Te Mata Park is rich with natural history, rising out of the ocean some 2 million years ago, as evidenced by the seashell fossils embedded in the trails and across the Park. Today it is a varied landscape with older bush remnants, newly planted native forests, and a colourful range of birds, bugs, and even some reptiles.
This catalogue represents a snapshot of some of the most common species within the Park, however, it is not an exhaustive list. There are vast numbers of living things within the Park, many of which are undiscovered or un-named, all contributing to the rich, biodiverse fabric of this beautiful land.
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are taken by Mike Lusk and gifted from his personal collection. He is a Te Mata Park expert and has informed much of the catalogue. Rongoā information has been sourced by rongoā kaiārahi, Tyne-Marie Nelson.
Many significant native plants, some of them threatened species, can be found in Te Mata Park, including a native daphne (Pimelea mimosa). Pimelea mimosa is a unique daphne that is endemic to Te Mata park and is planted around the Main Gates Car Park. This is the only place in New Zealand where it grows in the wild. There are also older native bush areas as well as beautiful stands of exotic trees, including two large redwoods groves.
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.
Haere mai | Welcome to Te Mata Park and its famous peak, one of the most loved and visited places in Hawke’s Bay.
Gifted in perpetuity to the community in 1927 and managed by a small group of volunteer trustees, with appreciated help from local councils and the community, the Park is a cultural, historical and recreational treasure.
Four times winner of the presitigous international environmental award.