Firth Reserve, Waikato

Getting there:The reserve is situated at the end of Waite Rd, approximately 7km north-west of Pirongia in the Waikato.

Tui, Photo: Craig McKenzie

Tui, Photo: Craig McKenzie

Tracks: None

The locals : Kereru, tui , bellbird, North Island fantail, grey warbler and silvereye.

The land that is now Firth reserve was occupied by Europeans late in New Zealand’s history, because of resistance from local Maori who supported the Maori King. It was only after the main trunk railway was extended into the King Country, reaching Te Kuiti in 1887 that European occupation started in earnest. Soon after, they started milling the native timber in the area, reaching a peak in the mid-1950s. Stripped of much of its rimu, totara and miro the forestland has undergone a regeneration in recent years with the planting of kauri, totara, miro, mapou, narrow leaved maire and mountain ribbon-wood. The five hectare reserve also contains a significant amount of kohekohe, rewarewa, pukatea, tree fern, mamaku, wheki, mahoe and a large number of king ferns.