There are four types of forest in the Auckland isthmus area

1) Kauri

Mostly gone now, remnants of Kauri forests still remain, but not in the immediate Auckland City area. Main plant types are a mix of kauri, podocarps (like rimu, tanekaha, miro, tawa) plus taraire, tawa and tarata.  

Examples: Kauri Park in Birkenhead, Kauri Glen in Northcote and Ark in the Park (Cascades Kauri) 

2) Lava Field

Mostly built over now, few examples remain. In the small pockets around Mt Eden that still remain, mangeao is dominant, with titoki, houpara, ngaio, mahoe, kawakawa and Coprosma macrocarpa.

Examples: Withels Reserve and Mt Eden 

3) Gully

In gullies the forest survived the clearings made on the flat land for agriculture. Broadleaf tree species dominate, with trees incuding puriri, taraire, tawa, kohekohe and karaka, with rimu and rata occasionally emerging through the canopy. On the slopes forest trees regenerate, including mahoe, porokaiwhiri, pate, mapou, rewarewa, horoeka, five fingers, karamu, konono and hangehange.  

Example: St John's Bush

In sheltered spots, tree ferns like mamaku and wheki thrive, along with nikau, putaputaweta, pate and hen and chickens fern. The most common grasses are bamboo sedge and hook grass, and the common ferns are hounds tongue, thread fern and maidenhair fern.




4) Coastal

Typically coastal forest consists of pohutukawa and associated species like houpara, karo, shore astelia and occasionally tawapou. Broader bands of coastal forest include kowhai, karo, whau and rangiora. Lower areas closer to the sea include various and numerous native grasses.

Example: Waikowhai (Manukau Harbour)