Hukutaia Domain is a 4.5 hectare reserve with remnant native bush and numerous native plants and trees gathered from all parts of New Zealand and offshore islands. It was set aside as a reserve in 1918, mainly to protect an ancient puriri tree, Taketakerau, also known as the burial tree. The tree is estimated to be over 2000 years old, and the hollow base was used by the local Upokorehe to store the bones of their distinguished, deceased members.
A keen local botanist, Norman Potts, collected plants from all over New Zealand for the reserve between 1930 to 1970, with the work continued by Marc Heginbotham until 1990. It is now cared for by the volunteer Hukutaia Domain Care Group. Some information about the reserve can be found on the Opotiki information web site.
Marawaiwai Scenic Reserve is located about 10 kms or a 10 minute drive south of Opotiki near the end of Harrison Road. A short, easy loop walk leads through native forest alongside a small stream. The reserve is at the northern end of Waikerea Forest. The track was built by Opotiki College students and is managed by DoC. The DoC web site has a short description of the track and of the reserve.
There is a small raupo wetland in the reserve. On the day this walk was done the birdsong was about the loudest and most persistent I’ve experienced, with kereru and tui as well as several other species very active in the trees.
This ride report was originally posted on another web site, and on that site which is no longer available it was one of the most often read and linked to. It consists of two midsummer rides, on December 14 and December 28, 2008. So almost 8 years ago. It must be time to go back soon and check if much has changed in the meantime. Clicking on the photos will display them in a larger size.
Motu Road, or “The Motu”, is widely known from its days as one of the longest and most difficult stages in the Rally of New Zealand. The rally was included in the World Rally Championship calendar, so many famous rally drivers have driven this road, including the late Colin McRae whose superiority on this stage helped him win the August, 1993 Rally of New Zealand. The first world championship win for both McRae and Subaru.