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Introduction

Te Paki is home to a wide range of native plants and animals, with easy access to great campgrounds, walking tracks and many recreation opportunities.

Highlights

The area provides easy access to idyllic campgrounds, great walking tracks and picnic areas. Opportunities for outdoor recreation include enjoying the stunning views, bird watching and tramping, swimming, diving, fishing and surfing.

Place overview

Activities

  • Camping
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Scenic driving
  • Walking and tramping
  • Check, clean, dry

    Stop the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests.

    Remember to Check, Clean, Dry all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.

  • Kauri dieback

    Help stop kauri dieback

    Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forest.
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      About this place

      Nature and conservation

      Straddling the northernmost tip of the North Island, Te Paki is one of the most intact and diverse ecosystems in New Zealand.

      Spotless crake.
      Spotless crake

      The northernmost section of the North Island comprises a diverse area of hill country, steep coastal cliffs, continually changing dunelands and expansive wetlands, with many endemic and threatened plants and animals and unique vegetation associations.

      Its features include the extensive estuary, eelgrass, saltmarsh and mangroves of Parengarenga Harbour, and the gleaming white sands of Kokota Spit.

      Birds

      Large numbers of migrant wading birds congregate on the harbour together with variable oystercatchers, New Zealand dotterels and caspian terns.

      Wetland and duneland birds include New Zealand dabchicks, New Zealand fernbirds, scaup, bittern and spotless crake.

      Whahatinana te tangi o te oi – to strengthen the cry of the oi

      At Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) a small population of oi (Grey-faced petrel) are being safe-guarded thanks to the establishment of a trapping network funded by United Civil Construction Limited and coordinated by the Ngati Kuri Trust Board, with support from the Department. The trap network installed covers 60 hectares in order to protect a five-hectare Oi breeding colony.

      Grey-faced petrel.
      Grey-faced petrel

      Oi (Pterodroma macroptera gouldi) are a native ground nesting seabird whose populations have been disappearing from the northern coast of New Zealand.

      Oi, known also as the Northern Muttonbird breed in burrows on offshore islands, coastal headlands, and cliffs of northern North Island of New Zealand.

      Thanks to the trapping efforts of local iwi and DOC, the oi population at Te Rerenga Wairua has increased for the first time in many years.

      Lizards and snails

      Nine species of lizard and numerous species and subspecies of land snails inhabit the typically windswept vegetation.

      There are three species of pupuharakeke/flax snail. One species is found only on Three Kings Islands (Placostylus bollonsi), another in Te Paki Placostylus bollonsi, and Placostylus hongii is found in eastern areas of Northland.

      Pupuharakeke (Giant flax snail).
      Pupuharakeke (Giant flax snail)

      These giants were once widespread in Northland before human settlement. Many of them are now endangered or threatened, and inhabit a more restricted area of Northland and the islands offshore.

      Pupuharakeke usually live in broadleaf forest and scrub. They reside in pockets of broadleaf litter, or under ground cover vegetation.

      The causes of decline for flax snails include habitat destruction - caused by humans, habitat modification - caused by domestic and feral grazers, and predation - by introduced animals and birds.

      Plants

      Rata Moehau (Bartlett's rata). 
      Rata Moehau (Bartlett's rata)

      Bartlett’s rata is a unique plant found only within the Te Paki Reserves. It is the most recently discovered tree in New Zealand and is one of the rarest.

      Bartlett's rata (Metrosideros bartletii), also known as Rata Moehau, is a white flowering tall forest tree, with pale, papery bark, which makes it unique among New Zealand rata. This species was discovered in a forest remnant near Cape Reinga in 1975 and is listed as endangered.

      DOC carries out intensive possum control to protect the remaining naturally occurring Rata Moehau, which are highly palatable to posums. Over 300 trees have been planted into sites where possum numbers are kept very low.

      Rata Moehau start life as an epiphyte where seeds land on other trees, grow, and eventually send roots to the ground. In winter 2010, around 50 trees were planted on other trees as epiphytes to mimic this natural process. So far the programme is showing promising results and the future is looking good for Rata Moehau being around for many generations to come.

      History and culture

      Te Paki Recreational Reserve.
      Te Paki Recreational Reserve

      Plant and animal communities here have been shaped by the unusual geology and distinctive climate of the Far North.

      There is also a long history of human habitation in the area. In combination, these physical, ecological, social and cultural attributes have moulded Te Paki into a unique and dynamic ecosystem.

      Te Paki was once an island separated from the rest of New Zealand long enough for its living things to become different from their mainland relatives.

      Many sites in this reserve are very important for their natural life. It’s notable that these are also places of great cultural significance for Maori.

      They include major wetlands at Te Ketekete and Kapo Wairua (Spirits Bay) and the Island sanctuaries of Motuopao, near Cape Maria van Diemen, and Manawatawhi (Three Kings Islands).

      Getting there

      Cape Reinga and Te Paki Recreational Reserves are located at the northernmost area of New Zealand on the small, narrow Aupouri Peninsula. It is the neck of land between Rangaunu Harbour on the east and the southern sweep of the Ninety Mile Beach on the west. Follow State Highway 1 north.

      Travellers not wishing to take their cars up to the Cape and/or wish a drop-off/pick-up service, this is available at the Waitiki Landing Complex, RD 4, Kaitaia.

      To find out more tour information, contact the Kaitaia i-SITE visitor information centre.

      Tour buses also go up and back to Cape Reinga daily from Kaitaia, Mangonui, Kerikeri and Paihia.

      Know before you go

      You must get permission to cross Maori land to get to Mokaikai. Contact Muriwhenua Incorporation, phone +64 9 409 7831.

      Respect other users of the reserve and for your own safety beware that 4WD vehicles and logging trucks may be in the area.

      Contacts

      Kaitaia Office
      Phone:      +64 9 408 6014
      Email:   kaitaia@doc.govt.nz
      Full office details
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