The Government forces pursuing Te Rangihaeata took three days to walk 6km from Pauatahanui to Battle Hill, greatly hampered by the dense native forest. A small but significant remnant of this forest remains near the park’s front paddocks. Along with tawa, titoki and kohekohe the forest supports the swamp-loving kahikatea, pukatea and swamp maire.
Roughly half the park is planted in pines, with much of the remainder in pasture, dotted with native and exotic trees. Greater Wellington is working with school groups and the community to restore two large wetland areas and plant along stream banks. This will help provide habitat for wildlife and improve the water quality in the Horokiri Stream and the Pauatahanui Inlet.
Native plantings and ongoing pest control have improved habitats for a wide range of birds on the property. Tui, piwakawaka (fantail) and kereru (NZ pigeon) feed on the array of vegetation, while mallards and putangitangi (paradise shelducks) enjoy the pasture and restored wetlands.
Every winter Battle Hill Farm Forest Park hosts a series of Arbour Days where individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees in the park. Schools in the local area usually volunteer thier time for these days.
To visit the tame eels, go through the gate on the homestead side of the stream and follow the signs to the creek. Eels enjoy bread or leftover sausages. See how close you can get to the eels in this video.
Remember - eels are protected in Greater Wellington's regional parks.