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2021 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.

2021 Programme

13–21 January 2021:   Summer camp – Banks Peninsula, Canterbury.

Botanise Banks Peninsula from the hills to the coast plus Kaitorete Spit.   The Peninsula has remnants of totara, red beech and coastal forests, plus considerable areas of forest restoration and unique coastal vegetation.   Among others, we aim to visit Hinewai Reserve, Tutakakahikura Reserve, Otepatutu Reserve, Mt. Sinclair, Mt. Herbert and Kaitorete Spit.   Check the September newsletter for further details and registration form.
  • Accommodation:   YMCA Wainui Park Camp, at 95 Wainui Valley Rd, Wainui, Banks Peninsula.
  • Transport:   If we have sufficient numbers we will hire transport to and from Christchurch Airport.   This is yet to be confirmed.   For those booking their flights early and wanting this option please arrive at Christchurch Airport by 2pm on Jan 13th and depart Christchurch airport after 1pm on Jan 21st.   It is a 90 minute drive from there to Wainui Camp.   Cost of hired transport to be shared among those using it.
  • Booking:   Booking ESSENTIAL.   Book early!   Preference will be given to members of Wellington BotSoc.   Please either download registration form here for doc version or here for pdf version, or complete and post the registration form at the end of the September newsletter.   Please send your completed form and deposit to BotSoc on, or by, 16 November - the last BotSoc meeting of the year.   If paying by cheque: please make it out to Wellington Botanical Society and send it with the completed Registration Form to The Treasurer, WBS, PO Box 10412, Wellington 6143.   If paying by bank transfer please email registration form to Julia Stace - see below.
  • Deposit:   $450.00 per person to be paid at time of registration.
  • Co-Leaders:   Julia Stace, email jbwstace (at), phone 04 385 4606, mobile 027 446 3447; and Jon Terry, email (at), phone mobile 021 168 1176 / 027 379 4594.

Saturday 13 February:   Field trip – Mt. Climie, Remutaka Forest Park

Note: Second Saturday.
We will drive in 4wd vehicles from Tunnel Gully, Te Marua to North Climie, 830m and Climie No. 2, 860m.   We will botanise subalpine plant communities on the ridge, then along spur to 835m, then forest towards 775m.   Be prepared for strong winds; bring sun protection.   Bookings: essential as numbers limited to available 4wds.
  • Maps:   Parkmap Rimutaka & Haurangi Forest Park, or NZTopo BP32 + BP33 + BQ32..
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at Tunnel Gully car park, off the end of Plateau Rd, Te Marua.   Train: 8.05 a.m. on Hutt Line from Wellington to Upper Hutt.   Ask co-leaders to meet you there.
  • Co-leaders:   Jon Terry, email Jon.Terry.NZ (at), phone 021 168 1176; Helen White, email helenamywhite (at), phone 022 413 5194.

Saturday 6 March:   Field trip – QEP northern restoration peat wetlands


A chance to create a species list for an area of peat wetlands prior to the commencement of re-wetting and restoration.   Possibly the first attempt of the re-wetting and restoring a peat wetland of this size. Meet: Bring lunch, sun cream hat etc. Gumboots optional. Leader: Owen Spearpoint 027 285 8083.
  • Map:   NZTopo50–BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at McKay’s crossing entrance.   Train:   Depart Wellington 8.14 a.m.   Arrive Paekakariki station at 9 a.m.   Phone leader if you want to be picked up at 9.00 a.m.
  • Leader:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083.

Saturday 6 March:   Field trip – Martins River, Akatarawa Forest

TRIP CANCELLED because it clashes with the KARAPOTI CLASSIC (see alternative above).

Martins River is at the head of the west branch, Akatarawa River, Akatarawa Forest.   It is accessed from the Maungakotukutuku Valley entrance to the forest with 4wd vehicles on old logging roads, which takes c. 1 hour to the ridge above the valley.   From the vehicles we will descend some 300m to the valley floor and the wetland using old logging tracks.   We will be very remote and have no cell phone coverage.   Tramping boots are essential as the ground is very uneven, moderately steep and slippery.   Bring warm clothing, plenty of snacks, lunch, a thermos and water.   The wetland is a mix of open sedgeland and manuka / coprosma shrubland over sedgeland or sphagnum.   The wetland is very wet in places — you may wish to take gumboots and tramping boots.   The forest around the wetland is mixed mature and regenerating red beech / podocarp forest.   The area is subject to unauthorised track building.   We aim to leave the wetland no later than 3.30 p.m.
  • Map:   NZTopo50–BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   Maungakotukutuku Rd end 9.30 a.m.   Train: Catch 7.44 a.m. train on Kapiti Line from Wellington to Paekakariki Station.   Wait: northern carpark to be collected at 8.45 a.m.   Tell Owen that you’ll be there.
  • Leader:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083.

Saturday 17 April:   Field trip – Ralph Green’s native forest, Kapiti Coast

PLEASE NOTE: This field trip originally schedule for 7th April has been postponed until Saturday 17 April due to weather forecast.

