This striking landscape is comprised of bush regenerating on ungrazed pasture on the left-hand side of the fence-line, and pasture with remnant bush on the right-hand side. The left side is part of the Paraparaumu Scenic Reserve, a 256 hectare reserve, located to the east of Paraparaumu [see map below]. The right-side is part of lifestyle blocks off the Nikau Valley rural subdivision.
According to the Waitangi Tribunal Report for Horowhenua County, the reserve was established in 1906, with the taking of a block of 185 acres (which was part of the Ngarara West C block) from the Maori owners, who were given £300 as compensation. The decision to take the land was at the recommendation of the Scenery Preservation Commission, an advisory body set by the Scenery Preservation Act 1903. This legislation provided that Maori, Crown, or private land might be taken permanently, in order to preserve any areas of scenic, thermal, or historic importance.
Today it is a great place to spot many species of birds, including kingfishers perched in the tree above the stream, or eastern rosellas, the colourful Australian immigrants which fly noisily above the open grassland area. The many tributaries to the Muaupoko Stream, which once fed the extensive Muaupoko Swamp before it was largely drained, provide endless entertainment for littler people [see right].
Photos top and second down: Hillside landscapes of Paraparaumu Scenic Reserve and adjacent lifestyle blocks of Nikau Valley. Right: A tributary to the Muaupoko Stream provides endless entertainment for little people.
Can you get access from the highway, or only Nikau valley ?
Hi Patricia, As I recall, the access was from (the road formerly known as) SH1. But I don’t think there were any formal walking tracks as such. Happy exploring! Catherine @ envirohistoryNZ
There is now a formal car park at the end of Nikau Valley. Although there are no official tracks, there are many formed routes that are easy to follow, just look for markers on the trees. They will take you up both sides of he valley and it is easy to do a large figure eight in about four hours.