Welcome to an occasional blog about walking and hiking tracks, mainly in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Coromandel regions of New Zealand. I had been exploring backroads on motorbikes for a number of years, before starting to do day walks of up to about 5 to 6 hours duration, mainly on DoC tracks. Motorbike riding days are more or less over now.
This blog will describe the tracks walked, their difficulty level, distance walked, time taken, facilities available, and will include some photos from the walks. Many of the walks also have a description on the DoC or other web site, and links to these descriptions will be posted. Clicking on a photo in a blog post will usually display a full-size version of the photo. Click on the back button to return to the post.
The following are the posts classified by general area.
Broken Hills, Hikuai
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula
New Chums Beach
Opera Point Historic Reserve
Pauanui Summit Track
Bluff Stream Kauri Loop
County Rd to Mt Karangahake Summit
Dean, Mangakino Pack, Daly’s Clearing and Waitawheta Tramway Tracks
Dickey Flat – Mangakino Pack Track Loop
Dickey Flat to Karangahake loop
Karangahake Tunnel Loop to Owharoa Falls
Mt Karangahake summit
Waitawheta Tramway Track – Franklin Rd to Waitawheta Hut
Ananui Falls from Woodland Rd
Aongatete Walking Tracks
Katikati – Haiku Pathway, Uretara/Yeoman Walkway
Kauri Point – Ongare Point
Lindemann Loop Track and Wairoa Shelter
Mount Eliza Mine and Summit
Tuahu Kauri and Sentinel Rock
Wharawhara Track – Wharawhara Rd to Cashmore Clearing
Hemo Gorge Trail, Rotorua
Kaharoa Kokako Track
Lake Okareka Walkway
Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve – Ngahopua, Anaha and Kepa Tracks
Lake Tikitapu/Blue Lake
Mt Ngongotaha – Nature Loop and Jubilee Track
Okataina Western Walkway – SH30 to Patotara
Rainbow Mountain – Maungakakaramea
Rotoma Bridle Track
The Redwoods – Pohaturoa Track
The Redwoods – Quarry Track
The Redwoods – Tokorangi Pa Track
The Redwoods – Treewalk
Rongomai, Te Auheke and Tarawhai Tracks at Lake Okataina
Gordon Carmichael Reserve
Kopurererua Valley, Tauranga
McLaren Falls Park – Lakeside and Waterfall tracks
McLaren Falls Park – Rimu Track
Ngamuwahine and Ngamuwahine Loop Tracks
North South Track – SH29 to North Henderson Tramline
Otanewainuku – Rimu Loop – Whataroa Falls
Rapurapu Kauri Track
Ruahihi Canal walkway/cycleway
Tauranga / Historical Inner City + Waikareao
Te Rerenga and Lost Tank Tracks – TECT All Terrain Park
TECT Park Radio Repeater lookout
Waikareao Estuary Walkway
Yatton Park to Fraser Street Reserve
Kaiate Falls – Te Rerekawau
Otawa Trig from Te Puke Quarry Road
Papamoa Beach, Wairakei, Topaz Drive Reserves
Papamoa Drainage Reserve – Domain Rd to Pacific View Rd
Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park
Leyland O’Brien Tramway Track
Minden Scenic Reserve
Te Puna Quarry Park – Part 1
Te Puna Quarry Park – Part 2
Ancient Maori Trail at Wairere Falls
Horseman’s and Lipsey Tracks, Te Aroha
Howarth Memorial Wetland Walkway – Te Aroha
Mt Te Aroha summit
Tui – Domain Track, Te Aroha
Tui Tracks to Mt Te Aroha Summit
Waiorongomai Pylon Peak Track
Waiorongomai Valley – High Level Pack and Cadman Tracks, Buck Rock, Low Level Drive
Waiorongomai Valley – Low Level, Water Race, New Era, High Level Pack Tracks
Waiorongomai Valley – Piako County Tramway
Black Hill Walkway – Waihi
Golden Cross Mine to Maratoto Road
Martha Mine Pit Rim Walkway – Waihi
Orokawa Bay and Homunga Bay
Pohutukawa Park track at Waihi Beach
Waihi Beach New Track
Waihi to Waikino loop – rail and walk/cycle
William Wright Falls
Hakarimata Kauri Loop Walk
Hakarimata Summit Track
Jim Barnett Reserve – Waikato River Trail
Kaniwhaniwha Nikau Loop Walk and Caves
Lake Hakanoa, Huntly
Lake Puketirini, Huntly
Mangakara Nature Walk, Pirongia
Morrinsville River Walk
Mt William Walkway
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari Summit Northern Loop
Taupiri Mountain Summit
Te Tapui Loop Track – Maungakawa
Te Waihou Walkway and Blue Spring
Tirohanga Track to Ruapane Trig, Pirongia
Waikato River Trail – Waotu to Mangarewa Bridge
Waikato River Trails – Jones Landing to Arapuni
Karaponga Reserve and Dam
Karaponga Reserve, Waterfall and Dam
