Taupiri Pass Scientific Reserve
The extension of the Waikato Expressway to the east of Huntly over Taupiri Pass affected a couple of existing wetland reserves, including the nearby Taupiri Pass Scientific Reserve. This reserve protects an area where several streams meet, forming Te Iringa, a lagoon supporting a range of native species.
The good news is that a significant investment was made in providing public access to the reserve and there is an easy track that takes you from the carpark around the wetlands, with substantial replanting.
In addition, a significant record of Māori experience in the wider region has been added. Hence, the waka maumahara (canoe cenotaph) representing four full size canoes driven halfway into the ground next to the reserve carpark. Such waka maumahara were widespread throughout the Waikato at the time Europeans arrived. The nearby panel also explains some of the other recent Māori artworks you see along the expressway, including the eight pou on the eastern side of the Expressway at the Taupiri Pass highpoint.
If you do the complete loop beyond the lagoon, you will also find the site of Rua’s Hut on the northern bank of the Mangawara Stream. A somewhat obscure event in the invasion of the Waikato, Rua was a government ally and is purported to have been granted the land as a reward.