entrance.   We will access the area from here by 4wd.   Rugged footwear recommended.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50–BP32 - Paraparaumu.   Meet at grid reference 692634.
  • Meet:   Train: 8.14 a.m. from Wellington on Waikanae line to Paekakariki Station, arrives 9 a.m.   Ask Leader to meet you near railway crossing on Beach Rd, near the Paekakariki shops.   Car: SH1 to Queen Elizabeth Park interchange, then Emerald Glen Rd – Waterfall Rd – Maungakotukutuku Rd.   Meet at 9.30 a.m. outside quad-bike hire company, near where road meets stream.   Transfer to 4WD vehicles.
  • Leader:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083.   Booking essential!

Saturday 3 June:   Field trip – Silversky Track, Crofton Downs

Botanise regenerating bush on the Outer Green Belt.   See a mature totara, a Bechnum fern which is uncommon in Wellington, also recent extensive plantings and weed-control efforts.
  • Maps:   Street map and NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at the end of Silverstream Road.   Train: Catch 9.02 a.m. Johnsonville line from Wellington Station to Crofton Downs Station, then walk for 15 minutes up Silverstream Rd.
  • Leader:   Chris Moore, phone 027 4313 789 / 479 3924;   deputy leader: Richard Grasse, phone 976 2690.

Saturday 17 June:   Field trip – Te Marua Bush workbee, Upper Hutt

In partnership with Greater Wellington, BotSoc has been committed since 1989 to do weed control and revegetation in this important matai / totara / black 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 gear: gloves, kneeler, weed bag, and your favourite weeding tools, e.g., trowel, hand fork, grubber, loppers, pruning saw, jemmy.
  • Maps:   Street map and NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   Meet at Te Marua Bush at 9.30 a.m. (250 m north of Te Marua Store and then left, off SH2 for 50 m, on Twin Lakes Rd, Kaitoke Reginal Park).   Train: Catch 8.05 a.m. Hutt line train from Wellington to Upper Hutt - ring the leader to arrange to be met at Upper Hutt Station.
  • Co-Leaders:   Glennis Sheppard, phone 526 7450, Sue Millar, phone 526 7440.

Saturday 1 July:   Field trip – Manawa Karioi, Island Bay

Join us at Manawa Karioi reserve on Tapu Te Ranga Marae’s land, Island Bay, one of Wellington’s oldest and arguably most scientifically-based revegetation areas.   The oldest plantings are now twenty-five years old, and the hills and gullies of Manawa Karioi support a range of regenerating and replanted ecosystems, and a growing diversity and abundance of native species.   Manawa Karioi Restoration Project (   Come and document this growing diversity – let’s add to Maggie Wassilieff’s 1993 species list.
  • Maps:   Street map and NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at the Manawa Karioi information board next to Tapu te Ranga Marae’s carpark.   This is signposted at the end of Danube St, and can also be accessed from upper Rhine St (opposite #59);   NOT from the marae itself, unless you are walking, then you can easily get from the south end of the marae buildings to the carpark.   Bus: Catch no. 1 Island Bay bus 8.40 a.m. from Wellington Station Stop A.   Alight at Dee St, then walk up it to Eden St and Danube St.
  • Co-Leaders:   Paul Blaschke, phone 389 8545 / 027 2462848; email, and Sunita Singh, phone 387 9955 / 027 4052987.

Saturday 5 August:   Field trip – Nga Manu Nature Reserve

Botanise this 5-ha remnant of predominantly coastal lowland swamp forest and dune forest.   See kahikatea, pukatea; swamp maire, kohekohe, tawa, mahoe, plus tree ferns, shrub species, sedges and flax, and sourced from Mana Island, and large-leaved milk tree.  There are plantings of other species from throughout the NZ botanical region.   A feature is the recovery programme for mistletoe species, with two species now established on site, Korthalsella salicornioides and Ileostylus micranthus.   Entry fee: $5.00.
  • Maps:   Street map and NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaumu.   Nga Manu’s web site is, and their Facebook page is
  • Meet:   10.00 a.m. at Nga Manu Nature Reserve, 74 Nga Manu Reserve Rd, off Ngarara Rd, Waikanae,   Exit SH1/Kapiti Expressway at Te Moana Rd, then go along Park Ave, then left onto Ngarara Rd, and right onto Nga Manu Reserve Rd.   Train: Catch 8.44 a.m. Waikanae line from Wellington Station to Waikanae Station.   Ask Eleanor to meet you there.
  • Co-Leaders:   Rhys Mills (Supervisor), Nga Manu Nature Reserve, phone 04 293 4131; and Eleanor Burton, phone 04 479 0497 / 021 0588 324.

Saturday 2 September:   Field trip – Forest of Tane, Tawa

Botanise this recent 36-ha addition to Wellington’s Outer Green Belt on the Tawa side of Spicer Forest.   The area includes a small tawa / kohekohe remnant, regenerating native bush within an established pine plantation, and a yet-to-be-botanised gully.
  • Maps:   Street map and NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington.
  • Meet:   9.30a.m. at 58C Kiwi Crescent, Tawa, Wellington.   Train: Catch 8.44 a.m. Kapiti Line train from Wellington Station to Redwood Station.   If you would like a lift from Redwood Station, contact Richard, or walk for 25 minutes via Tawa St, The Drive and Larsen Crescent to Kiwi Crescent.
  • Leader:   Richard Herbert, phone 232 6828 / 027 445 5942;

4–11 January 2018:   Summer Camp field trip – Volcanic Plateau, Central North Island

  • Base camp:   Taurewa Lodge, State Highway 47, due north of Whakapapa Village and The Chateau. Sleeping accommodation includes huts, a cottage and camping.
  • Leader and Contact:   Booking ESSENTIAL.   The September newsletter will include more information and a booking form.


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