Otawa Reservoir Track
The Otawa Reservoir Track is an easy, relatively flat track in the western Bay of Plenty. Located in the Papamoa Hills, Otawa Scenic Reserve is comprised of mostly lowland forest. This lowland forest is greatly dominated by rewarewa and tawa. As a whole, the entire Otawa Scenic Reserve makes up for a total of roughly 400 hectares of attractive forest.
The Te Whakakaha Trust are the caretakers of the Otawa Scenic Reserve.
Between the 1960’s and 2009, the area was extensively used as a quarry. The use of the land in this way posed serious risks and threatened the ecology of the forest. A battle was fought to protect the land from further damage and was won. On December 29, 2016, the reserve was officially designated a sanctuary area.
At the time when Te Whakakaha Conservation Trust was founded, a massive reason was to ensure the long-term survival of the critically endangered ŌtawaHochstetters frog species (LeiopelmahochstetteriŌtawa).
The ŌtawaHochstetter’s frog differs from other species as it is genetically distinct and its only known habitat is in this former quarry site.
The ability to now restore much of this previously quarried site benefits not only the endangered frog population but other native wildlife also. There is a wide range of native birds inhabiting this stretch of forest. These native birds of New Zealand include:
A long term direction sees the Trust keen for the Otawa Sanctuary Area to become a wildlife corridor. This would mean a wonderful track network that extends right from Otanewainuku through to Oropi Forest to Otawa Scenic Reserve.
The Otawa Reservoir Track is located at the end of Manoeka Road.
When on Jellicoe Street in Te Puke, simply turn into Te Puke Quarry Road. From here you’ll make a left turn into Manoeka Road. At the end of Manoeka Road you’ll find yourself a sealed car park and picnic area.
Maneoka Road to Reservoir
Following the track will lead you to a small clearing situated beside Te Puke’s original water source. The track crosses a small stream before entering Otawa reserve. This continues through a pūriri grove where then you will reach a small clearing beside Te Puke’s original water reservoir. Return via the same route.
Time: 15 minutes one way
The Otawa Trig is located at the top of the Otawa ridgeline. This route is accessible from Te Puke Quarry Road or Manoeka Road. The route follows a ridgeline and has a few steep ascents and descents. There are no major hills to climb.
Te Puke Quarry Road to Otawa Trig
If you are after a longer walk, this one is a half-day. The walk starts from the top of Te Puke Quarry Road. You will cross private farm land to the reserve where the track will then lead you to the Wharetetarakeho Trig. From here you will follow the gently undulating ridgeline to Otawa Trig.
People can choose to retrace their steps or continue along the track. If you choose to continue, you will descend steeply to meet the Otawa Reservoir Track.
About 400 metres past the Otawa Trig, a track branches off to the right which leads to Otanewainuku. This track does cross private land and is not regularly maintained by DOC.
4 hours return
Manoeka Road to Otawa Trig
Take a left hand turn below the reservoir to join with the Otawa Trig Track.
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes one way