Kohi Point Walkway – Ohope – Whakatane
Kohi Point Walkway – Whakatane – Ohope
Latham’s Hill Track, Awakeri
Nga Tapuwae o Toi – Burma Rd to Whakatane
Nga Tapuwae o Toi – Ohope to Burma Rd
Nukuhou Saltmarsh, Ohope – Ohiwa
Ohope Harbourside Trail
Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park, Ohiwa
Putauaki (Mt Edgecumbe), Kawerau King of the Mountain race
Tauwhare Pa, Ohope
The Motu Road – Eastern Bay of Plenty
Warren Cole Walk & Cycleway, Whakatane
Whakaari / White Island
Rotoma Bridle Track is a 1km long, easy, almost completely level, walking track running parallel to SH30 between the junction of Manawahe Road and SH30, and SH30 by Lake Rotoma’s Whangaroa Bay. SH30 is the main road between Rotorua and Whakatane. The track is an old bridle track and runs through mature native forest with tall stands of trees, including rimu and tawa, in the Rotoma Scenic Reserve. Information about the track is available on the DoC web site.
There is no parking or any other facilities at or near the track. Parking is easiest on Manawahe Road, entering the north-western end of the track a few metres from the junction with SH30.
The TECT All Terrain Park is located on Whataroa Road, off SH36 (Tauranga Direct Road) between Tauranga and Rotorua. Numerous activities are catered for in the park, with the area west of SH36 covering non-motorised activities, such as horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, model aeroplanes, shooting, and dog exercise. Details of the park can be found on their web site. Various maps can be viewed or downloaded from the maps page on the site.
The Te Rerenga Trail and Lost Tank tracks in the park have been covered in a separate post. This post covers the tracks to the radio repeater site with a lookout, with extensive views of the surrounding area. Continue reading
A bridge has recently been built across the Karaponga Stream, and a track to a waterfall below the Karaponga Dam has been opened up. This post is an addition and update to the Karaponga Reserve and Dam post, over three years after that walk.
Karaponga Reserve is located at the end of Symond Road, off Braemar Road, between SH30 and SH2, near Kawerau and Matata. There is a small parking area by the reserve, and a locked gate to climb across to access the reserve. There are no toilet or other facilities nearby.
Kopurererua Valley is a low-lying area about 5 km long covering an area of 300 hectares, with Kopurererua Stream running through it, from Tauriko at the southern end and Waihi Road at the northern end. The valley is bisected by Takitimu Drive, a toll road, which is part of SH29. The ridge on the western side of the valley has Cambridge Road running along the ridgeline, and the ridge on the eastern side has Cameron Road running along the ridgeline. The Whakapaewaka Bridge across Takitimu Drive, officially opened in early August 2018, allows walkers and cyclists to cross over from one side of the valley to the other, near the midpoint of the valley.
Combined walkways and cycleways run through the valley, with tracks leading to various side streets along the way. Bridges across Kopurererua Stream have also recently been constructed, and most of the tracks are wide with a gravel surface. Some are still grass areas which can be wet and muddy during winter and wet periods. Much of the valley consists of wetlands, and a boardwalk over parts of the wet area connects the ends of 17th Avenue and Faulkner Street. Continue reading
Latham’s Hill Track, also called Lathams Track or Latham Track, is located by SH30 at Awakeri, about 17 km south of Whakatane, about 1.5 km west of the small township of Awakeri, and about 6 km south-east of Edgecumbe. One end of the track is accessible directly from SH30, where there is room to park 3 or 4 vehicles. It climbs through farmland and forest to Te Tiringa trig station at an elevation of 240 metres above sea level. It then continues along a ridgeline before descending steeply to end at the Awakeri Hot Springs. Walking along SH30 to the parking spot completes the loop in a clockwise direction. There is also parking available by the entrance to Awakeri Hot Springs, off SH30, so the walk can also be started and ended there.
