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Tararua Forest Park
Established in 1954, Tararua Forest Park became the first of the forest parks in New Zealand. Located 50 km north of Wellington, Tararua Forest Park is 120,000 ha and extends from the Rimutaka Saddle in the south to Manawatu Gorge in the north.
Infamous as having a climate composed of wind, rain and mist. The park is exposed to the norwesterly winds that rip through the narrow tunnel between the South and North Island.
The forest has variety of vegatation, beech is the main forest type but there is also miro/kamahi forests in the northern ranges, rimu/beech/kamahi in the central and southern ranges, rimu/kamahi forests in the northern Tararuas, Tawa forests in the lower western foothills and Alpine tussock grasslands and herbfields along the tops.
Predation by introduced pests, like many of New Zealands forests has dramatically reduced the number of birds. Birds you may find in the Tararua Forest Park include fantails, tui, bellbird, riflemen, whitehead, kereru, kakariki, the North Island kaka, the kakariki and ruru.
New Zealands only native land mammels are also present in the park, both the long tailed bat and the rare southern sub species of the short-tailed bat are residents of Tararua Forest Park.