Nape nape scenic reserve, 21 October 2012

We spent the day visiting an old childhood haunt of mine, Nape Nape Scenic Reserve. When I was a young boy, my family used to spend our summer camping trips at this secluded coastal reserve. Back then, it had a fully functional campground and even a swimming pool, since the surf is not safe to swim in. The camp ground has since been closed due to landslip dangers and the pool has been removed.

It's still a remarkable place to visit. It's one of the few scraps of coastal native forest left in Canterbury, growing on dramatic white limestone containing fossils. Around the cliffs at the southern end of the beach are fur seals. Banded dotterels are commonly seen on the beach.

One of the highlights of our trip this time were the Corybas macranthus orchids in flower.

I've added assorted photos I took onto NatureWatchiNaturalist NZ and will add my standard bird, butterfly, mammal, and plant counts once we've finished building these features into the website.

The limestone cliffs of Nape Nape Scenic Reserve

Posted by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan, October 31, 2012 04:22

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:46 PM NZDT

Description

The remains of the head of a fur seal on the beach. The skull was also there. I was amazed at how stiff and strong the whiskers are.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Puka (Griselinia lucida)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:15 PM NZDT

Description

Roots of puka snaking across limestone faces in the coastal forest.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:26 PM NZDT

Description

Lying dead on the old road with its head squashed. It would have been incredibly unlucky to have been hit by a vehicle on such a rugged and infrequently used road. I'm guessing the head injury may have occurred after death.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Green Mistletoe (Ileostylus micranthus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:03 PM NZDT

Description

Here seen growing on kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum). See also my observation from nearby growing on a mahoe.

Photos / Sounds

What

Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:33 PM NZDT

Description

An individual growing right on the beach edge.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Small-leaved Kowhai (Sophora microphylla)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:10 PM NZDT

Description

A juvenile Sophora microphylla (or Sophora prostrata, I haven't had a close look yet).

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:23 PM NZDT

Description

Just one seen along the old roadside through the reserve. The reserve as a whole was remarkably free of woody weeds. Thanks to whoever is looking after the place.

Photos / Sounds

What

Ngaio (Myoporum laetum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 11:46 AM NZDT

Description

One of several old trees along the coast on the edge of the beach.

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Cabbage Tree (Cordyline australis)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:33 PM NZDT

Description

A battered old plant on the edge of the beach.

Photos / Sounds

What

Silver-back Spider-Orchid (Corybas macranthus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:08 PM NZDT

Description

Flowers from one of many patches of this orchid.

Photos / Sounds

What

Five Finger (Pseudopanax arboreus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:20 PM NZDT

Description

Several plant species had leaves showing signs of stress, perhaps nutrient stress from the alkaline limestone soils.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spotted Medick (Medicago arabica)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 11:41 AM NZDT

Description

Growing in the grass around the carpark/old campground area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Flax Window-Maker (Orthoclydon praefectata)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:31 PM NZDT

Description

The two flax plants I found were both looking largely clean and uneaten. One had no leaf damage and the other, this plant, had very few holes consistent with old scrapes from Orthoclydon praefactata, and no notches.

Photos / Sounds

What

Akiraho (Olearia paniculata)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:02 PM NZDT

Description

Witches broom galls on Olearia paniculata, caused by an undescribed species of mite according to the PlantSyNZ website.

Photos / Sounds

What

Green Mistletoe (Ileostylus micranthus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:16 PM NZDT

Description

Here seen growing on mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus). See also my observation from nearby growing on a kawakawa.

Photos / Sounds

What

Banded Dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus ssp. bicinctus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 2012

Description

We saw several birds, including fledged young, on the beach. There was even this pair on the grass near the beach that we saw as soon as we arrived.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Fairy Flax (Linum catharticum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:01 PM NZDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:15 PM NZDT

Description

Green-hooded orchids were just coming into flower, often with browsed leaves.

Photos / Sounds

What

Ngaio (Myoporum laetum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 02:14 PM NZDT

Description

Growing perched precariously on the limestone cliffs at the south end of the beach (among other places along the coast).

