The 4.6 hectare Tamahere Reserve, 34 Tauwhare Rd, is a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy native bush and wildlife. It is also Tamahere’s top environmental restoration initiative.
The reserve represents a rare remnant of Waikato, lowland, kahikatea swamp forest with multiple stands of trees ranging from 50- to 400-years-old. Amid exotic trees there is an understory of native mamaku, mahoe, carex and ponga. See map and directions to the reserve below.
Wildlife making home in the reserve include tui, fantail, grey warbler, and, at times, rare, long tailed bats. In the Mangaone Stream there is likely to be torrent fish, inanga, common smelt as well as eels.
In 2014, wildlife photographer Bryce McQuillan explored the reserve by night to reveal a wide range of invertebrates, both native and introduced like the spider at left.
But for around 30 years the land, bordered by the Mangaone Stream and busy Tauwhare Rd, was a reserve in name only. Dominated by mature, unpruned pine trees, and invaded by plant and animal pests it was ignored by all but some of the 4000 people who drove by it each day. The few who paused did so only to tip rubbish down the bank.
In January 2012, Tamahere resident Leo Koppens began the daunting task of rescuing the reserve from its weed-choked, trash-strewn, neglected state.
His efforts have since won wide local support including from the Tamahere Community Committee, which describes the reserve’s restoration as one of its “most important long term environmental projects”, a number of organisations and businesses which have supplied funds or resources free or at reduced prices, and a slew of local volunteers from Tamahere School teachers to Tamahere Lions Club members to local youngsters happy to put their energy into what has become a special retreat for many.
The core of hardworking volunteers is a group of locals who formed the Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust. They are Leo Koppens, John Sheat, Russell Gibbs, Willi Hodgson and Mark Bacchus.
Visit Tamahere Reserve
Visitors to the Tamahere Reserve enter from the carpark on Tauwhare Rd, opposite Woodcock Rd. A network of paths and boardwalks provide access to the entire reserve. Please stick to the paths for personal safety and the health of the plants. It is a hazardous area so please take care and supervise children at all times.
Want to help?
To support the work of the trust call Leo Koppens on 07-856-3245 or click here to email him.
Tamahere Reserve Sponsors
To read a news list of Tamahere Reserve stories click here.
The story so far:
Trust unhappy signs must go – May 27, 2019
Reserve re-opened – May 17, 2019
Plea for people before bats – April 10, 2019
Reserve volunteers, DoC clash – April 7, 2019
Reserve closed – March 29, 2019
Nature reserves gets kid-friendly billing – July 10, 2018
New reserve boardwalk opens – April 27, 2018
Young team help extend boardwalk – December 18, 2017
Student tackles trash – October 18, 2017
Grant takes boardwalk further – September 17, 2017
BNZ bank staff boost reserves – August 23, 2017
Plant it on Arbor Day – May 15, 2017
Weedbusters free reserve plants – including update on reserve to Tamahere Community Committee, February 23, 2017
Plan to guide reserve work – June 19, 2016
Eco-warrior up for award – June 7, 2016
Awards highlight community depth – December 16, 2015
Reserve gets “SH1” boardwalk – December 13, 2015
Neighbours roll out barrow – November 23, 2014
Professionals boost reserves – October 27, 2015
Tourism talk for Lions – October 8, 2015
Council grant to reserve walkways – June 30, 2015
Gamers in reserve clean up – April 26, 2015
Surprise for Tamahere’s Lorax – March 17, 2015
Reserve workers toast milestone – December 22, 2014
Secret Tamahere close up – July 3, 2014
WDC rate rises – June 24, 2014
Word on teachers big dig spreads – February 12, 2014
Teachers pitch in for reserve – January 29, 2014
Reserve trust gets underway – July 6, 2014
Get savvy, council urged – May 14, 2013
One man’s work, by gully – March 23, 2013
Reserve restoration stymied – March 11, 2013
Reserve tour impresses – November 4, 2012
Chance to visit top local project – October 29, 2012
Reserve restoration gets green light – September 5, 2012
Pitch ahead to polish plot – August 18, 2012
New-look roads, hub, reserve emerge – August 9, 2012
Hopes for restoring natural ecosystem – January 23, 2011