Taupiri Mountain (Taupiri Maunga), at the southern end of the Taupiri Range, is located adjacent to State Highway 1 between Huntly and Ngaruawahia. Taupiri Mountain is sacred to the Waikato people and its lower flanks are used as burial grounds. Amongst others Maori royalty are buried there. A loop track leads to the summit from an access road branching off SH1 next to the bridge over Mangawara Stream.
The loop track was reopened in 1995 after work on the track was done by local residents and members of Taupiri Young Farmers Club. The summit of Taupiri Mountain has a trig station at an elevation of 288 metres.
The access road leading from SH1 is rough, and crosses over two railway lines. It should only be accessed from SH1 when heading towards the south, as the road curves on the bridge over the Mangawara Stream and is quite narrow at that location. When heading north there is a parking area and turning option only about 200 metres from the access road. Immediately after a sharp left turn on the access road there are parking areas available, with toilet facilities nearby. The access road does not appear to have an official name.
The loop track can be divided into 3 parts. Starting from the southernmost entrance to the track the first part leads up a 900 metre long steep climb to the summit. The northernmost second part leads down a steep 930 metre long steep track to an extension of the access road. The last leg is an easy walk of about 770 metres along the access road extension to the parking area near SH1 and the railway line. Total distance about 2.6 km, with a climb of about 270 metres.
Heading south on SH1 the access road to the Taupiri Mountain summit track, and to two urupa (cemeteries), is on the left, with the bridge over Mangawara Stream on the right, as seen on Google Streetview.
Looking from the access road and parking area to the summit of Taupiri Mountain with an urupa on the left and another off-picture to the right.
Looking from near the southern track entrance to the parking areas, the railway line, SH1, and the Hakarimata Range on the far side of the Waikato River.
The track entrance directly off the access road extension.
The plaque on one of the posts of the entrance archway.
A small rest area with a seat and a view has been built near the track entrance.
The view from the seat, with the parking areas and the railway bridge over Mangawara Stream visible. The small township of Taupiri is on the right.
There are a number of steps, some of them very high, on the first part of the track.
Views to the south are visible from a few locations on the track to the summit. Mangawara Stream and the Waikato River are visible, as is Mount Pirongia in the distance.
The onward track is steep and very slippery when wet. There are no track markers, but the track is easy to follow, as it appears to be used regularly.
View to the north from the summit. Lake Waikare is on the right.
Looking to the south from the summit. Mount Pirongia is on the right, with Kakepuku to the left of it, and Maungatautari further to the left. The Waikato River is clearly visible running past the township of Taupiri.
Looking towards the north-east from the summit.
The trig station on the summit, at an elevation of 288 metres above sea level.
Returning along the same track, the northern leg of the loop track branches off to the left after about 50 metres from the summit. This track is also steep in parts and very slippery when wet. There are no steps on this part of the track.
As on the upward leg there are a few openings in the vegetation allowing for views to the south-east.
The northernmost entry/exit from the loop track, directly off the access road extension.
There are no good parking areas near the northern entry, and no good turning areas. Heading back along the road extension to the southern entry and the parking area.
A view of Taupiri Mountain from Orini Road to the south-east.
The GPS tracklog shows the route which was followed, with the loop track walked in a clockwise direction. Total walking distance was 2.6 km, with a total time of 2 hours, including a 20 minutes break at the summit. The upward leg was 900 metres, and took 40 minutes. The downward leg, including the walk along the access road, was 1.7 km and took 1 hour. 930 metres and 45 minutes of this was the downhill walk through the native bush, with the remainder the walk along the access road.
On the map Mangawara Stream is incorrectly shown as Waikato River. The Waikato River is the wider part in the lower left corner only.
The aerial image from Google Maps shows the same area as the GPS tracklog. Points of interest are marked on the image.
The topo map excerpt shows the topography of the area, but unfortunately the walking tracks are not shown in the map.
The track was walked on July 29, 2017.