Botanise this mature nikau-kohekohe west-facing 2-ha forest and ponga-manuka east-facing forest.   Boots essential.   We will prepare a species list for the owners.
  • Map:   NZ Topo50-BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   9.45 a.m. at car park, Coastlands Mall, near pedestrian underpass from station.   Car-pool then travel in convoy to site.   Address: 214 Main Rd North (= former SH1) 300–400m south of Otaihanga Roundabout.   Go around roundabout then drive south c. 300–400m.   Parking and ease of access: Better one entrance north from no. 214 — the owners will advise the co-leaders so that we know what to do on the day.   Train: 8.44 a.m. train on Kapiti Line from Wellington station to Paraparaumu Stn.
  • Co-Leaders:   Chris Moore, email chrism.wellington (at), phone 479 3924, 027 431 3789; Laura West, email laurajgwest (at), phone 021 583 934.

Saturday 1 May:   Field trip – Opau Stream valley and Opau Bay

From the West Wind Farm we will travel by 4wd or foot down the steep Makara Walkway to Opau Bay where we will botanise the coastal turf vegetation.   From there we will head up Opau Stream valley to explore the only raupo swamp within the Wellington city boundary, some very large karaka trees and coastal forest remnants.   There will also be an opportunity to walk along the beach, if the weather is favourable.

Saturday 5 June:   Field trip – Field Reserve, Kapiti Coast

Botanise 3 ha of untracked coastal kohekohe-mahoe-northern rata-podocarp forest.   Field Reserve is owned by Kapiti Coast Branch, Forest & Bird.   We’ll seek to add to an existing species list.
  • Map:   NZ Topo50-BP32 Paraparaumu.
  • Meet:   9.45 a.m. at car park, Coastlands Mall, near pedestrian underpass from station.   Car-pool then travel in convoy to site.   Train: 8.44 a.m. train on Kapiti Line from Wellington Station to Paraparaumu Station.
  • Leaders:   Helen White, email helenamywhite (at), phone 022 413 5194; Deputy leader: Chris Horne, phone 475 7025, 027 474 9300.

Saturday 19 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 / maire remnant in Kaitoke Regional Park.   Our biannual 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.   There may be some planting as well.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaumu; street map.
  • Meet:   Te Marua Bush, 9.30 a.m. (250 m north of Te Marua Store) and then left, off SH2 for 50 m, on Twin Lakes Rd, Kaitoke Regional Park.   Catch; 8.05 a.m. Hutt line train 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 3 July:   Field trip – Whareroa Farm – TeAraRamaroa

We will botanise a new track (TeAraRamaroa) at Whareroa Farm.   TeAraRamaroa passes through remnant tawa / kohekohe forest.   Highlights include a very large Streblus banksii and a good diversity of ferns.   You will then have the option of returning the same way to the car or via the Ramaroa wetland walk and Forest Loop track.

Saturday 7 August:   Field trip – Pakuratahi Forest: Tane’s Track

Botanise wetland forest in Tunnel Gully Recreation Area with tall rimu, matai, kahikatea and tawa, then along Tane’s Track in mature beech forest with a varied understorey.   Boots recommended.
  • Map:   NZTopo50–BP33 Featherston; Remutaka and Haurangi Forest Park map 274-04.
  • Meet:   9 a.m. at Tunnel Gully Recreation Area parking area beyond the end of Plateau Rd, Te Marua, Upper Hutt.
  • Leaders:   Kate Jordan, phone 027 899 0018, email kateljordan (at);   Julia White, phone 021 112 8841, email rockwren1 (at)

Saturday 4 September:   Field trip – Kiripiti Scientific Reserve, Old Hautere Road, Otaki   (trip cancelled due to COVID-19 - to be rescheduled)

Botanise this 2 ha reserve of second-growth lowland forest.   Featuring a canopy of totara, matai and titoki with a dense understorey of small trees and shrubs, notably Lophomyrtus obcordata, Streblus banksii, Coprosma crassifolia and others, with an interesting suite of weeds.   Fenced off in 1971 it was last visited by WBS in 1977 when they assisted with a plot survey.   Time permitting, we will return to Rangi’s Bush cemetery, north of Whenuatapu cemetery where we will botanise a 4.14 ha remnant of lowland kohekohe forest.   WBS Bulletin 45 describes a visit there in 1983 by Maggy Wassilieff and others.
  • Meet:   10 a.m. Waikanae Railway Station north-end car park to travel in convoy to Otaki Forks Rd junction, SH1 at 10.20 a.m.
  • Leader:   Mick Parsons, phone 027 249 9663, email parsonsroad (at)

Saturday – Sunday 2–3 October:   Field trip – Wairarapa

Day 1:   Duntulm Farm, Mangatarere Valley, Wairarapa

Botanise private mixed podocarp - northern rata - beech forest and regenerating farmland with manuka.   The owners trap intensively so we may find new species.   Separate into 2 groups.   If people do split up, stay in groups of 3 minimum, and tell others your plan.
One group:   Climb Fish’s Tail or Curlers tracks to bush paddock - mature podocarp - beech forest - then return via Horseshoe Track.   Great views from high point on Horseshoe Track.
Other group:   Descend from cottage to Shed Track and down Amatiatia Track.   If time allows up Best Track on more recently purchased block - not botanised to date.   Some mature forest near shed and a pond - most of route is regenerating manuka.   Possibility: Botanise Upper Track through black beech forest on spur.
Curlers, Upper, Amatiatia & Horseshoe tracks - old farm 4wd tracks & more gentle gradients.   Fishtail, Best and Bush Paddock tracks - tramping routes.   Height gains: to top of Best Track 450 m; to top of Fishtail 240 m.   Vehicles parked at shed ferry people across stream, Mangatarere Stream is normally knee deep with a stony bottom.   All meet back at macrocarpas.
The property is on margins of Tararua Range.   It can be wet, windy, cold.   Bring lunch, thermos, water, scroggin, sturdy boots, waterproof parka and leggings, warm clothes, hat & gloves.
  • Map:   NZTopo50-BP34 Masterton; Tararua Parkmap 274-02, 1:100 000.
  • Brochure:   Google
  • Meet:   9.30 a.m. at 820 Mangatarere Valley Rd.   From SH2 north of Carterton turn left onto Chester Rd, pass cemetery (on right) along straight to a right curve.   Turn left onto Mangatarere Valley Rd - part seal then winding dirt road.   Drive to no. 820 (Some room to park on road), turn down through gate into paddock - owners will meet us under macrocarpas.   If you have a 4wd please bring it - the main track is good travel - Mangatarere Stream crossing needs care.   Park by shed - walk up to cottage for a.m. tea.
  • Overnight:   Stay at   Ph 06 379 8267.   Please make your own bookings.   Dinner: Potluck.
  • Leaders:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083 email Owen.Spearpoint (at)   Sunita Singh, phone 027 4052 987, email sunita (at)

Day 2:   Timbrel Station

Botanise beech forest with occasional podocarp broadleaved forest on margins of Aorangi Range.   It can be misty, wet, windy, and cold, so bring lunch, thermos, water, scroggin, sturdy boots, waterproof parka and leggings, warm clothes, hat and gloves.   If weather wet we will cancel.
  • Map:   NZTopo50-BQ34 Martinborough.
  • Meet:   8.50 a.m. Martinborough Square outside toilets.   Meeting farmer at station at 9.30 a.m.   White Rock Rd – Range Rd – Paruwai Rd – Huangarua Valley, over bridge, then turn left up river to station nearby.   2wd access to farm.
  • Leader:   Frances Forsyth, phone 021 072 5210.

Saturday 6 November:   Field trip – Otaki Gorge wetland

Botanise a wetland on terraces above Otaki River in Tararua Forest Park’s foothills.   Access to wetland is a 30 – 45 minute walk along private 4wd track – steep climbs, up and down ca. 120 m.   Site surrounded by regenerating forests on slopes and grassland / fernland.   Wetland includes patches of shorter stature kahikatea, sedgeland and rushland with shallow surface water — herbaceous plants throughout.   Owing to site sensitivity to trampling, numbers will be strictly limited to 15 people to minimise impact.
  • Map:   NZTopo50-BQ35 Te Wharau.
  • Meet:   Waikanae Railway Station north end car park, 9.30 a.m. to car pool to site.   Train: 8.14 a.m. Kapiti Line train from WN. Stn. to Waikanae.
  • Co-Leaders: Helen White, phone 022 413 5194, email wellingtonbotsocmembership (at);   and Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083, 830 4418 (w); 562 8780 (h), email Owen.Spearpoint (at)

22–29 January 2022 :   Summer Camp – Katikati, Bay of Plenty

The northwest Bay of Plenty is fringed by the densely forested Kaimai Range which slopes down to Tauranga’s extensive harbour, with many wetland opportunities.   Forest trees include puriri, kohekohe, rimu and rewarewa.   Possible field trips: McLaren Falls; Aongatete Loop tracks; Tuahu Track – kauri; Homunga Bay – coastal pohutukawa forest; Mt Te Aroha – high altitude vegetation; possibly Matakana Island; Wharawhara; Lindeman Loop.
  • Base camp:   Aongatete Outdoor Education Centre, near Katikati.   Breakfasts & lunches will be prepared by BotSoccers on a roster system.   Dinners will be catered.   Please make your own arrangements if you have special dietary needs.
  • Accommodation:   bunk-rooms; camping; all $18/person/night.
  • Transport:   Transport from Tauranga Airport (40 minute drive) to be arranged.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BC36 Katikati, NZTopo50-BD36 Lower Kaimai, NZTopo50-BD37 Tauranga, NZTopo50-BD38 Maketu.
  • 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 send your completed form email to Frances Forsyth on, or by, 15 November - the last BotSoc meeting of the year.
  • Deposit:   $430.00 per person to be paid at time of registration by internet banking.
  • Contact:   Frances Forsyth, phone 021 0725210, or 04 3848891, email


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