The Cynthia Hewett Reserve lies at the end of Parker Road in Hokianga County. It is a 152 hectare block lying on the east side of the Waipoua-Mataraua-Waima Forest. It includes a conspicuous ridge and a shallow basin, and has a range of altitudes. 80% of the Reserve consists of a forested plateau. The northern and eastern boundaries are buffered by existing indigenous forest owned by the Department of Conservation, and the western boundary follows the line of the old coach road.
There has been some logging in the past, but bush is otherwise largely intact with mature regrowth, apart from a small cleared area at the lower part of the block. Pines have been planted in the east and west side of the Reserve. There has been some damage by possum browsing and there has been some pig disturbance.
The forest cover is consistent with the Waipoua-Mataraua-Waima vegetation, and includes, as prominent species, taraire, towai, pukatea, rewarewa, maire tawake, and tawari. The forest is dense, and as no tracks have been cut, access is difficult. A vegetation survey was done in 2001 by a team from the Auckland Botanical Society.
Birds that have been identified are NZ pipit, fernbird, grey warbler, pied tit, silvereye, tui, kingfisher and welcome swallow. Significant birds of the adjoining DOC forest and possibly present in the Reserve are North Island brown kiwi, kokako, kaka and NZ pigeon.
Because it adjoins the 31000 hectares of the Waipoua- Mataraua-Waima forest, this Reserve is an important buffer, contributing to the ecology of the larger block, and also benefiting from the continuous forest cover provided for birds. The bush cover also provides protection of the water catchment in the upper reaches of the Mangakahia River, which flows through predominantly farming land below the Reserve.
Active work is concentrating on goat control. Otherwise the density of the bush cover requires little active restoration work.
How to Get There
From the South: from Maungatapere take the Kaikohe Road through Pakotai till you reach Two Bridges. Turn left into Waimatenui East Road and follow it to Waimatenui. Turn right and after about 5 Km you come to Parker Road on your left. Follow it to the end.
From the North: from Kaikohe follow the Mataraua Road through Mataraua and about 10 Km further on you come to Parker Road on your right. Turn into Parker Road.
From the West: from Highway 12 at about 1 km south of Katui, turn into Marlborough Road, and follow it through Tutamoe to Waimatenui. About 5 km further take the left turn into Parker Road.
Entry is at your own risk.