Onetangi Reserve, Waiheke Island

Kaka. Photo Brent Bevan

Kaka. Photo Brent Bevan

Walking tracks: The internal loop track system - starting and finishing at the same gate - takes a leisurely 2 hours to complete and traverses all the major vegetation types within the reserve. Some sections of the track are steep and can be slippery when wet. You are advised to wear suitable heavy footwear.

Size: 50 hectares 

Getting there: The reserve is located on Waiheke Island off Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf. There are regular ferry crossings to the island. There are three entrances to the reserve: Waiheke Road, Scotts Terrace & Trig Hill Road (close to the Pukeatua reserve). If you are coming by bus, take it to the Fourth Avenue bus stop in Onetangi. The main Roy Nelson gate is a five-minute walk up Waiheke Road.

The locals: Meet kereru, grey warbler, fantail, kingfisher and tui, plus North Island crayfish, banded kokopu, long finned eels and freshwater shrimps.

The 50-hectare Onetangi Reserve land was purchased in February 1962 at a time when overstocking had caused severe damage to the land and the commercial felling of trees was imminent.

Filled with taraire, pohutukawa, nikau, ponga, mamaku, kanuka, oro oro, mamangi, rewarewa, kohekohe, horoeka, matai and a sprinkling of tawa, miro, kahikatea, maire, puriri, kauri & rimu, the reserve contains a loop track that passes through a kauri grove and offers spectacular gulf views of Pokutukawa ridge. 

If you wish to see the Kohekohe in bloom a visit to the reserve in June is worth the effort. Recently added to the SE corner of the reserve is the 6ha Pukerakau block, which affords expansive views towards the south and east.

This reserve has recently become part of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park - a park that protects the natural wilderness areas in the greater Auckland region on both land and sea.

See a map of Onetangi reserve here