• Nick Smith

The Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith today released details of a new recreation reserve at Thornes Bay, Takapuna.

"The Takapuna Reef Fossil Forest is one of the best examples worldwide of a standing forest that has been preserved as lava moulds by lava flows that passed through it, and is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. The creation of the new reserve will protect the forest for future generations".

Three areas of Crown Land totalling 3,520 square metres have been set apart as a recreation reserve subject to the provisions of the Reserves Act 1977, adjacent to the foreshore at Thornes Bay, Takapuna. The area forms part of a significant basalt rock shelf that comprises the Takapuna Reef Fossil Forest together with other volcanic features created by the lava flow from the eruption of Lake Pupuke approximately 140,000 years ago.

"The features documented to date include tree moulds, gas blisters which contain small lava stalagmites and stalactites and hollow pipes in the lava. There is also a large freshwater spring in the intertidal rocks which is the main outlet for Lake Pupuke. The water flows to the coast at Thornes Bay through cracks in the basalt flows. Visible evidence of the pahoehoe lava flow from the Pupuke Volcano which also contains examples of significant geological features continues around to Milford Beach".

"This part of the Auckland coastline is highly accessible and one of the most highly used areas in the country for recreation by the general public. It is nationally and internationally significant and of considerable education value and potential".