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
The walkway and cycleway through Wairakei and Topaz Drive Reserves, described in the previous post, continues through the Papamoa drainage reserve from Domain Road for about 3.3 km, crossing over several streets, and ending at Pacific View Road. There are side tracks leading to various streets bounding onto the reserve. The track can be walked as part of a loop including Papamoa Beach, or returning to Domain Rd by Papamoa Beach Rd, or as in the walk described here returning by the same route through the reserve.
There are various parking options at the shopping centre on Domain Rd, on Domain Rd itself, or on nearby streets. There are toilets in the Papamoa Plaza and in other locations within the shopping centre. On the one-way walk, but including the longer side track to Oriental Parade walked in both directions, the total time from Domain Rd to Pacific View Rd was about 45 minutes, with a distance of 4 km. Without the side track the distance was 3.3 km, with a time of about 40 minutes.
Walkways and cycleways run through stormwater drainage reserves between Parton Road the Pacific View Road in Papamoa. They cross various streets along the way, and there are side tracks leading to streets adjacent to the reserves. This walk was done starting at Parton Rd, through the reserves to Domain Rd, along Domain Rd to Papamoa Domain, along the sand dunes through Papamoa Beach Reserve (or Papamoa Coastal Reserve), and back to Parton Rd. A total distance of about 7.7 km.
Tauranga City Council publishes a small brochure, Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways, with descriptions of various walking and cycling tracks within the city. A previous version of this brochure contained the loop walk described here, whereas the current (undated) brochure describes only the part through the drainage reserves.
The walkway around Lake Hakanoa, on the eastern side of SH1 and Huntly, is a popular destination destination, and being almost level it is pram and wheelchair friendly. It is accessible from Huntly Domain at the end of Park Avenue, and also from Lakeview Terrace. When the lake level is high parts of the track may be flooded and inaccessible.
Several parking areas as well as toilets are available in the Domain. Information about the walkway is available on the Huntly i-Site web site. The walkway is about 3.8 km long and is split into 13 different zones, each with it’s own separate and different identity. Development is ongoing at some sites, such as the Japanese garden. Continue reading
Lake Puketirini at Huntly, on the western side of the Waikato River, is a man-made lake developed from a disused coal mine pit. It is part of Puketirini, a Waikato District Council owned park. Recreational boating is available on the lake, but access to the boat ramp requires a key from the council. A walkway /cycleway follows the lake edge, and several other tracks lead elsewhere through the park.
The park, lakeside track, and one of the boat ramps can be accessed off Rotowaro Road down a short, nameless access road at the eastern end of the lake. Another boat ramp at the western end of the lake is accessible off Weavers Crossing Road. Toilets are available near both boat ramps. Continue reading
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 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.
The Kaharoa Kokako Track, also known as Kaharoa Track, Kokako Track, or Hollow Track, leads down from Kapukapu Road to the Onaia Stream. It is located about 30 km by road north of Rotorua, and 55 km south of Tauranga, off Tauranga Direct Road (SH36), via Kaharoa Road and Kapukapu Road. There is a parking area and information panels located by Kapukapu Road about 600 metres from the start of the track. At the track start there is only parking available for 2 or 3 vehicles.
The Kaharoa Kokako Trust was formed in 1997 as a charitable trust to ensure the long-term protection and survival of kokako at Kaharoa. Predator control is an ongoing task in helping to protect the habitat of the endangered kokako as well as other native birds such as kiwi in the Kaharoa Conservation Area.
Hinehopu Track or Hongi’s Track, originally Te Tahuna, is an easy walking track which connects Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoehu through mature native forest, with a short side track to Hinehopu’s Tree alongside SH30. The tree has also been known as the wishing tree.
Information panels adjacent to Hinehopu’s Tree relate the history of the track and of the tree, an ancient Matai which is considered sacred. Hinehopu, a Maori chieftainess who lived in the early 17th century, used the track and named it Te Ara-o-Hinehopu (Hinehopu’s Track). In 1823 a Maori warrior, Hongi, used the track to move war canoes from Lake Rotoehu to Lake Rotoiti to mount a raid on Mokoia Island. Since then it has been known as Hongi’s Track.