The Physical Environment

Geology of Te Mata Park

The Peak is a ‘Hogs Back’ ridge of erosion-resistant limestone dipping steeply to the west. These sedimentary rocks, originally deposited in horizontal layers on the seabed, have been tilted and bowed upward by the geological forces of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.

The features of Te Mata Park are a result of the earthquake fault which runs from Wellington in the south, through the Ruahine ranges to Hawke’s Bay.

The cliffs and valleys of the Park are classic limestone features. The limestone is built upon the calcareous remains of billions of sea creatures that lived and died near the coast over innumerable millennia. The nature of the native vegetation found in Te Mata Park is strongly influenced by the lime-rich substrate.