THE SCENIC RESERVE
Whinray Scenic Reserve was named after James Whinray; a local settler and cabinet maker who in 1905 protected the forest when the region was being cleared for farming. The reserve, located five-kilometres from Motu (half way between Opotiki and Gisborne), is 429 hectares of pristine prodocarp native forest which has never been milled.
Flora & fauna
The area has many native trees species, including rimu, matai, miro, totara, kawaka, kahikatea and some beech forest.
The bird life is abundant – bellbird, tui, grey warbler, fantail, tomtit, kereru, morepork and kingfisher are all common. Rarer bird species in the reserve include the North Island robin, kaka, whitehead, weka, New Zealand falcon, rifleman and brown kiwi.
Long tailed bat are also present and other species such as Hochstetters frog, Raukumara tusked weta and red mistletoe maybe present also.
The reserve is located in Eastland, some 87 km from Gisborne, halfway between Opotiki and Gisborne. Turn right off State Highway 2 at Matawai and follow directions to Motu. The car park is 5 km past the township of Motu on the Motu Falls Road. At the start of the track a dramatic 42 metre suspension bridge crosses the Motu River just below the Motu Falls.
If you're coming from further afield this Travel Time & Distance Calculator from the official travel website for New Zealand will come in handy.
Things to do
A six kilometre nature walk cuts through the middle of the reserve, showcasing a pure nature experience. The one-way walking track commences at the swing bridge, or can be accessed at the Marumoko Road end of the track. The Department of Conservation and NZ Walks provide detailed info about the track and local conditions.