A trio of lovely Central Hawke’s Bay’s reserves can be enjoyed on a day trip

A’Deane’s Bush at 38 hectares is the largest of the three reserves. A 25-minute drive from Waipukuaru via Onga Onga, the reserve is located on a flat river bed. It is cared for through a joint venture between DOC and local volunteers who make up the Friends of A’Deane’s Bush. The pupils at Sherwood School are an integral part of the group and are involved in all aspects of the ecological restoration, planting, monitoring rat numbers and counting numbers and types of beetles trapped. The native forest is dominated by matai and kahikatea (white pine) and a stunning 34m high totara which is probably between 600 and 700 years old is a must-see. The track is an easy 30 minute walk.

The volunteers have gone batty in the best possible way! Thanks to funding from DOC’s Community Fund and the WWF Community Conservation Fund, the Friends of A’Deane’s Bush, with help from expert bat ecologists, have been able to track and trace around 50 female long-tailed bats (pekapeka) breeding in the area, with at least 30 bats roosting in an old dead rewarewa. Some have been caught in nets and fitted with tiny transmitters weighing 0.5 gram to follow their flights in and around the Ashley Clinton and Tikokino areas. The tiny bats, which weigh between 8 and 11 grams are endangered, rated ‘nationally critical’ which is the highest DOC threat ranking, so this is a great project.

Lindsay Bush Scenic Reserve is a 9.2 hectare reserve owned by the CHB District Council and looked after by the local branch of Forest and Bird. A lot of effort has been put into the reserve in recent years and it is now a very special place with plenty of lush regenerating bush and birdsong. Small kahikatea, matai, titoki and tawa seedlings and saplings can be seen almost everywhere. This regeneration has been achieved through regular weeding by volunteers, combined with ongoing pest control. The Titoki Track wends its way through the reserve and is a leisurely 20-30 minute walk.  If you have time, allow another 10-15 minutes to enjoy the Totara Loop Track as well.

Monckton’s Scenic Reserve is 16.5 hectares and offers the perfect destination to take the kids and let them splash or swim in the stream beside the carpark.  The DOC-managed forest is rich in kahikatea, totara, beech, matai, tawa and kowhai. Native birds are plentiful too, with spring being a good time to visit as tui and bellbirds love to feed on the many kowhai. After a bit of a climb down from the carpark, the track itself is easily walked in an hour by fit people.

Lead photo: courtesy of Sherwood School
2nd photo: Courtesy of Omakere School

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