The undoubted star of the show is the massive totara at the far side of the reserve. With a girth of over 2.5m, it is estimated to be over 1000 years old.
Jim Barnett Scenic Reserve is well signposted. From Putaruru. Take Arapuni Road then left into Waotu Road. At Waotu is it’s a left then a right, which leads to a parking area 1.4 km further on by the reserve.
There’s a toilet near the carpark and a large grassy clearing, with a picnic shelter, through the gate.
A network of tracks criss-crosses the 16 hectare reserve and it can be difficult to know which track you are on. Several signs throughout the reserve show the main tracks, but they are not signposted on the ground. However, as the reserve is small, you are never far from gaining your bearings.
The undoubted star of the show is the massive totara at the far side of the reserve. With a girth of over 2.5m, it is estimated to be over 1000 years old. It was probably left by loggers, as it’s top was blown out ages ago.
All that verdant farmland you drive through in the Waikato used to be forest like this. It is ironic this reserve was left by a sawmilling family.
The forest is dominated by tawa, pukatea.
Some massive pine trees have also been cut out recently. Seems this reserve has a tendency for gigantism.
A former logging tramline runs through the reserve.
The reserve opened in 1991.
North Island ▷ Waikato ▷ Putaruru
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