Welcome to Tiromoana Bush, Canterbury’s free to access 407-hectare regenerating lowland native forest. Located off Mt Cass Road in the Waipara area of Hurunui District, Tiromoana Bush is just one hours drive north of Christchurch City.
Tiromoana Bush is a special place, home to 177 native plants and 22 native bird species, including four nationally threatened species and several regionally rare species. An ambitious conservation project that began in 2004 is helping the surviving remnants of native forest to regenerate creating a habitat for native birds and wildlife.
Lowland coastal forest once covered the hills surrounding Mt Cass in the Waipara area of Hurunui District, north of Christchurch. Tōtara, matai and kahikatea grew above a diverse canopy of broadleaved trees including ngaio, broadleaf, ribbonwood, lacebark, lemonwood, kowhai, five-finger and small patches of black beech.
After 150 years of sheep and beef farming only a few remnants of the original forest remained and these might eventually have been lost too. That changed when Kate Valley was identified as the most suitable location for a new landfill for waste from the Canterbury region. Transwaste, who were wanting to develop the landfill in an area adjacent to Tiromoana Bush, put forward an ambitious plan to protect and regenerate the bush and open it up for public access as part of their resource consent application for the landfill. Consent was granted on the basis that Transwaste would protect, restore and manage a 407-hectare Conservation Management Area, now called Tiromoana Bush.
Read on to find out how the restoration project was developed and what it’s achieved. You can download a brochure about the restoration project here. There are also detailed plans and progress reports, and before and after photographs that dramatically illustrate the successful regeneration that’s been taking place since 2004.
A network of walking tracks take you right into the regenerating bush, around ponds and wetlands, all the way to the beach. Native birds such as korimako (bellbird) and piwakawaka (fantail) will keep you company as you wander through the regenerating forest and wetlands to the beach at Pegasus Bay. Brochures with maps are available onsite at the car park on Mt Cass Road, or you can download a Walkway Guide here.