Photos / Sounds

What

Matagouri (Discaria toumatou)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:59 PM NZDT

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:14 PM NZDT

Description

Old egg case. No live insects were seen but we weren't looking for them.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Karamu (Coprosma robusta)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:59 PM NZDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Silver-back Spider-Orchid (Corybas macranthus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:12 PM NZDT

Description

Flowers from one of many patches of this orchid.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spur Valerian (Centranthus ruber)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 02:39 PM NZDT

Description

Very few plants seen, just around the cliffs at the south end of the beach (in hard to reach places).

Photos / Sounds

What

Puka (Griselinia lucida)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:55 PM NZDT

Description

Both Griselinia species were common in the reserve and both were in flower.

Photos / Sounds

What

Puka (Griselinia lucida)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:10 PM NZDT

Description

Both Griselinia species were common in the reserve and both were in flower. Here, I am hold up a branch of Griselinia littoralis (of the left) from a tree growing immediately adjacent to this Griselinia lucida (on the right).

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 02:35 PM NZDT

Description

One long-established adult and several nearby juveniles in one patch part way up the limestone cliff at the south end of the beach.

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:48 PM NZDT

Description

Both Griselinia species were common in the reserve and both were in flower.

Photos / Sounds

What

Puka (Griselinia lucida)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:45 PM NZDT

Description

Browsing damage on a young broadleaf. Browsing damage was common.

Photos / Sounds

What

Maidenhair (Adiantum cunninghamii)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:07 PM NZDT

Description

This fern was the dominant vegetation covering the forest floor in many places.

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Ice Plant (Disphyma australe)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:57 PM NZDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Wharariki (Phormium cookianum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:30 PM NZDT

Description

This flax was large and our first though was Phormium tenax but all of the old seed capsules are consistently hanging down, as found with Phormium cookianum.

Growing in open, low coastal forest near the beach.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Leafless Lawyer (Rubus squarrosus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:29 PM NZDT

Description

A commonly encountered species in this forest, here photographed in flower.

Photos / Sounds

What

Kawakawa (Piper excelsum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 12:04 PM NZDT

Description

The host plant of a mistletoe, Ileostylus micranthus (entered as a separate observation).

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:57 PM NZDT

Description

There were three seals at the south end of the beach by the cliff, one lazing near the water and another two up at the edge of the cliffs.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Hound's Tongue Fern (Microsorum pustulatum)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

October 21, 2012 01:13 PM NZDT

Description

Common on the forest floor.

Comments

Hi Jon
Great photos of this amazing place!
I'm an artist doing postgraduate study at Ilam School of Fine Arts. I'm interested in Napenape, both environmentally and in terms of its history. Can you tell me more about the swimming pool that was once at Napenape? Was it a concrete pool or more of a hole in a creek? When was it there, where was it situated and when was it removed? I remember the DOC campsite but did Napenape once have a commercial camping ground?
I'd be grateful for any information you might be able to give me.
Ngā mihi
Giselle

Posted by gisellekfortune over 2 years ago (Flag)

Hi Giselle I live very near Napenape and would love to also know history about this beautiful place. And any photos etc. cheers jen

Posted by jalep99 over 2 years ago (Flag)

Hi @gisellekfortune and @jalep99,

Thanks for your interest. It was a built outdoor swimming pool and there used to be quite a crowd of families camping there each summer. I'll talk to my parents and see if I can hunt down some old photos and some more information.

It was a great place to have adventures as a kid. (And it's still a magical place to explore.)

Cheers,
Jon

Posted by jon_sullivan over 2 years ago (Flag)

Thanks Jon that would be awesome.

Posted by jalep99 over 2 years ago (Flag)

@jon_sullivan @jalep99,
Thanks Jon. That would be great.
Giselle

Posted by gisellekfortune over 2 years ago (Flag)

Hi All

just reading this after doing a google search on Nape Nape, as a kid I used to visit often with my family, the farm that owned the area to the beach was my great uncle? (I think) "Big" Sid Wilkinson, they built the camp ground, with the in ground pool, from memory there was also an A frame house and wool/shearing shed as well, it was a magic place!

@gisellekfortune @jalep99 @jon_sullivan

Posted by gloader over 1 year ago (Flag)

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