White Pine Bush, adjacent to SH2 between Awakeri and Taneatua, is a 4.5 hectare reserve containing one of the last stands of lowland kahikatea forest in the area. The trees in the forest area are mainly kahikatea, tawa, pukatea, and nikau. A bridge across Waioho Stream and a 250-metre long, level track suitable also for wheelchairs, has been formed as a loop through the forest. Information panels show details of the forest, the birds, and the predators.
A parking area is accessible directly from SH2, between Awakeri and Taneatua, and about 20km south of Whakatane. There are no toilets or other facilities at the site. A gumboot fence forms part of the boundary to the carpark. The walk can easily be done in 10 minutes, including time for reading the information panels. It would be suitable as a short break for travellers driving through SH2. Continue reading
Latham’s Hill Track, also called Lathams Track or Latham Track, is located by SH30 at Awakeri, about 17 km south of Whakatane, about 1.5 km west of the small township of Awakeri, and about 6 km south-east of Edgecumbe. One end of the track is accessible directly from SH30, where there is room to park 3 or 4 vehicles. It climbs through farmland and forest to Te Tiringa trig station at an elevation of 240 metres above sea level. It then continues along a ridgeline before descending steeply to end at the Awakeri Hot Springs. Walking along SH30 to the parking spot completes the loop in a clockwise direction. There is also parking available by the entrance to Awakeri Hot Springs, off SH30, so the walk can also be started and ended there.
Te Tiringa is the highest point of the Awakeri mountain range, and is of significance to local Maori as the landing place of Ngati Awa chief Tamarau.