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2024 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.

If a field trip has to be postponed because of bad weather or other reason, it will happen the following Saturday, or a later Saturday.   Please re-check our web site for updates or ask the trip leader.

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.

2024 Programme

20–27 January 2024 :   Summer Camp – Ruapehu area

The Ruapehu area has an excellent variety of alpine flora and interesting beech and podocarp forest.   Highlights include Taranaki Falls, Tama Lakes and the recently described Cardamine panatohea.   Possible field trips: Erua area, Eastern Tongariro Forest and the Rangataua, Hihitahi, Taheke Conservation Areas.
  • Base camp:   Taylor Lodge, Ruapehu, 20 Pokaka Road, Erua 3990.   Breakfasts and lunches will be prepared by BotSoccers on a roster system.   Dinners and deserts will be catered.   Vegetarians, dairy-free and vegan catered for if advised — if you have other special dietary needs please make your own arrangements.
  • Accommodation: bunk-rooms:   $25.35/person/night; camping: $25.35/person/night (no fires).
  • Transport:   Participants to arrange their own transport to and from camp.   Transport may be available from bus stop / train station / airport nearest Taylor Lodge.   Please indicate transport arrangements on the registration form.
  • Booking:   Booking ESSENTIAL.   Book early!   Preference will be given to members of Wellington BotSoc.   Please either download registration form here for pdf version, or here for doc version, or print the registration form at the end of the September newsletter.   Please complete deposit payment and email your completed form to Tom Mayo at botsocsummercamp (at) by 25 November.
  • Deposit:   $470.00 per person to be paid at time of registration by internet banking.   At the end of the trip, depending on the final cost, you will be sent an invoice (or a refund) for the full cost less your original payment. Student scholarships available - for details see September newsletter.
  • Maps:   NZMS Topo50 maps: BJ34 Mt Ruapehu, BJ33 Raetihi. Vascular Plants of Tongariro Ecological District. Auckland BotSoc Bulletin 34 (2018). M D Wilcox & N J D Singers. $30 + $6 p&p. aucklandbotanicalsociety (at)
  • Contact:   Tom Mayo at botsocsummercamp (at)

Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 February:   Field trip – Ruamahanga Catchment, Wairarapa.   NOTE: SECOND SATURDAY.

Day 1: Lower Ruamahanga
Botanise retired riparian forest bush remnant beside Ruamahanga River.   The owners wish to restore the once-grazed remnant; recently fenced and planted around.   Korthasella salicornioidies is in vicinity.   Wetlands nearby - bring gumboots!   Botanising area is flat but we may need 4wd’s to access depending on weather.
  • Meet:   Featherston 10 a.m. along SH53 before rail crossing.   Drive in convoy towards Martinborough and the site.   The farmer will decide final route to site.   Bring: water, sunhat, boots, lunch, thermos, hand sanitiser, sunscreen.
  • Accommodation:   Camp: Saturday night at Greytown or Carterton campgrounds.
  • Meals:   Dinner: Bring your own or we can have a pot-luck.   Breakfast: Bring your own..
  • Co-leaders:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083, email owen.spearpoint (at)

Day 2: Tunanui Farm
Botanise two QE2 covenants and a large seepage wetland.   The covenants are mature tawa / podocarp forest; the wetland is retired farmland, The Mākara River and its tributaries are in the Huangarua catchment.   Visit seepage wetlands on hillsides and large areas of regenerating scrub / shrubland.   Forest type: mixed beech forest plus podocarp broadleaved forest on valley floors.   Good foot access to most of farm via 4wd tracks.   Relatively sheltered; valley faces west on margins of Tararua Range.
  • Depart:   Carterton 9 a.m. Drive in convoy north up SH2 to Masterton and at junction with Ōpaki-Kaiparoro road north of Masterton, take turnoff to Mauriceville.
  • Meet:   farmer at 10.00 a.m.
  • Co-leaders:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083, email owen.spearpoint (at)

Both botanising sites are isolated and remote however the Tunanui sites are steep terrain.   As we have been kindly allowed to botanise these private properties, all trip members are expected to submit to the trip leader a list of the plant species they have identified.   Limit: 20 people.   Bring: spare clothes, lunches, thermos, water, scroggin, boots with good ankle support, waterproofs (parka & leggings), warm clothes including hat, longs, gloves. If the forecast weather is wet or too windy we will cancel on the Friday before.

Saturday 2 March:   Field trip – Paraparaumu Scenic Reserve

Botanise extensive areas of regionally rare coastal and lowland kohekohe / tawa forest and kahikatea/pukatea forest.   Extensive bait lines through the area provide tracks which are likely to be rough so boots and poles are recommended.   Find out about the brown mudfish in local streams.
  • Map:   NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   9.35 a.m.   Paraparaumu Station car park from where we will travel in convoy sharing transport or 10 a.m. main reserve carpark, just before 115 Maui Pomare Rd in Nikau Valley.   Train: Depart 8.44 a.m. / Arrive 9.38 a.m. on Kāpiti Line from Wellington Station to Paraparaumu Station.
  • Co-Leaders:   Jenny Fraser, phone 027 358 0070, email JennyJFraser (at); and Pattern Reid, DOC Ranger / Kaitiaki, Biodiversity for Kāpiti / Wellington, phone 027 289 256.

Saturday 6 April:   Field trip – Ngā Manu Nature Reserve wetlands, Waikanae

Botanise Jack’s Bush / Ngā Manu Bush — one of the largest and best examples of swamp forest within Foxton Ecological District.   See a good example of sequences between wetland, swamp forest and dune-ridge dry forest.   Wetland habitat is nationally rare; less than 8% indigenous cover remaining in Foxton ED.   Contains significant specimens of swamp maire / Syzygium maire, kahikatea / Dacrycarpus dacrydioides and pukatea / Laurelia novae-zelandiae.   Also Dactylanthus taylorii and lots of mistletoes.   PLEASE NOTE: There is a $15 entry fee to Ngā Manu wetland; the money goes towards running and protecting this important reserve.
  • Maps:   Street map; NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaum.
  • Meet:   10am at Ngā Manu carpark.   Train: 8.14 a.m. on Kāpiti Line from Wellington Station to Waikanae Station.   For those traveling by train, please contact the trip leaders to organise transport.
  • Co-Leaders:   Andy McKay, phone 027 555 5653; and Kate Jordan, phone 027 899 0018, email kateljordan (at)

Saturday 4 May:   Field trip – Te Ara Paparārangi and Gilberd Bush Reserve, Newlands

NOTE: A Change from advertised programme due to closure of Matiu/Somes Island)
Walk the track Te Ara Paparārangi, including Gilberd Bush Reserve, from Tamworth Crescent to Waihinahina Park, and back.   With a locally good diversity of small trees (including large kānuka), ferns (including Leptopteris hymenophylloides), herbaceous flowering plants (native and weedy), and bryophytes (including Lopidium and Treubia), there is interest for everyone.   The track is good, but some might want to bring a walking pole for a few short, steep sections.   It’s a slow one hour one-way, and longer still when botanising.


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