Tamahere Reserve

Bush scene sm

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.

Up close with a spider in the Tamahere Reserve
Up close with a spider
in the Tamahere Reserve

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.

Healthy carex
Healthy carex

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.

An aerial view of the Tamahere Reserve

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

Kahikatea scaling the heights
Kahikatea scaling the heights

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?

Leo Koppens
Leo Koppens

To support the work of the trust call Leo Koppens on 07-856-3245 or click here to email him.

Tamahere Reserve Sponsors

Acorn ITM Building Centre
Forest and Bird, Waikato
Jim Wright Nissan
Mercury Energy
Waikato District Council
Waikato Regional Council

Stay informed

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