King Country - North Taranaki Hiking Trails and Walking Tracks

Welcome to our hiking and walking tracks page, where we have endeavoured to list the most comprehensive tramping guide available.

Click for: Taranaki Hiking Trails and Reserves, Mt Pirongia Walking Tracks

King Country Hiking Trails

Mapara - Wildlife Reserve

Mapara lies 35 kilometres southwest of Te Kuiti, along Mapara South Road. Kokako can be heard and sometimes seen from a moderately graded tramping track. You are most likely to hear kokako call in the early morning or late evening. Please do not go elsewhere in the reserve or trespass on neighbouring farmland.

Since 1989 the Mapara Wildlife Reserve (1400 hectares) has been the focus of an intensive, and very successful, conservation management project. When the project started the reserve's kokako population was in decline. Since management was initiated breeding success has steadily increased.

For their own safety, please do not take dogs into the reserve, poisoning operations are carried out frequently. An information board is situated at the start of the track. Guided walks may be available by prior arrangement with the Department of Conservation.

Whareorino and Tawarau Forests

Tawarau Tracks:

Loop Route: (2 3/4 hours to complete loop or 2 hours return to Tawarau Falls) from the Appletree Road-end the track climbs briefly then drops to the Tawarau River, crossing it six times on swing bridges. Amazing limestone bluffs, beautiful ferns and the powerful Tawarau Falls make this a memorable walk.

Gorge Track: (3 1/2 hours ) This track follows Mangaohae Stream until it flows through a spectacular limestone gorge into the Tawarau River. The Bull Ring Route branches off the Gorge Track across a swing bridge, approximately 1 1/2 hours from Were Road. The track can be muddy so come prepared.

Double Falls Route: (3 1/2 hours from Were Road, 1 1/2 from Appletree road-end) Follow the track down beside the twin falls to a grassy area with big mossy rocks - an ideal picnic spot.

Whareorino Walking Tracks:

Leitch's Track: (3 hours to hut) This clearly marked, easily graded, track is the shortest route to Leitch's Hut.

Waikawau Track: (7 hours to hut) Park on the northern side of the Waikawau River on Maxwell's farm (phone the owners for permission first).

Follow the markers along the Waikawau and Mangapapa Rivers. This is a gradual climb with several river crossings. Continue up to the Waikawau Saddle and then descend to Leitch's Clearing.

 Follow the clearing down to the Awakino River, cross it and walk north along the river for five minutes to Leitch's Hut.

Mahoenui Track: (3 1/2 hours to hut) This pleasant track follows the Awakino River from Chris Barker's farm on Gribbon Road upstream to Leitch's Hut.

Follow the river north to the junction with the Waikawau Track. Cross to the east bank of the Awakino and walk north for five minutes to the hut.

Pomarangai Track: (6 hours to hut) To minimise effects on the survival of the native endangered Archey's frog, the public are requested not to use this track. he track winds its way to Maungamangero Trig, Leitch's Clearing, across the Awakino River and to Leitch's Hut.

Mangatoa Track: (4 1/2 hours to hut) The most direct route is to drop down the link track to the Waikawau track. Start from Mangatoa Road where there is a car park.

Herangi Ridge Track: (Pomarangai Road to Mangatoa Saddle - 8 hours) It is requested that the public avoids using the Herangi Range due to the threat to the survival of the endangered Archey's frog. This track links the Pomarangai and Mangatoa Tracks. It is a popular day walk for those wanting to enjoy the excellent views and unusual flora of the Herangi Range.

Information: Leitch's Hut is available for overnight use. The hut sleeps 16 people. You will need to carry a portable fuel stove for cooking.

West to Marokopa: This scenic route through Waitomo's limestone landscape takes you from the SH3/ Waitomo turn-off across to the historic west coast fishing settlement of Marokopa. From there, it is a further five kilometres south down the coast to Kiritehere.

Track Guide:

Waitomo Bushwalk: (5-10 minutes) It starts in the carpark opposite the Glowworm Cave and takes you under a dense canopy of native bush, descending to the Waitomo stream and over a timber bridge leading to the Waitomo village.

Mangapohue Natural Bridge: Situated five kilometres past the Appletree Road turn-off. The 17-metre high limestone arch, which spans Mangapohue Stream, is all that remains of an ancient cave system.

Piripiri Cave: (5 minutes) The cave is four kilometres further on from Mangapohue Bridge. The cave is not operated commercially so you will need a torch and good boots, as the cave floor is slippery.

Marokopa Falls: (20 minutes return) The falls are another two kilometres further down from the Piripiri Cave. The 30-metre falls (picture below) are often described as the most beautiful in the country. Don't forget your camera!

Ruakuri Scenic Reserve: For both historical significance and sheer beauty, this stop is a must. Four kilometres from Waitomo Village, on Tumutumu Road, Ruakuri Scenic Reserve contains classic limestone outcrops, also a place of strong spiritual and cultural significance to Maori.

A pleasant walk over farmland leads back to the Glowworm Cave (1 hours one way) and features interesting limestone bluffs.

A popular loop track (30 minutes) takes you to the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel.

The track descends into the tunnel giving you an unusual 'inside' view of the stream and tunnel entrance.

Guided tours are available through Aranui cave. Ruakuri Cave is closed - the cave entrance, the burial cave above and the surrounding Karaka trees are all waahi tapu (sacred) to Maori.

The track has been reconstructed to leave the cave entrance undisturbed.

Waitomo Walkway:

Length: 4 kilometre's

Walking Times: Allow 1 hour each way

Location: Starts at Waitomo Village, 16 kilometres northwest (by road) of Te Kuiti.

Classification: Mainly easy walk, but with some steeper sections.

Description: The Waitomo Walkway traverses classic limestone landscape, meandering beside the Waitomo Stream through a mixture of shady forest and open farmland.

The Walkway ends at Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, which contains a spectacular, 30-minute loop section of track. There are toilet and car parking facilities at both ends of the walkway.

Click for Waitomo Opapaka Walkway

Department of Conservation: Maniapoto Area Office, 78 Taupiri Street, PO Box 38, Te Kuiti
Phone: (07) 878 1050 - International +64 7 - 878 1050
Fax: (07) 878 1051 - International +64 7 878 1051
E-mail: maniapotoao@doc.govt.nz