There are four conference field trips to choose from which range from easy to moderate in intensity and showcase a range of plant communities and restoration considerations for the Queenstown Lakes District area.
Field trip 1: Islands
Where: Walter Peak and Wāwāhi Waka/Pigeon Island
Field trip leaders: Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls with support from Neill Simpson and Tony McQuilkin
Numbers: Limited to 25 people (minimum of 15 people to run)
About: Water taxi to Wāwāhi Waka /Pigeon Island. Wāwāhi Waka is predator free with wonderful bird song. The mature red beech forest contains the only pōkākā, tūrepo and kahikatea in the district with mataī and tōtara. Extensive restoration after 2 fires has also occurred. A water taxi will then take us to Walter Peak Station, where hectares of Douglas fir have been removed and there is now an extensive native restoration project. Walk along the lake edge to the DOC camping site and inspect the amazing growth after 6 years. Return to Queenstown on the TSS Earnslaw. Note that all boat trips and lunch are included in the price.
When: 09:00 -17:00
Where: Lake Alta and the Remarkables ski area
Field trip leaders: Arne Cleland and Jo Smith, supported by Melissa Jager and Ross Lawrence
Numbers: Limited to 25 people (although we might increase this if it proves popular)
About: Lake Alta – located within the stunning Remarkables Conservation Area at an elevation of 1800 m, is the easiest high alpine environment you will access on foot! This walk boasts amazing alpine scenery, including wetlands, cushion fields and tussock grassland. This diversity of habitats begets a diversity of alpine species including Myosotis bryonoma (first described in 2018) as well as Hectorella caespitosa, Leucogenes grandiceps, and Ranunculus buchananii. We will also look at the restoration and transplanting of alpine communities including tussock grasslands undertaken by NZ Ski.
Where: Crown Range, Hikuwai Conservation Area - Albert Town, Butterfield Wildlife Management Reserve, Mahaka Katia (Pisa Flats) Scientific Reserve, Cromwell Chafer Beetle Scientific Reserve, Roaring Meg
Field trip leaders: Brian Rance and Jesse Bythell, supported by Geoff Rogers.
About: A whistle-stop tour of several significant dryland sites to learn about their specialised flora, unique management challenges and restoration efforts. Our first stop is Butterfield Wildlife Management Reserve where we will hear about restoration planting efforts including rare shrub species. Lunchtime will see us settled in at Mahaka Katia/Pisa Flats Scientific Reserve where will hear from Ellery Mayence (DOC rare ecosystem science lead) about monitoring work at this highly significant site. Be prepared to get down on your hands and knees and marvel at tiny, threatened dryland plants like Lepidium solandri and Raoulia monroi. Then we’ll swing by the Cromwell Chafer Beetle Scientific Reserve and head back to Queenstown via the Kawarau Gorge with a short stop at Roaring Meg to see an example of broadscale conifer removal.
Field trip 4: Restoration sites
Where: Lake Hayes, Whitechapel, Feely Hill, Slope Hill, Treespace/Coronet Forest, Morning Star Reserve, Tucker Beach
Field trip leaders: Ben Teele and John Barkla
About: A terrific tiki tour of native community restoration sites across the Wakatipu Basin, including grey shrubland, riparian, and forest sites encompassing a range of habitats and threatened species.