Otawa Scenic Reserve is an area of native forest south-east of Tauranga and south-west of Te Puke. Otawa trig, at an elevation of 565 metres, is the highest point within the reserve. The trig is accessible from several locations, including a track which starts at the end of Manoeka Road, climbing to meet up with the track from Demeter Road and Otanewainuku, with a short steeper section before reaching the trig station. There are no views from the trig station, or from the track which has vegetation cover for the entire length.
The Otawa Scenic Reserve is managed by DoC, and a short description of the reserve and some of the tracks is found on their web site. An alternative and easier route to the trig station is described in the post Otawa Trig from Te Puke Quarry Road on this site.
The Karakariki Scenic Reserve was originally set aside as a water conservation reserve. The reserve covers about 486 hectares, and is accessible across private farmland from the end of Karakariki Valley Road, off Karakariki Road which branches off SH23 between Hamilton and Raglan, near Whatawhata. At one time the forest was dominated by kauri but this was milled out in the early 1900s. There is a short, relatively easy, track leading from the end of Karakariki Valley Road to a small waterfall. The track then continues up a steeper hill section, ending at a fenceline but without any views.
The waterfall apparently does not have an official name, despite being shown on Google Maps as Karakariki Waterfall. Karakariki Stream is actually somewhat further to the south. The track to the waterfall and beyond is known as Karakariki Track, with a description and a few photos on the DoC web site. There are several streams joining near the waterfall, including Mangapapa Stream, Tuoro Stream and Whakakai Stream. The first two are presumably the ones crossed on the last swing bridge before the waterfall, with Whakakai Stream appearing on the topographic map to be the waterfall stream. Continue reading
Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park is an ecological restoration project situated on the outskirts of Hamilton, attempting to bring back Hamilton’s native flora and fauna. The park is owned and managed by Hamilton City Council, with help from Waikato University, Wintec, Waikato Regional Council and Tui2000. More information about the history, the park, and the project can be found on the Hamilton City Council web site.
One entry to the park is located on Brymer Road, directly across the road from the entrance to Hamilton Zoo. The intention is to create a hub with a common arrival space and facilities. The plantings in the park have been ongoing since 2004, but the park was only open to the public from mid-November 2019. Continue reading
Mangaokewa Gorge Scenic Reserve, off SH30 a few minutes south of Te Kuiti, has a campsite and a walkway running through it. The walkway is part of Te Araroa Trail between Te Kuiti and Pureora. Within the reserve the trail runs alongside the Mangaokewa River (or Mangaokewa Stream), and on the other side of the stream there is a walking track through older native forest. A swing bridge at either end allows a walk to be done as a loop, with a nominal time of 1.5 hours. Although DoC owns and manages the reserve there appears to be no information about the loop walk on the DoC web site. However the Te Araroa section can be found on the Te Araroa web site.
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