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 Okataina to Mt Whakapoungakau
Lake Tikitapu/Blue Lake
Mangakakahi and Otamatea walkways, Rotorua
Mt Ngongotaha – Nature Loop and Jubilee Track
Okataina Western Walkway – SH30 to Patotara
Rainbow Mountain – Maungakakaramea
Rongomai, Te Auheke and Tarawhai Tracks at Lake Okataina
Rotoma Bridle Track
Rotorua Walkway: Pukeroa, Lakefront, Motutara, Te Arikiroa, Puarenga
The Redwoods – Pohaturoa Track
The Redwoods – Quarry Track
The Redwoods – Tokorangi Pa Track
The Redwoods – Treewalk
Utuhina Walkway, Rotorua
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
Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway, Te Puke
Leyland O’Brien Tramway Track
Minden Scenic Reserve
Pā Kererū Loop Walk, Whakamārama
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 to Dog Kennel Flat, Mt Te Aroha
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
Hapuakohe Walkway – Ohinewai Rd to Maungakawa Trig
Jim Barnett Reserve – Waikato River Trail
Kaniwhaniwha Nikau Loop Walk and Caves
Lake Hakanoa, Huntly
Lake Ngaroto, Te Awamutu
Lake Puketirini, Huntly
Mangakara Nature Walk, Pirongia
Morrinsville River Walk
Mt William Walkway
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari Summit Northern Loop
Taitua Arboretum and Till’s Lookout, Hamilton
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
Whakatane and Eastern Bay of Plenty:
Hansen, Stoneham, Ruruanga Walks, Kawerau
Hukutaia Domain, Opotiki
Karaponga Reserve and Dam
Karaponga Reserve, Waterfall and Dam
Kohi Point Walkway – Ohope – Whakatane
Kohi Point Walkway – Whakatane – Ohope
Latham’s Hill Track, Awakeri
Marawaiwai Scenic Reserve, Opotiki
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
Tarawera Falls to Tarawera Outlet
Tarawera River Walks, Kawerau
Tauwhare Pa, Ohope
Te Waiti Nature Trail, Opotiki
The Motu Road – Eastern Bay of Plenty
Warren Cole Walk & Cycleway, Whakatane
Whakaari / White Island
The Pā Kererū Loop Walk was opened in early November 2019 after several years of work by the Mahi Boys training program, a special team who are all clients of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board mental health service. A story with details and photos can be found on the Bay of Plenty Times web site. The loop walk is located at the end of Whakamarama Road, starting from the same location as the Leyland O’Brien Tramway track and the Ngamarama Track.
The Pā Kererū track mainly follows the old Poripori and Leyland O’Brien tramlines, with very easy gradients and bridges over stream crossings. The walking time is marked as 40 minutes for the loop, starting and ending at the Bulldozer Blade Clearing at the southern end of Whakamarama Road. Continue reading
Rotorua Walkway is a 26 km long walkway divided into 8 sections forming a loop, with a further two walkways branching off from the main loop. The walkways are described in the brochure Rotorua Walkways available on the Rotorua Lakes Council web site, under the Brochures heading. The two walkways branching off, Mangakakahi and Otamatea, have been covered in a previous post: Mangakakahi and Otamatea walkways, Rotorua and the Utuhina section (number 7 in the brochure) has been covered in the post: Utuhina Walkway, Rotorua
This post describes the sections numbered 1 to 5 in the brochure, as well as part of number 6. These are Pukeroa, Rotorua Lakefront, Motutara, Te Arikiroa and Puarenga, with part of the Rotorua Tree Trust walkway. The walk starts near the intersection of Lake Road and Ranolf Street, across from Kuirau Park. There is no parking area nearby, although parking is available on and near Rangiuru Street, with about a 500 metre walk to the starting point. The Puarenga section walk ends at the entrance to Whakarewarewa Village on Tryon Street. Total distance is about 8.5 km with a walking time of about 2 hours 10 minutes.
The Rotorua Walkway is a 26 km long walkway in Rotorua, broken up into 8 shorter sections. The walkways are described in the brochure Rotorua Walkways available on the Rotorua Lakes Council web site, under the Brochures heading. This walk covers the section named Utuhina in the brochure. It follows the Utuhina Stream for most of the way between Old Taupo Road near Pukuatua Street and the entry to Rotorua Tree Trust Centennial Park, on Kotuku Street, off Kiwi Street and Otonga Road. Two side tracks off the Rotorua Walkway, one of them joining Utuhina Walkway, were described in the previous post, Mangakakahi and Otamatea walkways, Rotorua.
The walkway passes through parks and reserves, with parts of it along urban streets. Some parking is available at Centennial Park at the southern end of the walkway, and on Mataatua Street at the northern end. There are no toilets by the walkway.
The Rotorua Walkway is a 26 km long walkway in Rotorua, broken up into 8 shorter sections. In addition there are two shorter walkways branching off from the long walkway, following two tributaries to Utuhina Stream. The Mangakakahi walkway connects Sunset Road near Old Taupo Road and Pukehangi Road near Blomfield Street, and Otamatea walkway connects Pegasus Drive off Pukehangi Road and the Otuhina section of the Rotorua Walkway. The walkways are described in the brochure Rotorua Walkways available on the Rotorua Lakes Council web site, under the Brochures heading.