Te Tiringa is the highest point of the Awakeri mountain range, and is of significance to local Maori as the landing place of Ngati Awa chief Tamarau.
Nukuhou saltmarsh is a low-lying area located where the Nukuhou River enters Ohiwa Harbour. The tidal flow from Ohiwa Harbour brings in the salty water, going some way upstream at high tide, and forming a marshy area with a special flora and fauna. The saltmarsh is located adjacent to Wainui Road, between Ohope and Ohiwa, at Cheddar Valley. A lookout and a walkway alongside the road has been formed and is maintained by the Nukuhou Saltmarsh Care Group. Extensive predator control, mainly of rats and stoats, is also performed by the group, to allow other species to survive or flourish.
There is a small parking area by the junction of Wainui Road and Burke Road, providing easy access to the boardwalk leading to the lookout. The track directly off Wainui Road to the lookout is wheelchair-friendly, but the remainder of the walking tracks are not. There are no toilets near the track.
Mangakara Nature Walk is a short and easy educational walk adjacent to Pirongia Forest Park Lodge, on the north-eastern side of Pirongia Forest Park. It crosses the Mangakara Stream twice, following the stream for part of the loop through the forest. Several large trees are located by the track, with information panels providing information about the forest and the plants and animal life within it. The track is well formed and an easy gradient, but there are a few steps, so not suitable for wheelchair access.
Information about the walk can be found in the DoC brochure “Mangakara Nature Walk” and in “Pirongia and Raglan tracks” brochure, both available for download on the DoC web site. Information is also available on the Mt Pirongia Preservation Society web site.
Ruapane is a 723 metre high peak on the north-eastern flanks of Mt Pirongia within the Pirongia Forest Park. There is a trig station and a lookout at the peak with views across the Waikato and to the Kaimai Ranges. Tirohanga Track starts at Corcoran Road, off Te Pahu Road, and climbs steadily to the lookout, before continuing on to the summit of Mt Pirongia. Ruapane can also be accessed by the Ruapane Track, starting at the end of Waite Road, which joins onto the Tirohanga Track before the final climb to Ruapane. A link track starting at the Pirongia Forest Park Lodge on Bell Road connects to Ruapane Track, and can also be used for access to the peak.
Ruapane is about 2 km from Corcoran Road, and the DoC signs indicate a 1 hour walking time. Information about the various tracks and points of interest within Pirongia Forest Park can be found in the DoC brochure “Pirongia and Raglan Tracks“, which can be downloaded from the DoC web site.
The Kaniwhaniwha Nikau Loop Walk, on the northern flanks of Mount Pirongia in the Pirongia Forest Park, starts at the Kaniwhaniwha Reserve on Limeworks Loop Road. The track follows the Kaniwhaniwha Stream from the road to the forest park, before branching off in various directions, including tracks to the summit of Mt Pirongia. The track alongside the river and the Nikau Loop Track are well formed with a very easy gradient, suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. The track to the Kaniwhaniwha caves branches off from the loop track, and is rougher but not steep. Mountain bikes are permitted on the Nikau Loop Walk, but dogs are not allowed without a special permit, except for guide dogs
The Warren Cole Walk & Cycleway is a 4.5 km long, paved walkway and cycleway running alongside the Whakatane River, between Landing Road and Whakatane Heads by the river mouth. For most of its length it runs along the top of the stopbank between the river and Whakatane township. It can be accessed from numerous locations along its route, and there are parking spaces and toilets located near several of these access points.
The photo sequence shows the walk starting at Landing Road and ending at the Whakatane Heads. The walk was actually done starting and ending at Mcgarvey Road, first to the Heads and back and then to Landing Road and back, with a short lunch break in the Whakatane Gardens in between. Walking time for the 4.5 km length, excluding breaks, was 50 minutes.