Yarndley’s Bush is a 14-hectare remnant of native swamp forest dominated by kahikatea, the tallest of native New Zealand trees. The bush remnant is accessible from Ngaroto Road, near Te Awamutu, down a sloping access track to the bush itself. A short loop track through the western end of the bush, mostly formed as a boardwalk to protect the tree roots, has a lookout tower about halfway around the loop. The bush was purchased from Richard Yarndley in 1992 to create a scenic reserve, and the boardwalk and lookout tower were built by the Te Awamutu Kiwanis Club in 1994/1995. Limited information about the bush and the walk can be found on the Waipa District Council web site, and the Te Awamutu information web site.
A large parking area is located off Ngaroto Road, adjacent to the entrance to 154 Ngaroto Road, and on the opposite side of the road about 180 metres from the Yarndley’s Bush entrance. There are no toilets or other facilities available. The parking area has information panels with details about Yarndley’s Bush, about the North Island main trunk railway line which runs alongside the parking area, and about the battle of Hingakaka which took place around Te Mangeo and Ngaroto in about the year 1780.
The parking area alongside 154 Ngaroto Road, with Ngaroto Road on the left as it crosses over the railway line. The information panels about the railway line and the battle of Hingakaka are at the far end of the parking area, and the panel about Yarndley’s Bush are at the entrance just to the left of the No Exit sign.
The information panel about Yarndley’s Bush. The panel says the average height of the kahikatea trees in the bush is 35 metres.
Looking along Ngaroto Road from the entrance to the parking area, with the entrance to Yarndley’s Bush reserve between the hedge and the trees to the right.
The entrance on Ngaroto Road to Yarndley’s Bush reserve. The sign says 180 metres to the carpark, another adjacent sign says 150 metres. The GPS says almost 200 metres. Dogs are allowed as long as they are kept on a leash.
The access track from the road to the bush is about 400 metres long and runs down a slope with some formed steps on the steepest part. There’s even a bench seat about halfway down the formed track.
The entry to the bush at the end of the downhill access track.
The track through the bush is mostly built up as a boardwalk, partly to protect the sensitive roots of the kahikatea trees. There are information panels alongside the track giving details about the trees, birdlife, and invasive plants and animals. One sign mentions that kahikatea have existed since the age of the dinosaurs.
The lookout tower alongside the loop track. The tower is higher than the bush undergrowth and provides a view of the treetops from below.
Looking down from the tower onto the undergrowth.
And looking up to the towering treetops.
The GPS tracklog shows the route followed. Total distance walked was 1.8 km in a total time of 35 minutes, taking time to read the panels and spending time on the lookout tower. The loop inside the bush is about 500 metres long and took 15 minutes. The GPS shows an elevation difference of about 20 metres between the bush and the entrance alongside Ngaroto Road.
The aerial image from Google Maps shows the full extent of the bush reserve, with the formed loop track only passing through a limited part of the western end of the bush.
The track was walked on July 12, 2020.