Rimutaka Forest Park is a magnificent area of mostly native forest in the hills east of New Zealand's capital city, Wellington.
It encompasses the Rimutaka Ranges and the Orongorongo River, just north of the spectacular earthquake terraces and seal colony at the Turakirae Head Scientific Reserve.
The Park is characterised by steep, bush-clad hills and narrow fern-filled valleys cut by abundant freshwater streams and the beautiful Orongorongo River.
Throughout the park, there are many well-formed and signposted walking tracks appealing to bushwalkers and nature lovers of every age and state of fitness.
The park is easily accessed by road from Wellington or Lower Hutt. Simply take the hill road to Wainuiomata and follow all the signs to the Coast Road/ Rimutaka Forest Park and then turn left at the Catchpool Stream access road into the Park. (See Map)
The Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust is committed to preserve and restore the natural and historic resources of the Rimutaka Forest Park valleys and environs... (More)
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Christchurch namesake killed by dog
One of the kiwi re-introduced by the community in parkland near Wainuiomata has been killed by a dog.
The death of Otautahi has been a blow to volunteers of the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust, which reintroduced kiwi to the park with support from the Department of Conservation (DoC).
Greater Wellington Regional Council, which manages the adjoining Wainuiomata Water Collection and Recreation Areas, strongly support the initiative and will provide more signs in the area to remind dog walkers of their responsibilities.
“Kiwi are synonymous with what makes us New Zealanders; kiwi are resilient birds provided we control introduced predators such as stoat and ferret and man’s best friend, our dogs”. said trust spokesperson Melody McLaughlin. “If the dog had been kept on a lead, Otautahi would still be alive.”
It only takes seconds for a dog to crush a kiwi.
While most people see kiwi as secretive animals, they frequently nest near paths, putting them in harm’s way and making them vulnerable to dogs. Otautahi was found beside the track leading into the Recreation Area, where dogs are often walked.
“Most owners would never expect a kiwi to be around paths or their dog to be capable of killing one, but the reality is a kiwi’s scent is irresistible to dogs, and kiwi cannot escape them.
Owners need to know where their dogs are at all times and keep them inside or contained at night”, said Ms Mclaughlin.
Greater Wellington Regional Council Parks Manager Amanda Cox said that in Wainuiomata we have the only place near urban Wellington where kiwi exist in the wild. “We need dog walkers to help us look after the kiwi, take note of the signs and keep their dogs on leads at all times in the Wainuiomata Recreation Area. It is a change from how people used to let their dogs run free but we think keeping these kiwi safe is worth it.”
The kiwi, a three old male, was born in Christchurch a week after the February 2011 earthquake and given the Maori name for Christchurch, Otautahi. He was released into the Rimutaka Forest Park in July 2012 and was monitored by volunteer trackers ever since. He was important to the population as he was a young male, of breeding age, with the potential to produce anywhere upward of 20 chicks in his life time. “His death will be a loss to the region’s natural environment and to the memory of the Christchurch earthquake. It’s such a sad end,” said Ms McLaughlin.
May, 2014 - For more information please contact: Melody McLaughlin on 027 452 4982
Right now, there's a stunning display of NZ Tree Fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata) at the Catchpool Valley picnic area near the start of the Nature Trail in the Rimutaka Forest Park. Don't miss this opportunity to see these superb jewel-like flowers. So many irridescent colours! (Click for a larger image.) Photo credit: PC
What's hidden down there in that deep, dark burrow? Here's a really good way to reveal all!
Read all about Alan Thompson's Kiwi Spy device here: