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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!


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