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Pukemako Scenic Reserve
September 15 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
As a result of treaty negotiations with Ngati Haua, the reserves formerly known as Maungakawa Scenic Reserve and Gudex Memorial Park Historic Reserve are now called Pukemako Scenic Reserve and Pukemako Historic Reserve respectively. A short loop track takes us through the scenic reserve, which interestingly used to be home to Trilepidea adamsii, a large-leaved native mistletoe now presumed extinct (the last record of this species was from Pukemako in 1954). Pukemako translates as “hill of the bellbird” – we are sure to have plenty of birdsong while we are botanising as the this is one of the Hamilton “halo” sites; one several reserves within a 20km radius of Hamilton which have been subject to intensive pest control since 2007. The Botanical Society was last here back in 2004 for a Christmas “do”, so it is high time we revisited the area; especially now that many years of pest control and restoration work have restored life to the forest. Perhaps Trilepidea will make an appearance again? The area also has a very interesting history which I can fill you in on during the walk.
The loop walk is very easy, so suitable for old young and in-between, but may be a bit slippery in places (especially if we want to go looking off-track), so come prepared with suitable walking boots/shoes. The adjacent historical reserve has plenty of nice places to lunch out in the sun. Suitable for beginner botanists too – a perfect place to learn (and revise) those plant species typical of Waikato lowland forest.
For those who wish to carpool, we will leave from the Landcare Research carpark (Gate 10 off Silverdale Road, Hamilton) at 9am, otherwise meet at the reserve entrance off Gudex Road around 9.30am. Don’t get confused if using Google maps – there is another Maungakawa off Piakonui Road near Cambridge which is part of the Te Tapui scenic reserve. The Maungakawa we are aiming for is Pukemako – otherwise known as Gudex Historic Reserve/Sanatorium Hill, off Gudex Road, which joins Maungakawa Road.