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2023 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.

2023 Programme

21–28 January 2023 :   Summer Camp – The Catlins, Coastal Otago

Catlins has a wide variety of ecosystems from coastal and estuary areas to alpine areas.   Highlights include the petrified forest of Curio Bay and old podocarp forest of McLean Falls.   Read the recent write-up on the Tautuku catchment, by Brian Rance and John Barkla
Possible field trips: Curio Bay (petrified forest), Waipapa (coastal turf), Lake Wilkie and Lenz Reserve, Catlins River Track (subalpine), Cannibal and Surat Bay (sand dunes), Papatowhai (estuary) and MacLean Falls (old forest).
  • Base camp:   Kotuku Camp, Tautuku Outdoor Education Centre.   Breakfasts & 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: $36/person/night; camping: $36/person/night (no fires).
  • Transport: Participants to arrange their own transport to and from camp.   Transport will be available from Dunedin Airport – please indicate if you need this 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 email your completed form to by 25 November.
  • Deposit: $550.00 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.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50: CG13 Clinton, CG14 Owaka, CG15 Nugget Point, CH12 Waipapa Point, CH13 Curio Bay. Doc information
  • Contact:   botsocsummercamp (at)

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 February:   Field trip – Tora and Timbrel Stations, Eastern Wairarapa

Day 1: Tora coastal escarpment
Botanise the most intact example of a modified but regenerating KNE site, a remnant of the original titoki - ngaio forest type, critically endangered in the Wellington region with no more than 3% remaining.   The covenant’s vegetation is heavily influenced by its location on a seaward-facing coastal escarpment within a warm, semi-arid climate, surrounded by farm grazing.   The covenanted KNE 9.6 ha site is spread out across three titles whose owners are committed to its restoration and protection.   See regionally endangered rengarenga lily / Arthropodium cirratum, whau / Entelea arborescens (both likely introduced by early Maori) and speargrass / Aciphylla squarrosa. Also a regenerating understorey which includes ferns and orchids.   See for-tora-coast-bush-2016-2019.pdf and
  • Map:   NZTopo50—BQ34 Martinborough.
  • Meet:   Featherston 9 a.m., park along SH53 before the rail crossing.   Drive in convoy to Martinborough, turn left off Cape Palliser onto White Rock Rd just south of the town.   The White Rock / Tora Rd is long, narrow, winding and unsealed for the last 30 minutes.   Please have a full tank of petrol when we leave Martinborough.   There is an Alliance petrol station there with cheapish petrol.   The weather will be a consideration for the Tora KNE site visit due to the escarpment’s exposure to an easterly or southerly storm.   Botanising at this site is very close to the campsite and can be as gentle or adventurous as people wish so would suit all fitness levels and ages.   There are also ephemeral wetlands close to the campsite, or across the river the coastal turfs at Te Kaukau Point seal haul-out.
  • Accommodation:   Basic camping.   There is a new and clean toilet but bring loo paper and hand sanitiser.   There is no water to be had at Tora: Bring 20 litres with you.. Camping sites are below the road amongst the lupins between the estuary’s river-edge road, and the beach.   Further south near the road is another camping area, but be aware that site is more exposed in a north-westerly wind.
  • Meals:   People are welcome to do their own thing for dinner or we can mix in for a pot-luck for dinner. Bring your own breakfast and lunch..
  • Co-leaders:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083, email owen.spearpoint (at); and Jenny Fraser, phone 027 358 0073, email jennyjfraser (at)

Day 2: Timbrel Farm
Botanise a new area, consisting of mature forest and wetlands alongside the Makara River and its tributaries in the Huangarua catchment.   There are seepage wetlands on the hillsides and large areas of regenerating scrub / shrubland.   The forest type is mixed beech forest with occasional podocarp broadleaved forest on valley floors.   There is good foot access via 4wd tracks to most of farm.   While relatively sheltered and valley faces northeast, Timbrel Farm is on the margins of the Aorangi Range at a mid-range altitude so it can be misty, wet, windy and cold.
  • Map:   Map: NZTopo50—BQ34 Martinborough.
  • Depart:   Tora at 9 a.m. along Tora Rd, then White Rock Rd to the wind farm.   At the wind-farm on White Rock Rd turn left along Range Rd, then onto Paruwai Rd and down into the Makara valley.   Cross the bridge and turn left up river a short distance to Timbrel Station.   Cross bridge, turn left up river a short distance to Timbrel Station.
  • Meet:   farmer at 10.30 a.m.   Both botanising sites are isolated and remote.   Bring spare clothes, lunches, thermos, water, scroggin, sturdy boots with good ankle support.   Waterproofs (parka and leggings), and warm clothes including a warm hat, longs and gloves.   If forecast is wet or too windy we will cancel.
  • Co-leaders:   Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083, email owen.spearpoint (at); and Jenny Fraser, phone 027 358 0073, email jennyjfraser (at)

Saturday 4 March:   Field trip – Riparian vegetation of Korokoro Stream

An easy walk from the top to the bottom.   View the historic Korokoro and Woollen Mills dams.   Take a paddle in the cool clear waters and find out what is growing in this part of Belmont Regional Park.   The walk from Oakleigh St to Cornish St takes 1.5 hours but is likely to be a lot slower due to behaviour of a botanical nature.
  • Map:   Belmont-Regional-Park-Brochure.
  • Meet:   Cornish St car park near the estuary at 9.30 a.m. Car-share from there to Oakleigh St carpark. Bus: No. 150 to Kelson departs Petone Railway Station to Oakleigh Street at 9.30 a.m. Train: Departs Upper Hutt 8.30 a.m. and arrives Petone Station 9.03 a.m. Departs WN at 9.05 a.m. and arrives Petone 9.17 a.m. Buses may replace trains.
  • Co-Leaders:   Frances Forsyth, phone 021 072 5210, email FrancesmjForsyth (at); and Kate Jordan, phone 027 899 0018, email kateljordan (at)

Saturday 1 April:   Field trip – Tako Ngatata Scenic Reserve

Botanise patches of lowland mature black beech and hard beech forest, along ridgelines of regenerating kamahi and manuka scrub, and a fen.   The trail is approximately 4.5km and includes some steps.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BP32 Paraparaumu & BQ32 Lower Hutt.
  • Meet:   9:30 a.m. at the corner of Chatsworth Road & Arundel Grove, Silverstream.   Train: 8:35 a.m. Hutt line train Wellington to Silverstream.   Contact the trip leader to arrange to be met at Silverstream Station.
  • Co-Leaders:   Laura West, phone 021 583 934, email laurajgwest (at); and Owen Spearpoint, phone 027 285 8083, email Owen.Spearpoint (at)

Saturday 6 May:   Field trip – Trelissick Park, Ngaio Gorge

Botanise this pre-European and regenerating native forest with plantings in Kaiwharawhara Stream’s impressive valley.   The forest has had pest-animal and pest-plant control for 30 years by the Trelissick Park Group, WCC and GWRC.
  • Maps:   NZTopo50-BQ31 Wellington; and WCC’s Trelissick Park brochure.
  • Meet:   9.45 a.m. at Crofton Downs rail station car park.   Train: Johnsonville Line train 9.32 a.m. from Wellington Station to Crofton Downs Station.
  • Species list:   ask co-leaders to e-mail you a list.   Also see article by Trellissick Park Group in December 2022 newsletter.
  • Co-Leaders:   Michele Dickson, phone 972 2350, and Chris Horne, phone 475 7025.


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