The Hautere seagulls

Hautere 1This is a farming landscape that captured my attention while driving along Te Horo Hautere Cross Road yesterday.

This particular location is “Hautere”, just inland from the better known location of Te Horo. We know Hautere by its stone “turnips”, likely brought down from the ranges from a once more powerful river. Continue reading

Totaranui: the many totara of Te Horo

In the last post, The “Hautere Turnips” of Te Horo, the origin and history of the stone walls, cairns and piles characteristic of this area was discussed. Another unusual feature of Te Horo is the large number of totara groves that can be seen in the fields. Continue reading

Hidden treasure at Otaki Gorge

An after-dinner drive today led to a fascinating discovery. My husband and I drove up Otaki Gorge Road [click here to view map], a beautiful scenic road that follows the Otaki River up towards its source in the Tararua Ranges. In many places there are stands of totara which some past landowner with some foresight decided to spare from the scourge of milling and burning that destroyed all trace of most of the other plains forest.* Continue reading

Views of Kapiti 1 – Swamp Road, Otaki

This is a view of Swamp Road, with forms an L-shape through farmland just south of Otaki township [click here to view location]. This shot is taken looking east towards the Tararua Ranges. As hinted by the name, this area, which is the floodplain of the Otaki River, was once a mosaic of wetlands, open water, raupo swamp, flax and swamp forest. However, this has been drained and cleared to make way for farmland. The river, just north of here, is now largely confined to a single channel and the ecosystem is dominated by introduced species. On Swamp Road, the name is the only remaining vestige of its original state – the road runs through a patchwork of market gardens and dairy farms. At the very end of the road, on old sand dune terrain, is the Katihiku Marae.

Source/further reading: Greater Wellington Regional Council

Photo: Catherine Knight