Alert: Sutherland Mangahoe Reserve is closed until further notice
This reserve is temporarily closed pending replacement of the access bridge which was destroyed by recent flooding. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Please check this webpage for updates.
Published on 9 January 2022.
Tracks: There is one track on the reserve that takes around 50 minutes to complete.
Getting there: The reserve is located in the Turakina Valley, on Mangahoe Rd, 20kms west of Hunterville. From State Highway 3 at Turakina, the reserve can be accessed by travelling 26km up the Turakina Valley Road, turning left and then continuing 5km along Mangahoe Road. A foot-bridge over the Mangahoe Stream leads into the reserve.
The locals: Common native bird species in the reserve include bellbird, tui, grey warbler, North Island fantail, silvereye and NZ pigeon.
Located south of a volcanic plateau and to the west of the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges, the 12 hectare Sutherland Mangahoe Reserve is made up primarily of Kahikatea podocarp forest - Kahikatea forest with rimu, totara, rewarewa, and occasional matai and miro, over an understorey of tawa. The North West corner of the reserve contains an area of immature Kahikatea forest 20m tall, which is so dense that the tops bang together in wind. The thinking is that the area was a large subsidence which destroyed the original forest and this new stand is fighting for dominance. Maybe it was a similar subsidence that formed nearby Lake Ngaruru, which contains buried tree trunks that have been carbon dated to the same time as Lake Waikaremoana was formed. Re-planting, fencing and pest control in the past 20 years has helped this forested area back to its former glory and now many magnificent totara can be found in the area. Contact the branch if you are interested in helping with pest control.