An outstanding feature of this reserve is a huge forked lowland tōtara which may be 2,000 years old and measures 8.5 metres around its trunk.
From the junction of SH75 and Hilltop Road continue 300m to a small parking area on the left-hand side of the road.
The Summit Walkway is signposted.
Follow Summit Walkway on the ascent to the unmissable totara.
Some estimates put this tree at 1,000 year old. Others at 2,000. Whatever the age, it is a large forking tree.
The totara was revered amongst Maori for its strength. They carved waka, built whare and carved food boxes from the hard wood.
For early settlers, totara was the preferred wood for use in fence posts, power poles, railway sleepers and bridges. As it was resistant to the teredo worm, it also found favour in the construction of wharves.
South Island ▷ Canterbury ▷ Banks Peninsula
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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 😍