Author And Researcher
I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.
I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!
FREE MAP - The best of 21 nature guidebooks on one map.
This educational walk passes through a wide variety of forest types and is a wonderful example of how Department of Conservation are not only restoring Mainland Islands such a Boundary Stream, but are making efforts to educate us about their work.
Boundary Stream Mainland Island is reached by turning into Matahoura Road at the Tutira Store on SH2. After 5.5. km turn left into Pohokura Road and Boundary Stream Mainland Island is a further 10 km. Check details at the start of each walk description as there are other entrances to the reserve.
The start of the track is signposted on the left, shortly after entering the track network from Pohokura Road.
To aid the flow of the lavishly illustrated information panels, this walk is best attempted in a clockwise direction.
The metalled, even and wide track is on a gentle gradient and punctuated at regular intervals with display panels.
As well as highlighting rare plant species such as neinei, kaka beak and mistletoe, the information provided also describes how they were lost (predation, logging, introduction of weeds). Other panels are devoted to what methods DoC are using to aid their recovery and details of the encouraging results.
This track provides access to a variety of forest types, birdlife and viewpoints. Evidence of a pioneer logging history and subsequent natural forest recovery can be seen within a compact area. Gentle land contours are ideal for a wide spectrum of visitors, particularly primary school children.
Kamahi, tawa, red and black beech forests, and a variety of birds including robin, whitehead and bellbird. Uncommon plants are neinei (Dracophyllum latifolium), yellow-flowered mistletoe and kaka beak.
Boundary Stream formed the northern extremity of Tutira Station, formerly farmed by Guthrie-Smith, author of Tutira:The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station. His far-sighted initiatives to conserve the natural flora and avifauna around him are themes that are echoed today in the Department of Conservation’s measures to restore the ecosystems at Boundary Stream Mainland Island.
The vision for the area is to “restore the forest by careful nurturing, forming a place were the public can visit and enjoy a flourishing fauna and flora reminiscent of a Hawke’s Bay forest of the past”. This mission is achieved by promoting the Mainland Island concept.
Whereas many offshore islands in New Zealand, such as Tiritiri Matangi or Kapiti Island, have been managed to save rare species from extinction, it is not always possible to provide habitat for all species on such islands. The Mainland Island concept uses the same pest control measures to aid the reintroduction of endangered species, but implements them on the mainland. This necessarily makes the resulting ecosystems more accessible to visitors.
Boundary Stream was selected on account of its high diversity of landscapes, geomorphological features and flora/fauna. It encompasses 800 hectares, a manageable and viable area, on the coastal side of the Maungahaururu Range. The altitudinal range from 300 metres to over 1000 metres above sea level promotes differing climatic conditions, which nurture varying forest communities. The ecosystems were relatively intact to provide a good base to build from and other nearby sites could relate useful comparison data.
Pre-human vegetation was a podocarp-broadleaf forest of tawa, kamahi, lacebark, mahoe, titoki, rewarewa with podocarp species including kahikatea, matai and miro. Red beech was dominant in some locations. The crest of the range supported ‘cloud cap’ forest with mountain holly, horopito, shield fern and broadleaf. The forests would have supported thriving communities of birds including kiwi, kokako and kaka.
Maori introduction of kiore and European introduction of possums, goats, deer, stoats, ferrets, weasels and pigs spelt devastation for the once vibrant forest ecosystem. Browsing of foliage and the resulting depletion in the health of the trees reduced the food sources available. Predation of chicks and competition for food decimated bird numbers so the forest became one of eerie silence. The sorry tale is one the Mainland Island concept at Boundary Stream aims at reversing.
650 bait stations are dotted over the reserve and concentrated around the perimeter. 700 Fenn traps and DOC200 traps arrest the reinvasion of stoats, ferrets and weasels. Possums and rat populations are almost non-existent and goats, pigs and deer are kept under control by contract hunters. Birds such as kokako, saddleback and kiwi have been reintroduced and populations are now thriving. Endangered plants such as kakabeak, yellow flowering mistletoe and neinei have also become established.
Many local groups such as schools, iwi and Forest and Bird branches have been involved in the restoration. Volunteers are rewarded with experiencing the forest as it once was. A visit to Boundary Stream can also give you a taste of the life that now abounds.
DoC have done a magnificent job in their provision of signs and interpretation panels, especially suited to children. The Tumanako Loop Walk is one of the most educational walks a family could attempt, threading through a memorable forest alive with species not normally encountered on the mainland.
North Island ▷ Hawkes Bay ▷ Tutira
Can you contribute? If you've experienced Tumanako Loop Track then please and write a review.
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 😍