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.
The Tirohanga Track leads to a lookout in the hills overlooking Picton, with good views of Picton and the surrounding area. The track is well formed, and can be walked as a loop including some streets in Picton, or as a gentle climb and return to Garden Terrace, or a steeper track from Newgate Street. Total distance for the loop is about 5.5 km, with a climb from near sea level to the highest point at about 250 metres above sea level.
Limited parking is available on Newgate St and on Garden Tce, but for the loop walk it’s possible to park in one of the streets in the town and then walk to or from the two end points of the track. Public toilets are located by the Powerhouse Reserve on Wairau Rd. This walk was done in a clockwise direction starting and ending on Wellington Street.
The track to the summit of Mt Pauanui, previously known as Mt Tairua, is located in an area managed by the Department of Conservation, but the tracks are developed and maintained by local volunteers. There is a direct track to the summit, starting near the carpark at the end of Pauanui Beach Road, which is quite steep and uneven in places. Another, less used, track starts at Cave Bay, leading to the summit on a mostly gentler gradient. Together with the walk along the waterfront the two tracks form a loop walk, in a recommended anti-clockwise direction.
There is a short description of the tracks in a brochure, Coromandel Recreation Brochure, which can be downloaded from the DoC web site.
The Ohope Harbourside Trail is currently a work in progress, as an initiative by the Whakatane Rotary Club. There is a walking and cycling trail between Waterways Drive at its western end, and Port Ohope Wharf at its eastern end. On the way it passes through grassed reserves, with gravel surfaces on the recently formed parts of the trail. As well as being accessible at both ends, it is also accessible from various locations along Harbour Road and Ohiwa Parade.
The trail is about 3.5 kms long, with no steps and only gentle slopes. Parking is available at both ends as well as some of the access points, with some grass areas also being used for parking. There are toilets at Otao South Reserve, close to Harbour Road near Phillip Street.
The Morrinsville River Walk is a walking track about 1.5 km long between the entry to the Morrinsville Recreation Ground on Avenue Road South and Studholme Street, running through a forested valley parallel to the Waitakaruru Stream for most of the way. Starting from Avenue Road South, where parking is available, the first 300 metres or so of the track is on open ground alongside Avenue Road South. It then enters the forested area, with two alternative tracks. One lower down alongside and close to the stream, and one higher up alongside the recreation reserve boundary. This walk was done in both directions, using the lower track on the way to Studholme Street and the upper track on the return. Continue reading
Rongomai Track, Te Auheke (also known as Cascades) Track and Tarawhai Track are all located in the Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve, near the Okataina Outdoor Education Centre, off Lake Okataina Road. Rongomai Track is also part of the Western Okataina Walkway, and is a continuation of the track described in the post Okataina Western Walkway; SH30 to Patotara. Te Auheke Track (or Cascades Track) is a loop track, starting and ending near the education centre. Te Auheke means ‘tumbling water’. Tarawhai Track can also be walked as a loop track, with one end on the access road to the education centre, and the other joining with the Western Okataina Walkway just south of the education centre.
The walk was done starting from the access road to the education centre, along Lake Okataina Rd to Patotara and the northern end of Rongomai Track, Rongomai Track from Patotara to the education centre, Te Auheke Track in a clockwise direction, and Tarawhai Track in an anti-clockwise direction back to the education centre access road. All the tracks are a fairly easy walk, with very few steps and only short ascents and descents. Total walking distance was 7.1 km, for a total time of 2 hours. Continue reading
Ohauiti Reserve runs parallel to and partly alongside Ohauiti Road between McFetridge Lane and Rowesdale Drive. A number of walking tracks run through and across the reserve, with areas of bush, wetlands, open grassland, and flood plains. The reserve tracks are included in the brochure Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways, available for download from the Tauranga City Council web site.
The brochure does not mention the locations of the various access points, or where parking can be found near the reserve. A small parking area is available on McFetridge Lane, with only on-street parking available near the other access points. There are no toilets in the reserve or nearby. Continue reading