A short track takes you to the wetland area. Follow the track to the left to head through a lowland remnant forest comprised of kahikatea, tītoki, mataī and tōtara. After approximately 10 minutes you can continue straight on to the Ruamahanga River or follow the track to the right onto the wetland boardwalk.
At the entrance to the boardwalk there is a set of bollards to deter wheeled vehicles but most strollers should fit through. Be aware you will need to lift the stroller up a set of steps at the other end of the boardwalk. From there it’s a short stroll back to the carpark.
From Carterton follow Park Road to the end, turn left into Carters Line and right into Gladstone Road to Carter Scenic Reserve. The reserve is signposted approximately 3 km along Gladstone Road. The car park is about 500 metres along a driveway.
Bicycles and motorised vehicles are not allowed beyond the car park.
Not suitable for wheelchairs.
Fires not permitted at any time.
Hunting is not permitted. Possum trapping/poisoning is by permit only.
The easy stroll across the boardwalk brings you into contact with some uncommon and interesting native flora, including swamp maire and small leafed hoheria. Brown mudfish and banded kōkopu may be hiding beneath the vegetation, and you might even be treated to the unusual spectacle of a duck (grey teal) in a tree.
Dominating the forest, kahikatea trees draw their nutrients from the soil through a root system that extends snake-like over the surface of the swamp.