This is a great spot for a camping trip with the kids. Grassy flats for games, forest for fossicking and a creek for swimming. The track leads to Birdlip Stream, with an inviting swimming hole.
From SH6 Kaituna, 6km north of Renwick, head west along Northbank Road. After 4.8 km keep right along Onamalutu Road. 7.2 km further, just after the turnoff to Mount Riley, Onamalutu Scenic Reserve is signposted over the bridge to the right.
It’s a wide open grassy clearing with campsite, toilets and picnic table. A ring of kahikatea encircles the southern end of the reserve, while to the north the peaks of Mount Richmond Forest Park, including Mount Riley, poke through the forest.
A network of short walks weaves in and out of the podocarp forest behind the bollards.
The reserve covers the alluvial flats formed by the Onamalutu River. Material washed down from the upper watersheds of the Richmond Range periodically deposit fertile silt and mud, aiding the growth of the vegetation.
The podocarp forest is the only remnant of the valley floor forests which once covered the Wairau Plains. Kahikatea, matai and totara are the main representatives and tower over you nearly 50 metres. Beneath these emergent trees are black beech, wineberry, putaputaweta and broadleaf. Shrubs are mostly coprosmas with some tutu, mingimingi and horopito.
South Island ▷ Marlborough ▷ Wairau Valley
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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 😍