Pipiwharauroa Trail is a walking and cycling trail near Raglan, starting from Kawhia Road near Waireinga/Bridal Veil Falls, and ending at the Te Uku Wind Farm. For a large part of the trail it uses a wide gravel road used for access to the wind farm, and for the remainder it uses old farm tracks. The last 1.5 km or so is the roughest part of the trail. The trail passes through actively farmed private land, so dogs are definitely not allowed.
Te Uku Wind Farm is a 28-turbine wind farm, situated on private farmland on the Wharauroa Plateau. It can generate 64.4 MW of power. Construction commenced in 2009 and the wind farm was operational in 2010. It was officially opened in February 2011. Information about the wind farm, including photos from the construction phase, can be found on the Meridian Energy web site. There is a lookout in Te Uku, on SH23 between Hamilton and Raglan, where part of the wind farm can be viewed from a distance. Continue reading →
Waireinga/Bridal Veil Falls is a 55-metre high, spectacular waterfall in the Raglan area of Waikato. The falls are well signposted and accessible from SH23, along Te Mata Road and continuing about 4 km along Kawhia Road. There is a parking area alongside Kawhia Road, and a wide track with an easy gradient leads from the parking area, past DoC toilets and a picnic area, to the top of the falls. At the top of the falls there are two viewing platforms, one looking straight down the waterfall and the other looking across to the whole waterfall.
The easy track to the top of the waterfalls is about 500 metres long, and follows the Pakoka River through native forest. The track from the top to the bottom of the falls is steep, with 261 formed steps. About halfway down there is another viewing platform, and at the bottom there is a bridge across Pakoka River with direct views of the falls, and a shelter with information panels. Information about the falls can be found on the DoC web site. Dogs are not allowed at the falls, and the water is not suitable for swimming.
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 →