It’s probably true that a person can get jaded about anything. I had been doing Auckland in every way I could think of for more than two years. As beautiful as her parks and reserves are, it was getting hard to find a place that really blew me away. Then I discovered Eaves Bush.
Formally known as Alice Eaves Scenic Reserve, this is 16 hectares of old-growth coastal kauri broadleaf forest. It contains such other species as kahikatea, karaka, kōwhai, mataī, puriri, rewarewa, supplejack, taraire, and nīkau.
Eaves Bush is located in Orewa, about a 30 minute drive from Auckland’s city center.
Below is the map from the info board at the entrance showing the tracks in the reserve.
The bush is impressive immediately upon entering the park.
I started by following the track to the old hollow kauri.
The old hollow kauri is about 800 years old. It’s not very large for its age, apparently due to having endured storms, lightning, fire and at least one axe.
The distortion in the image above is due to the fact that it is a panorama shot vertically. The boardwalk that keeps visitors off of the kauri’s roots kept me too close to get a good single picture of this big old tree.
I continued on past the old hollow kauri. The bush kept on being stunning.
The track continues past the Kensington Park bridge, but it gets much muddier, and the bush gets a bit less interesting. I walked on for maybe ten minutes before turning back.
I returned to the old hollow kauri and took the path up to the lookout.
The trees blocked any view from the lookout. It’s sort of a shame, since Eaves Bush is very close to the Hibiscus Coast, and it would probably offer a pretty sweet view. But I can understand a reluctance to cut on the trees in a reserve like this.
A walked a short distance up the track to Hillcrest Road to see if a view opened up, but it didn’t happen.
I walked the Loop track next. The bush was similar to what you’ve seen so far, but with more kauri. Then I took the track from the lookout back to Old North Road.
Somehow I realized that I had missed the pa site near Hillcrest Road, and decided to drive there. The Hillcrest Road entrance is prominently marked.
It didn’t take long to reach a point on the path that I recognized from my short walk uphill toward Hillcrest Road from the lookout, but I didn’t see any signs for the pa. I looked at the map again, and ventured into the bush near the entrance, but didn’t really see anything. Some pa are easy to recognize as such, and some are not – this was one of the latter.
I found this map online, and realized that when I was exploring near the entrance, I was exploring Nukuhau Pa. You can read more about it here.
Eaves Bush is small, but it’s pretty awesome.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 16 pictures below. To view on imgur, click here.