This walk through the Mangakakahi and Otamatea walkways was done as an anti-clockwise loop, starting and ending at the parking area on Mataatua Street, off Pukuatua St/SH30A. The start of Mangakakahi walkway is on Sunset Rd, about 1 km from the parking area. It is a combined walkway and cycleway. The middle part of the loop was a 1.4 km walk along Pukehangi Road from the end of Mangakakahi walkway, to Pegasus Drive where Otamatea walkway starts or ends. Total distance was 9.1 km, with a time of just over 2 hours.
Lake Okaro, situated near SH5 and SH38 between Rotorua and Taupo, is the smallest of the Rotorua lakes under public management. The lake has had poor water quality due to runoff from surrounding farms, but efforts have been made in recent years to improve the water quality, so that it can now be used for recreational use. The lake is adjacent to Okaro Road, off SH38 near the intersection with SH5. There is a campground, a boat ramp, and public toilets by the lake and Okaro Road. Te Ara Ahi, the thermal cycleway, passes by the lake on Okaro Road.
There is a walkway of about 2.3 kilometres around the lake, with a nominal time of 1 hour. The walkway follows the lake edge, with only relatively easy gradients on some smaller climbs. Vertical height difference is only about 20 metres for the track. About one quarter of the track, on the north-western border, is wheelchair accessible according to the signage. There is a charge for overnight camping, payable at the Rotorua i-Site on Fenton Street.
A link track connects the upper end of the Piako County Tramway track to Dog Kennel Flat junction adjacent to Mountain Road on Mount Te Aroha. From Dog Kennel Flat the road continues up to the summit of Mount Te Aroha and down to Tui Road by the Tui mines. From the junction it is also possible to take the steeper climb up the eastern side of Mt Te Aroha, or the Tui Saddle Track and Tui Track down to the Tui mines. Various other walking tracks also branch off nearby.
The link track, known as Te Aroha Link Track or Waiorongomai Link Track, also connects to Waipapa Track and Mangakino Pack Track. It is about 1.9 km long, and steep in places, mainly near the tramway end of the track. This walk was done starting and ending at Waiorongomai, turning around at Dog Kennel Flat. Continue reading
Eastern Okataina Walkway is a walkway through the Okataina Scenic Reserve connecting Lake Okataina at Tauranganui Bay at the southern end of Lake Okataina Road and Lake Tarawera at Humphries Bay (also known as Humphrey’s Bay). The walkway is about 10 km long, following the eastern shores of Lake Okataina for a large part of the way, crossing over a ridgeline with a climb of about 100 metres, and with a low saddle between Lake Okataina at Otangimoana Bay and Lake Tarawera at Humphries Bay. The walkway is mostly easy walking with no steps, but with a few short, steeper sections and some fallen trees requiring rougher, short detours.
There is access to the lake in several locations, and not far from the start at Tauranganui Bay there is a side track to Te Koutu Pa site. There is a short description of the walkway on the DoC web site. and in a brochure Walking and Hiking in Rotorua available for download from the Rotorua Lakes Council web site. There is a link to the brochure under the Brochures heading.
Mount Whakapoungakau is the highest point, at 758 metres, of the Whakapoungakau Range in the Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve. The summit is accessible as a side track off the Western Okataina Walkway, which is now a combined walkway and mountain bike trail. The walkway is accessible from the Lake Okataina and Lake Rotoiti end in several locations, and from the Lake Okareka end on Millar Road. This walk was done from Lake Okataina to the summit of Mt Whakapoungakau and return to Lake Okataina.
A short description of the Western Okataina Walkway can be found on the DoC web site, and all the tracks in the Lake Okataina region are described in a brochure available as a pdf file on the Rotorua Lakes Council web site. There is a link under the heading Brochures called Walking and hiking in Rotorua. Several of the tracks in the Okataina Scenic Reserve are also described in previous posts on this site, such as Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve – Ngahopua, Anaha and Kepa Tracks and Rongomai, Te Auheke and Tarawhai Tracks at Lake Okataina and Okataina Western Walkway – SH30 to Patotara.
Te Waiti Nature Trail is a short (800 metres, 30 minutes) walk through native forest in the Urutawa Conservation Area about 17 km by road south-east of Opotiki. The trail and conservation area are administered by DoC, and there is a very short description of the track on the DoC web site.
The track does not appear to be maintained or regularly used, there are almost no track markers, the entry point to the track has no signage, and the access road is a very narrow, winding gravel road that is not maintained by the local council. Only two or three vehicles could be parked by the entrance to the track without disrupting road traffic.
Hukutaia Domain is a 4.5 hectare reserve with remnant native bush and numerous native plants and trees gathered from all parts of New Zealand and offshore islands. It was set aside as a reserve in 1918, mainly to protect an ancient puriri tree, Taketakerau, also known as the burial tree. The tree is estimated to be over 2000 years old, and the hollow base was used by the local Upokorehe to store the bones of their distinguished, deceased members.
A keen local botanist, Norman Potts, collected plants from all over New Zealand for the reserve between 1930 to 1970, with the work continued by Marc Heginbotham until 1990. It is now cared for by the volunteer Hukutaia Domain Care Group. Some information about the reserve can be found on the Opotiki information web site.