The kahikatea forests of the Opotiki district have long since been cleared and the land converted to pasture. This is a scant remnant and exhibits some fine trees.
From Opotiki town centre, follow SH2 7 km towards Gisborne and turn left into Warringtons Road. Harrison Road and Marawaiwai Scenic Reserve are signposted on the right after a further 600 metres and the road becomes unsealed. Marawaiwai Scenic Reserve is 2 km further on the right, where there is a small parking bay (which may be muddy).
The even and level track performs a loop through the forest, with bridged crossings of the stream at both ends.
The kahikatea is a lowland tree, which is often the dominant tree to colonise wet and boggy ground, but also tolerates drier sites. It is the tallest native tree, sometimes topping 60 metres in height, and grows at less than 600 metres altitude. Differing growth stages exhibit differing forms. The rather mangy seedling grows to a distinctive conical form in its youth. When mature, the crown opens out. The wood is straight grained, easily workable and durable. Europeans used the odourless wood to make butter boxes, as it did not impart any undesirable flavours.
A dense understorey of wheki provide a lushness to the lower tiers of the forest. Many caudices are encrusted with rata vines.
Occasional plaques aid species identification.
North Island ▷ Out East ▷ Opotiki
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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 😍