The TECT All Terrain Park is located about halfway between Tauranga and Rotorua, straddling SH36, and accessible from Whataroa Road. It is divided into two main zones, with various activities in each zone. The motorsports zone is located to the east of SH36, and the activity zone, off Weld Road, to the west of SH36. The park covers 1650 hectares of pine and native forest, with parts of the pine forest being clear felled at various times. Information about the park is found on the TECT All Terrain Park web site, including panoramic aerial photos of the park, maps, and details of activities.
There is a single dedicated hiking trail in the park, the Te Rerenga Tunnel Track, a loop track which starts and ends at the park entrance, where there is a parking area and toilet facilities. The track is about 3.2 km long, and is mostly an easy walk. Near the tunnel under SH36 there are steeper sections with steps on steeper parts and bridges across small streams. A torch is highly recommended for passing through the 36 meter long tunnel.
Many of the horse riding and mountain biking trails in the park are shared with hikers, including the 10 km long Buffalo Girl Track. The location of these is shown in the map available from the web site.
Marker posts at the intersection of SH36 and Whataroa Rd indicate the activities available in the park, including walking, horse riding, mountain biking, target shooting, motorsports, 4 wheel driving, and motorcycling (off-road). Most of the horse tracks and mountain biking tracks can also be used by walkers.
The parking area near the intersection of SH36 and Whataroa Rd, alongside Weld Rd. This is also the starting and ending location of Te Rerenga Track. Information panels are on the right.
The Arrival Centre with toilets and more information panels is also located next to the parking area.
One information panel shows the location of Te Rerenga Track and some of the riding and mountain biking tracks. Maps are also available on the information stand.
Te Rerenga Track start for walking in an anti-clockwise direction is by the car parking area near the information panel. Here the track is marked as Grade 3, whereas most other markers show the track as Grade 2 Easy. Dogs on a leash are allowed on the track.
The track enters a pine forest which looks to be almost ready to be felled.
A short distance later the track crosses a forestry road, and enters a more open area which has been felled and replanted in pine.
The track then narrows and enters native forest, where it descends into a valley.
Bridges cross over small streams, and steps are located on the steeper sections.
The track follows an almost dry stream bed on the way up to the tunnel.
The tunnel was dug by hand through soft rock in the 1930s, apparently for diverting Te Rerenga Stream under the new highway between Tauranga and Rotorua. The far end of the tunnel can be seen through the railings. Being rock, there is no supporting structure within the tunnel. Glow worms can apparently be found about halfway along the tunnel. A torch is recommended, as the tunnel is dark and the floor is uneven.
Looking back from the other end of the tunnel. The track continues up the steps to the right.
The track continues through native bush.
The track where it exits from the bush to the open camping area, known as Petersons Camp.
Petersons Camp has a large table and benches around a pit fireplace. On this day there was frost on the ground.
The track continues on from the camp location back towards the parking area. A horse riding track also branches off the camp area.
Approaching SH36 on Te Rerenga Track. Weld Rd is on the right, and the underpass under SH36 is visible on the right.
The track descends on steps down to Weld Rd and the underpass.
The track passes through the underpass, and branches left off Weld Rd and up a short rise to the lower end of the parking area.
The track ending (or starting) location is not marked. This is looking down from the parking area down the track to Weld Rd and the underpass.
The GPS tracklog shows the location of Te Rerenga Track and some points of interest. The GPS lost reception in the tunnel, so the first part of the track shown to the west of the tunnel is not correct. The total distance was 3.2 km, and the walk, including plenty of time for photos, took 55 minutes.
The aerial image, from Google Maps, was apparently taken before the TECT park was established, so the buildings, parking area, and roads are not shown.
The track was walked on May 21, 2017.
Lost Tank Track in TECT All Terrain Park
The Lost Tank track in the TECT All Terrain Park is a very short and easy walk, starting from the Mountain Bike Hub in the park. From the Park entry drive to the end of Weld Rd, turn right onto Te Ara Raho Rd and left onto Mangakopikopiko Rd. At the end of the road is a large parking area with toilets.
The track starts in the south-west corner of the carpark, across the forestry road to the right of centre, heading into the regenerating native bush.
The mountain bike track continues straight ahead, with the track to the right heading to the lost tank.
The narrow but level track continues through dense native bush.
The lost tank at the end of the track, with a large old rimu tree behind it to the right.
There is a small clearing by the tank, with a picnic table and views across the valley towards the hill with the repeater tower on the far left.
The same track is followed back to the car parking area.
The GPS tracklog shows the location of the Lost Tank Track. The track is about 350 metres each way, on level ground. Total time for the walk was 12 minutes, or about 5 minutes each way with 2 minutes at the tank site for photos.
The aerial photo, from Google Maps, was taken before the road and parking area was established. The tank can be seen in the lower left corner.
The track was walked on May 21, 2017.