Blowhard Bush Reserve, Hastings

Silvereye, photo: Nga Manu

Silvereye, photo: Nga Manu

Tracks: The reserve contains four walking tracks: the Tui Track (2 ½ hours), the Trogolodyte Track (30-45 mins), the Rewi Track (half an hour) and the Rakaunui Track (45 mins).

The locals: Bellbird, tui , North Island fantail, grey warbler, whitehead , kereru , shining cuckoo, long-tailed cuckoo, pied tit, North Island fernbird, NZ pipit, morepork, silvereye and North Island robin.

Facilities: The reserve contains a picnic shelter, lodge and two toilets.

How to get there: Blowhard Bush Reserve is located at the corner of Lawrence Rd and Napier- Taihape Rd (approximately 53km north-west of Hastings).

The 63-hectare reserve is rich in natural and social history. It is founded on a bed of Waitotarian limestone that has been repeatedly covered in pumice ash from central North Island eruptions, and is covered in a distinctive red-brown soil base. The forest contains many caves, fascinating rock formations and water-cut passages.

Despite being repeatedly felled for timber, several forest giants still exist in Blowhard Bush, including one matai that is 25 metres tall and is thought to be 7-800 years old.

The various walks in the reserve take you through kanuka and beech forest and many interesting rock passages. The reserve is also home to a cave that housed a family in the 1800s, and the remnants of old coach trails can also be seen. Forest & Bird volunteers work on the reserve planting native species and eradicating introduced pests - their efforts have been rewarded with flourishing birdlife.

To find out more about Blowhard Bush and its various walks you can read the brochure (PDF)

If you wish to volunteer your time to help at Blowhard Bush please email the Hastings-Havelock North Branch.