Friends of Tarawera Trail

Friends of the Tarawera Trail are a group of volunteers working on restoring ecological balance of the native forest surrounding the Tarawera Trail. The group started in late 2022 with the signing of a community agreement between DoC and Te Ara Kuiti a Tarawera. We aim for this project to be a true community project working with all stakeholders to reach the goal of a restored forest.

Tarawera and its trail’s surrounding forest needs urgent attention. The forest health is currently in a state of decline, with ecosystem damaging weeds (mainly a very large honeysuckle infestation) and pests dominating, tipping the balance and risking mauri and long term biodiversity of this special area. Our aim is to give the forest the best chance of a sustainable future by setting it free of the damaging weeds, allowing nature to restore the forest and contribute to the wider NZ goal of 2050 pest free. This is a long term vision for the project as the Honeysuckle infestation is significant. The short term objective is to weed a small trail area (block) and aim to keep it honeysuckle free, with the plan to plant natives in amongst the few surviving remnants of bush. 

How to Help
Volunteers mainly assist with weeding honeysuckle. This involves curtaining the vines which are in the trees at chest level, then cutting and pasting the vines at ground level. Then there is follow up herbicide spraying of the regrowth on the ground and general follow up to check regrowth. There will be planting working bees when the trial block is ready and further planting working bees when the weeding is completed in other blocks. We have installed rat traps along the first 4Km of trail so far and aim to extend this as more trap checking volunteers join the project. We have some possum traps to check too.

We are seeking donations, funding and volunteers to help with this project. Ways of contributing include:

  • Donating directly to help fund project progress either via Give a Little page or bank transfer.
  • Sponsoring a trap or multiple traps for pest control.
  • Donating a prize for give away as part of a fund-raising raffle.
  • Corporate sponsorship of the project.
  • Volunteering for weeding working bees and trap checking.
  • Volunteering for project management, running a working bee, competing funding applications etc
  • Encouraging your place of work to do a community volunteer day weeding on the trail.


For bank transfers please send to account number: 38 9020 0886735 01 used FOTT as the reference and your name. Please email [email protected] to let us know about your donation. Or visit Give A Little website and search Friends of Tarawera Trail. For further information or updates please contact Rachel at [email protected] or visit the Facebook page ‘Pest and Weed Free Tarawera’.