Omaui Reserve is a peaceful reserve overlooking the New River Estuary. The 14 hectares of regenerating forest provides a sheltered backdrop to a picnic area at the end of the road.
The quiet settlement of Omaui was first documented by one Robert Williams in the year 1813, while investigating the possibility of a flax industry in New Zealand.
The small Maori village, thought to have already been visited by sealers, became the site of a whaling station for a brief period during the early 1800s, working in tandem with another station on the opposite side of the estuary at Sandy Point.
Omaui Reserve was originally covered in coastal bush of a similar nature to the remnants that remain in the area. This vegetation was completely cleared in the early days and the land used initially for grazing. Regeneration growth in the early 1950s was mainly of manuka which was harvested for firewood in the mid 1960s. The area is regenerating and now has a diversity of species.
Enjoy the panoramic views from the elevated platform, picnic in the sheltered grassed area or take a walk through this important forest remnant.
Omaui Reserve is located approximately 20 km southwest of Invercargill between Invercargill and Bluff. Take State Highway 1 south towards Bluff and turn right into Omaui Road at Greenhills. Follow this road until you reach the Omaui settlement. Omaui Reserve is at the far end of the settlement at the end of the road.
Omaui Reserve has a sheltered picnic area, interpretation panel, toilet and walking track to an elevated viewing platform, set amongst a regenerating podocarp/broadleaf coastal forest.
Walking track (1500m, 30 minutes return)
Starting at the grassed picnic area, the walking track becomes a loop track leading to an elevated viewing platform. Take in a superb panorama of the estuary and ocean, the surrounding reserve, the distant city of Invercargill and the Takitimu range on the horizon.