Hereweka, or Harbour Cone, is a major cultural landmark and landform feature of the Otago Peninsula. It was part of the much larger Dunedin volcano that was approximately 1000 metres high and began erupting around 16 million years ago in three main phases. The Dunedin City area, Otago Peninsula and Otago Harbour were all part of it. The sea has drowned its lower slopes. The name Hereweka (literally ‘catch weka’) refers to is traditional role as a food source for Māori.
The 320 hectare Hereweka Block was purchased by the Dunedin City Council in 2008 and its management was transferred to the Hereweka Harbour Cone Trust in May 2015. The area attracts significant numbers of visitors enjoying the long views across wide valleys, the peninsula and open sea, the physical presence of a rich cultural landscape, and an extensive network of tracks connecting local settlements.
Among the most significant values are the two main freshwater catchments at Smiths Creek and Stewarts Creek, which hold small populations of native fish. The Smiths Creek area has been fenced from the remaining farm and a small group of volunteers have been replanting the area slowly as resources become available.
In 2016, Trees That Count funded the planting of 2,500 kanuka and other mixed native species on one of the steep slopes above the Smiths Creek catchment. Among those helping with the planting were Trust members and volunteers and the Otago Campus Greens. The planting will complement the other catchment work done in this area by local groups and the Broad Bay School.