The 95 hectares of native podocarp forest includes the largest tract of broadleaf-podocarp forest in eastern Southland, although modified by selective logging of rimu and kahikatea in the late 1800s. However, some sizeable rimu, totara and matai still remain.
West of Mandeville, turn into Waimea Valley Road, signposted Dolamore Park. After 1.5 km turn left into Otamita Gorge Road and continue 5 km. Dolamore Park is then signposted along Dolamore Park Road (unsealed) 6.2 km further on, at the start of the tar seal. The reserve is on the left.
From Gore, follow SH 94 (Waimea Highway) 2 km, turning left into Waimea Street, then turn right into Reaby Road. This continues 10 km to Dolamore Park Road. The entrance to the reserve is a further 700 metres.
The well-groomed grounds are ideal for a family picnic and are furnished with barbecues, toilets and a well-kitted out play area. There’s also a campground.
Once in the reserve, follow the tar sealed road 300 metres above the grass lawn and continue to the large parking area by the playground. The start of the track is signposted just before the carpark on the right. A map is posted at the parking area.
The metalled loop track initially bears left and climbs to a lookout (304 metres) with benches above the pastoral plains. Interpretation panels highlight the forest system and the part all Life plays in it’s functioning. The descent passes through particularly attractive corridors of fuchsia, the fallen flowers decorating the track. Weymouthia moss droops in curtains from the branches.
The track then follows the Waimumu Stream back to the start of the track.
Weymouthia is a conspicuous moss which dangles from branches and infuses the forest with a sublime green light. It forms a lattice-like structure.
Dolamore Park was named to honour the Dolamore family who bequeathed £38,000 in 1947 and thus ensured the adequate development of the facilities we use today.
South Island ▷ Southland ▷ Gore
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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 😍