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What to plant in the central volcanic plateau ecological region

The central volcanic plateau is a dramatic part of the Waikato region with mountain ranges, the head of the Waikato river and the country's largest lake, and attracts thousands of visitors every year. However, only 20 per cent of the land is covered in native vegetation which leaves room for improvement to both the landscape and the ecosystem.

There are a number of reasons why the districts need restoration. Especially the lower terrain has no remaining natural areas for native plant species. Animal and plant pests are abundant and the water quality of Lake Taupo and Waikato River needs protecting. The region is switching from forestry to dairy pasture which will further reduce habitat opportunities for native animals and plants and affect water quality.  

Planting native plants can have many benefits, including aesthetical, ecological and economical. These include aiding farming operations, providing food and shelter for native birds, reducing erosion and much more.

Many agencies, community groups, farmer, forestry companies and inviduals are working hard to protect the natural values of the central volcanic platean ecological region. They are removing weeds, controlling pests and planting natives to recreate or enhance natural ecosystems. This guide will help you select and plant local native plants for your gardens, re-vegetation areas or as specimen or shelter trees for your property.

The focus of this planting guide is on native forest species. For ideas on what to plant in wetlands, check out our wetland planting guide.

This guide is for the Central volcanic plateau, comprising two adjoining ecological districts. The Taupo ecological district stretches from Taupo to Turangi, occupying the basin beween the Hauhungaroa range and the foothills of the Kaimanawa ranges. Atiamuri ecological distric is centred on the southern Waikato hydro lakes, bordered by the towns of Whakamaru, Horohoro, Reporoa and Taupo.

Lake Rotorua and the mountains of the Tongariro National park, Pureroa and the Kaimanawa forest parks are outside these ecological districts.


Please note: Due to the large file size of this document, it has been split into multiple documents for ease of download.

Front page What to plant in Central volcanic plateau ecological region - part 1
(101 kb, 14 seconds to download, 56k modem)

About this guide

Central volcanic plateau ecological region and districts

What is special about these ecological districts?

What to plant in Central volcanic plateau ecological region - part 2
(1044 kb, 149 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Planting guide

Special planting situations

  1. Wetlands
  2. Streambanks, river terraces and riparian zones
  3. Stabilising slips and road cuttings
  4. Geothermal landscapes

Central volcanic plateau planting zones

  1. Lowland zone
  2. Submontane zone
  3. Montane zone

Plant list for Taupo and Atiamuri ecological districts

Your notes

What to plant in Central volcanic plateau ecological region - part 3
(781 kb, 111 seconds to download, 56k modem)