The loop track takes around 2 hours and covers only a small part of the 420 ha reserve. This walk is suitable for people of all ages and has a stream crossing near the start of the track.
Te Maire Stream flows through the reserve and is usually low enough to cross without getting your feet wet, but can rise rapidly with heavy rain. Take care and check the weather conditions.
The track leads through stream terraces then slowly climbs through majestic old forest onto a ridgeline where it gently loops back to the stream crossing.
There is a toilet near the start of the track. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended
Keep your eyes and ears open for all the common forest birds;
From Taumarunui, take State Highway 43 from the north side of the Ongarue River Bridge. The Te Maire Bridge over the Whanganui River is 12 km south of Taumarunui Hospital. Across the bridge follow Paparoa Road to Te Maire Valley Road, signposted "Whanganui National Park, Te Maire". The entrance to the track is located around 700 m along this road.
Additional safety information:
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
Te Maire Reserve is a fine example of the podocarp forest that once covered most of the Central North Island. Te Maire sits within the Whanganui National park which protects one of the largest remaining stretches of this forest type in New Zealand.
It is home to a mosaic of native trees including rimu, miro, totara, kahikatea, matai, rewarewa, hinau and tawa. It is also home to the rare subterranean plant Thismia rodwayi which due to the fact that it can only be found when flowering is rarely seen.
There is a vast array of native birds in the reserve including robins, kereru, grey warbler, shining cuckoo and long tailed cuckoo. There are several varieties of skinks and geckoes and an abundance of invertebrates and freshwater insects. In the Te Maire stream there is tuna, bully and koura, in recent times there have been lamprey, kokopu and black flounder.
DOC as part of its management of Te Maire undertakes regular pest control. The forest suffers from the destructive effects of pests with goats browsing the forest floor and possums eating the forest canopy.
Goats and possums have a major impact on the vegetation and DOC manages these numbers through various methods of hunting and laying bait stations. Stoats, ferrets, rats, mice, feral cats, hedgehogs and magpies also threaten native wildlife in the reserve.