Although most of Te Rae o Papamoa Track in the Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park has been covered in a previous post an interesting extension to the track is now shown on some of the information panels within the park. It provides an alternative to the Karangaumu Summit Track for a walk to the summit, and since it can easily connect to the Valley and Puriri Tracks and on to Maraeroa Track it can provide a longer and more varied walk within the park area.
This walk, which starts at the carpark on Poplar Lane off Te Puke Highway, takes the Karangaumu Summit Track up to the start of Te Rae o Papamoa Track, then follows this track and a service road up to the summit. On the way back it branches off at the Papamoa Pa site and follows the longer route back to the service road and the track back to the carpark. A total distance of about 7 km for a total time of 2 hours including time to visit the pa sites along the way.
There are a number of walking tracks in the Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park near Tauranga, but several of these are currently unmarked and only shown on aerial photos at various locations within the park. One of the longest and most varied of these tracks, the Maraeroa Track, is only shown on the information panel by the carpark on Poplar Lane, off Te Puke Highway (the old SH2). The most used track is the Karangaumu Summit Track, and the lower part of this track also provides access to the other tracks within the park.
The tracks described here are the Maraeroa , Valley and Puriri tracks. Maraeroa Track branches off the summit track and returns to the summit track about 150 metres further up. Valley Track and Puriri Track branch off Maraeroa Track and can also connect with Te Rae O Papamoa Track. For an older description of the summit track and part of Te Rae O Papamoa Track see the previous post Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park.
Note: The park reopened on June 3, 2017 after being closed since October, 2016 for pine tree harvesting.
New photos taken after the re-opening at the end of the post.
The Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park near Tauranga was opened in 2004 as the first regional park outside the Auckland and Wellington regions. It contains a number of early Maori pa sites within a small area, with ditches, middens, and terracing on the hillsides.
The main walkway starts by a carpark at the end of Poplar Lane, off SH2 between Tauranga and Te Puke, and ascends through radiata pine forest to open farmland, and the pa at highest point in the park. There are walkways to other pa sites, and to the Summerhill mountain biking tracks.