Holt Forest can be found near the settlement of Waikoau, just down the road from Lake Tutira. In 1933 Harold and Dorothy Holt purchased a 15 hectare area of manuka and bracken to create a forest and then spent the next 45 years developing it. It is now an impressive aboretum of over 500 species of indigenous and introduced plants. In 1962 the forest became a wildlife sanctuary and was gifted to the public of NZ.
Eight of us spent the morning walking all the tracks in Holt Forest. Cyclone Gabrielle caused massive damage to the forest (a worker there told us about $100,000 worth) and we had to climb around quite a bit of tree fall. We also checked out the damage the forest stream had done to the railway line. However, it is still an impressive forest and we took our time enjoying it and the birds (including a tomtit).
We had lunch at the forest car park then drove back to Tutira. The lakes were still full but there was a causeway separating them again. We walked around the smaller lake there, Lake Waikopiro, and then made a return walk to the camp ground before driving home.
Party: Glenda H, Peter B, Susan L, Denise & Lindsay D, Christine L,Steve B and Fred C