nature trip - Workmans Camp


2010 was a busy year for us. We have been setting up a landing site in the middle of the bush with some small easy walks. The Workman's Camp has No phones, No Houses, No people. Just native trees and birds.


We call the site “Workmans Camp” as over 100 years ago a small team of men were building a road down the north side of Mokau River. This road was never completed but our landing site was used as a camp from these man for several years.


For the the real trampers out there, you can walk to the site over a nice tree covered hills and see that starts of a new two day Mokau River walk under development.


For the rest of us take a cruise on the Big Boat and visit the real New Zealand


Please note that this site is not used as a camp site today. No overnight stays will be allowed





It Janurary 2009 and the Rata starting to come out.  Everywhere it the white Rata.  Orange Rata is just coming into flower and the Red Rata due very soon.    It also been a few years but we also hopping to some yellow Rata.




Please visit the Gallery for more better quality photos   Photo Gallery

There lots of informations about Rata at



The leaves of Northern rātā have a distinct notch at the tip

Northern rātā is found in the North Island from Te Paki in the north to Wellington in the south. Formerly widespread, it is now uncommon over large parts of its former range, and is no longer found in Hawkes Bay. In the South Island, Northern rātā is common from Nelson to Greymouth and Hokitika. It reaches its southern limit near Lake Mahinapua at 42°4′ South latitude. The natural habitat is forest along the coasts and in the lowlands. In some parts of its range Northern rātā occurs in montane forest. Formerly, with rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) it was a dominant tree in a forest type known as rimu/rātā forest.

[edit] Description

Rātā flowers at Mt Maungatautari

Northern rātā is a massive tree, easily distinguished from other Metrosideros species by its small, leathery, dark green leaves which are 25-50mm long by 15-25mm wide, and have a distinct notch at the tip. Young growth is generally pink and covered in fine rust-coloured hairs that are gradually shed as the foliage ages but tends to persist at the midrib and in the vicinity of the leaf base. The flowers, borne in sprays on the tips of branches, are a mass of dark scarlet stamens. Flowering peaks between November and January, and seeds take a year or slightly more to ripen. The bark is usually brown or grey-brown and rather corky and provides an ideal stratum for the roots of epiphytic plants such as Astelia species and Freycinetia banksii (kiekie). The wood is reddish brown, and the manner of its growth results in a twisted grain.


There a large number of birds on the Mokau River.  Here a few photos of them and there more in the gallery.  The river is a great feeding ground for them

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The Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is an endemic passerine bird of New Zealand. It is one of the largest members of the diverse honeyeater family.

The name Tui is from the Maori language name tūī and is the species' formal common name. The plural is simply 'Tui', following Māori usage. The English name, Parson Bird, has fallen into disuse but came about because at first glance the Tui appears completely black except for a small tuft of white feathers at its neck and a small white wing patch, causing it to resemble a parson in religious attire.

On closer inspection it can be seen—and from the photo—that Tui have faded browner patches on the back and flanks, a multicoloured iridescent sheen that varies with the angle from which the light strikes them, and a dusting of small, white-shafted feathers on the back and sides of the neck that produce a lacy collar.


Grey Heron





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The Nikau Palm are everywhere along the Mokau river bank.  Our cruses will take you passed some of the most beautiful samples of the trees in New Zealand.  The flowers at the base of the bulb change colour depending on the stage of growth.  We talk about these tree alot on the vorage and these threes have lost of history with the local Maori    Here just a few photos of them.



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Here some informations aboutNikau parms from


The Nikau is the only palm species native to mainland New Zealand. Its natural range is coastal and lowland forest on the North Island, and on the South Island as far south as Okarito (43°20′S) in the west and Banks Peninsula (43°5′S) in the east. It also occurs on Chatham Island and Pitt Island/Rangiauria to the south-east of New Zealand, where it is the world's southernmost palm at 44° 18'S latitude. Nīkau is a Māori word; in related Polynesian languages of the tropical Pacific, it refers to the fronds or the midrib of the coconut palm.

The Nikau grows up to 15 m tall, with a stout green trunk which bears grey-green leaf scars. The trunk is topped by a smooth bulging crownshaft up to 1m long. The fronds are up to 3m long, and the closely-set, sometimes overlapping leaflets are up to 1 m long. The inflorence is multi-branched and from 200 to 400 mm long. The tightly packed flowers are unisexual and coloured lilac to pink. Male flowers are borne in pairs, and have 6 stamens. The female flowers are solitary. The fruit is elliptic or oblong, and generally measures about 10 by 7 mm, and is red when ripe. The Nikau produces flowers between November and April, and fruits ripen from February to November, taking almost a year to fully ripen. These are a favorite food of the Kererū, the native wood pigeon.

We now can offer you bush and farm walks on one of Mokau well known sites.    This farm was use in the New Zealand Movie “The Piano”.   Easy and hard Native forest walks (lead by the farm owner) are all possible.

Located near this farm are an old timber saw mill and several old coal mines.  Mokau river history starts well before New Plymouth city was a village. 

Farm stays are also possible.




Please call for availability and price.