Tag Archives: fantail

Piwakawaka Loop: redwoods, lemon eucalyptus, and fantails in Te Mata Park

Piwakawaka Loop is a 1.3km walk of about 40 minutes through Te Mata Park. It starts the same as 4 of the Top 5 Walking Tracks in Te Mata Park, in a clockwise direction from the Main Gates Car Park.

Near the start of 4 of the Top 5 Walking Tracks in Te Mata Park
Near the start of 4 of the Top 5 Walking Tracks in Te Mata Park

Soon the track ducks into a leafy tunnel. Green markers show the way.

Piwakawaka Loop diverges
Piwakawaka Loop diverges

I was surprised by a grove of redwoods that continues for some time. I’d only seen the other end of it previously, and never entered far into it. This is not the Big Redwoods Grove, but it is pretty big.

This grove was planted in 1974 by the Hastings Rotary Club with trees propagated by Don Wilson Nurseryman of Hastings using seeds imported from California. Redwoods seem to do well in New Zealand, and past residents of Hawkes Bay seem to have loved them.

Redwood grove
Redwood grove

This short loop track was given the Maori name for the fantails seen along the way. These curious little birds like to come up and say hello.

Piwakawaka (fantail)
Piwakawaka (fantail)

Lemon-scented eucalyptus are striking trees that always stand out from their surroundings. The essential oil of the tree is about 80% citronellal. Unrefined oil is used in perfume, and a refined form is used in insect repellents, especially against mosquitoes.

Lemon-scented eucalyptus - Piwakawaka Loop
Lemon-scented eucalyptus

The last part of the loop passes through the same landscapes as the beginning of Giant Circuit, and the end of some of the other walks in Te Mata Park.

Piwakawaka Loop
Piwakawaka Loop

Familiar sights include the view from the lookout near the Main Gates Car Park.

View over southern Hawkes Bay
View over southern Hawkes Bay

As I walk the tracks in Te Mata Park I get to know the park better as a whole while appreciating different areas and features. It’s nice to have a short walk like Piwakawaka Loop available, and its character makes it a unique Te Mata Park experience.

Please enjoy the full gallery of 8 pictures below.