Rewanui Forest Park. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

With the Tararua Range stretching across Wairarapa’s western boundary, it is easy to forget the pocket of native forest out east.

An open day is being held this coming Sunday by the organisation that manages the “little gem”, the 334-hectare Rewanui Forest Park.

It is 15 minutes’ drive from Masterton on Masterton-Castlepoint Rd.

The park has a combination of areas of bush, open grassland, and commercial plantations of both native and exotic species.

The property is also important for biodiversity as well as a recreational asset hosting events like adventure racing, horse riding, and dog trials.

Rewanui is owned by Masterton-based charity, the Montfort Trimble Foundation, and is open to the public all year round.

Running from 10am to 2.30pm the open day will feature pony rides, forestry, and wood working displays, sheepdog demonstrations, a Greater Wellington pest control display, and a sausage sizzle run by Whareama Primary School.

There will also be opportunities to join a guided walking tour on one of the various tracks that loop through the forest.

The original bush remnant consists of species such as rewarewa, totara, matai, titoki, lacebark, rimu, pukatea and at least one northern rata, and is also home to a rare gecko.

Mature lowland forest is rare in Wairarapa and Rewanui is one of 49 sites listed by the Department of Conservation as Category One Recommended Areas for Protection.

The bush forms an important link in a chain of forest remnants connecting the Tararua Range to the coast.

There are three walking tracks in the Rewanui Forest Park, from the moderately graded Totara Loop bush walk [about 45 minutes], to the relatively steep and exposed Mt Clyde Trig [two-hour round trip].

The latter climbs to 300 metres over rolling grassland and rocky outcrops and has 360-degree views of Wairarapa from the top of the trig.

A nice compromise is the Matai Loop bush walk [90 minutes] which offers fantastic vistas as you climb up through the bush.

Rewanui Forest Park open day will be held from 10am-2.30pm.