Morere Hot Springs: The Rainforest
THE MORERE SCENIC RESERVE
The forest surrounding the Morere Hot Springs is one of the last remaining tracts of lowland native rainforest on the east coast of New Zealand.
The Morere Scenic Reserve surrounding the hot springs complex is managed by The New Zealand Department of Conservation which maintains an extensive walking track system through the reserve. Bush walks range from 10 minutes to half an hour for all the family – as well as two and three hour hikes for the more energetic.
Those who are drawn to out-of-way corners where people and the natural world live together find something special at the Morere Hot Springs. Especially notable for its lush stands of nikau palms the Morere Scenic Reserve is an exceptional example of the original lowland rainforest that once covered most of New Zealand.
Giants like rimu, totara and matai dominate a forest of tawa, kohekohe and pukatea. A dense undergrowth of ferns, vines, shrubs, orchids and epiphytes jostle for space while on the higher ridges remnant patches of native beech provide diversity.
The rainforest provides a haven for a wide variety of native bird-life with a healthy population of kereru (native pigeon) being the most spectacular. At night when the call of the ruru (native owl) echoes in the darkness a walk into the forest reveals a wonderland of glow-worms.