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24. Lake Onoke Cape Palliser
Lake Onoke


South Wairarapa:

Onoke Spit / Ocean Beach (PDF, 733KB)

Onoke Spit is a bird watchers paradise. It is a popular recreational area for off road drivers, motor bikers and recreational fishers, as well as walkers, botanists and bird watchers. The Spit forms an uncommon, nationally valuable, coastal ecosystem of exposed sand and gravel beach, and hosts a number of rare and threatened native species.

Wairarapa Moana - Boggy Pond (PDF, 1.4MB)

Wairarapa Moana is the third largest lake in the North Island. The lake contains an abundance of special flora and fauna and is a bird watchers delight. The lake edge supports over 40 native aquatic turf plants such as swamp grass, and a nationally threatened gecko.

Cape Palliser Lighthouse & Putangirua Pinnacles (PDF, 1.9MB)

There are many diverse and rare plants along the Cape Palliser coastline. Cape Palliser has the largest Fur Seal colony in the North Island. The Putangirua Pinnacles are a spectacular landscape feature, formed over the last 120,000 years, they are one of the best examples in NZ of badlands erosion and earth pillar formation. See the Maritime New Zealand website for more information about the Cape Palliser Lighthouse.


Fensham (PDF, 1.9MB)

Fensham is one of the best examples of a forest remnant on the Wairarapa Plains, offering a rich tapestry of ecosystems. The reserve contains 3 hectares of wetlands (home to nationally vulnerable mudfish), 29 hectres of regenerating native bush, and 9 hectares of primary bush which contains kahikatea sentinels between 400 and 700 years old.

Carters Bush (PDF, 1.7MB)

Carters Bush is a rare piece of protected original Wairarapa Plains forest spared from clearing in the 1880's and 1900's. It contains swamp and semi-swamp forest on two old terraces of the Ruamahanga River. The reserve is also one of the few remaining remnants of patchwork landscape of tussock, wetland, and shrub land.

Waiohine Gorge (PDF, 1.65MB)

Waiohine Gorge is a popular camping, abseiling, rafting, swimming and angling spot and has important ecological, cultural and economic values as well as providing water. The suspension bridge is the largest of its type in NZ and forms a spectacular gateway to the Tararua Forest Park. The Waiohine catchment is predominantly covered in indigenous podocarp-broadleaf forest, while the river supports a range of fish species and a regionally significant trout habitat.

Holdsworth (PDF, 1.6MB)

Holdsworth offers short walks and longer tramps through attractive forest vegetation and higher up in to the alpine environment. The Atiwhakatu Stream passes through the area and is home to a diverse range of animal, bird and insect life. The summit of Mount Holdsworth is 1470 metres and takes a day to climb.


Pukaha Mount Bruce (PDF, 1.4MB)

Pukaha Mount Bruce incorporates the National Wildlife Centre and is one of NZ's most important conservation areas. It plays a key role in the captive breeding of threatened wildlife, restoring native wildlife to the area, as a valuable education facility and as a tourist icon. Here you can experience some of NZ's rarest species that cannot be viewed anywhere else on mainland in NZ. Please see the Pukaha Mount Bruce website for more information.

Castlepoint (PDF, 1.5MB)

Castlepoint boasts some of the most spectacular sights on the Wairarapa coastline. Here you can explore the fossil-rich limestone reef, magnificent Castle Rock (162 metres high), lighthouse (one of the last manned lighthouses in NZ), long stretches of beach, sand dunes, a sheltered lagoon and Bird Island. Castlepoint has a diverse range of habitats  and is the only place in the world that Castlepoint Daisy exists along with several other species of nationally or regionally threatened plants.

Riversdale (PDF, 1.8MB)

Riversdale has a 4km long beach which is sheltered by the natural barrier of the Tararua Ranges. The beach has Uruti Wetland at one end and Motuwaireka Stream at the other. An exposed reef 2km out to sea is a well known diving site and a good place to catch groper.

Rewanui Bush Park (PDF, 1.7MB)

Rewanui Bush Park contains a working farm, recreational reserve and native bush habitat all rolled into one. Rewanui is one of the best remaining examples of lowland forest in the Wellington region. The original bush remnant consists of a range of native species and is home to a rare gecko.

Related Links:

Masterton District Council - This website contains information on biodiversity across the Wairarapa - for the three Wairarapa councils, Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa.

South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group - This group was formed in October 2011. It is a rural community-led initiative. This website contains information about the group's vision and goals.

The Montford Trimble Foundation - An independent organisation dedicated to the growing of trees for the educational, economic and aesthetic benefit of the public. 

Greater Wellington's cycling and walking journey planner website will automatically map the shortest route from your starting address to your destination address while avoiding unnecessary hills. You can use this website to plan your route to the biodiversity site you wish to check out.

New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy website. This website provides information about NZ's native biodiversity, what is being done to help conserve and manage it, and who is involved. It also explains what actions are being taken within NZ to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Greater Wellington Regional Council's biodiversity pages

Wellington Regional Native Plant Guide This guide provides advice on how to use native plants to help our native ecosystems survive and flourish, while beautifying your garden or rural property.

Department of Conservation

Ministry for the Environment's biodiversity page

Maritime New Zealand