Hiking tracks and trails
Warrens’ Track - 30 min.
Beginning by the Port FitzRoy DOC area office, this is a gently
graded climb passing through a kauri plantation to a waterfall. The
stream has many deep pools that are good for swimming.
(Continue on up the steps to the
Loop Track which then joins the Bridle Track)
Bridle Track – 20 min.
Alternative walk between DOC area office and Port FitzRoy Store. (Continue
from this track onto the Loop Track which comes out at the Waterfall
on Warrens Track)
The Loop Track - joins the
Bridle Track to Warrens Track. Begin at Port FitzRoy store and
arrive at the DoC area office about 1hour later. Look down upon the
tree canopy as you move inland up the valley before arriving at the
GRADE through indigenous and exotic forest.
Windy Canyon Lookout – 15
min. Starts at Palmers Track entrance on summit of Whangapoua Hill
on Aotea Rd (carparking area nearby). Climbs 100m (wooden
staircases) through the andesitic rock bluffs of Windy Canyon to
central ridge. Spectacular views.
HSS Wairarapa Graves – 30
min. Take Mabey Rd, from Okiwi, to road end and follow signposts to
Whangapoua Beach. Wander along this beautiful beach to the northern
end (left), the grave sites are on a bank surrounded by picket
Old Lady Track – 45 min.
From top of Port FitzRoy Hill it is a short walk following a stream
along the valley through a mature coastal forest. You can take a
side trip, a steep climb of 30 mins (signposted) to Lookout Rock,
from where Port FitzRoy Harbour can be viewed.
Kaitoke Hot Springs Track
– 1 hr. A popular easy walk, the track starts from carparking area,
2.5 km along Whangaparapara Rd. The track crosses a stream (not
bridged) and follows the edge of the Kaitoke Swamp to sulphurous hot
springs where a series of natural pools are dammed. Take care as the
stream water may be hot
Old Mill Site Track – 1
hr. Cross suspension bridge from Whangaparapara, turn south towards
harbour through camping area to climb steeply to ridge top. Descend
and climb again before descending to the site of Kauri Timber
Company Sawmill. At low tide you can walk around the shoreline to
the old whaling station remains.
Coopers Castle Route – 2
hr. Begins at top of Port FitzRoy/Okiwi hill and ascends the
southern ridge, with views of both sides of the island. Travel under
the forest canopy to signposted junction to Coopers Castle lookout,
a large andesitic rock bluff, offering extensive views. Care is
needed at bluff, vertical fall to bush below. Main route descends
from summit to join Kaiaraara Track.
Palmers Track – Hirakimata
– 2 hr. Begins on summit of Whangapoua Hill/Aotea Rd, climbing
through Windy Canyon to central ridge. Extensive views either side
of Okiwi and Kaitoke. Rare and endemic plants grow along the ridge,
like the Great Barrier daisy Olearia allomii, flowering in spring.
Follows ridge and climbs steeply to Hirakimata’s summit through
unlogged, mature subalpine forest. No fresh water near track. No
toilet facilities. Retrace your steps to return to Aotea Rd.
Alternatively join the historic Kaiaraara Track or South Fork Track
to link up with west coast.
Kaiaraara Track – 3 hr to
Mt Hobson Hirakimata. 1 hr 30 min to lower historic Kauri Dam. Past
Kaiaraara Hut, track begins left of Forest Rd. Crosses unbridged
Kaiaraara Stream and climbs steadily up the north fork of Kaiaraara
Stream through regenerating coastal forest to the Coopers Castle
junction. Groves of nikau palms Rhopalostylis sapida and large
puriri trees Vitex lucens can be seen along the way. Track continues
upstream passing rocky outcrops to the lower kauri dam (unstable
structure – keep well clear) to meet the staircase to summit. The
staircase has been constructed to protect the endangered black
petrel’s nesting site. The summit affords extensive views of the
Hauraki Gulf. Retrace your steps to return to Forest Rd, or
alternatively travel South Fork Track to Forest Rd, or Palmers Track
to Aotea Rd. South Fork Track is of a gentler grade, but slightly
longer alternative return track. Stream crossings. No toilet
facilities. Pools in the lower Kaiaraara Stream are good for
swimming. * A link track connects South Fork and Kaiaraara Track. It
follows the gently graded southern fork of the Kaiaraara Stream.
South Fork Track – 3 hr to
Mt Hobson, Hirakimata via Mt Heale. Begins at Forest Road,
approximately 1 km south of Kaiaraara Hut. Descends to the south
fork of Kaiaraara Stream. After two stream crossings the track
follows an old bridle track used by gum diggers and loggers to
access the interior. Crossing again, then a long steady climb up
central ridge to level out at Peach Tree Track junction, then around
Mt Heale and very steep ascent to Hirakimata. * Mt Hobson Hirakimata
summit to Peach Tree Track junction 45 min.
Tramline Track – 5 hr.
Aotea Rd to Whangaparapara Harbour. Old tramlines were cut straight
across the landscape, using stream driven winches to haul the log
laden trams along the tramlines to the coast. From Aotea Rd, track
falls steeply away to Awana Stream and waterfall (45 min) and rises
abruptly to Perry’s Hill before dropping to Kaitoke Creek. Track
follows and crosses the creek at an easy grade to the Peach Tree
Track junction and hot springs (1 hr 15 min). Follows along around
Kaitoke Swamp edge to meet the track from the Kaitoke Hot Springs (1
hr). From here the track rises to cross the Forest Rd and then
descends down to Whangaparapara Hut and along the valley floor to
the harbour (2 hr), stream crossings.
For an alternative walk, at Kaitoke Hot Springs / Tramline
junction, take the left hand fork to Kaitoke Hot Springs and follow
the flat easy walk around the Kaitoke swamp edge to Whangaparapara
Caution: section of track from Aotea Rd to the first Kaitoke Creek
crossing is treacherously slippery when wet.
Whangaparapara Hut to Forest Rd
– 30 min. A steep shorter route to Kaitoke Hot Springs Track via the
Oreville Stamping Battery remains. Opposite Whangaparapara Hut, the
track crosses the stream to climb central ridge, around a eucalyptus
grove to Forest Rd.
Mount Whangaparapara – 1
hr 15 min. Track starts through gate by ‘Fire Risk’ sign on
Whangaparpara Rd. Cross suspension bridge and turn right. Cross
stile and climb track to left. Steady climb to summit, steep in
parts. Views of Whangaparapara harbour and surrounds.
Pack Track – 45 min. A
short route between Kaiaraara and Whangaparapara Huts (4 hrs). Above
remains of Whangaparapara Hut on Tramline Track, cross foot-bridge
and turn left at signpost, rises up ridge and down to Wairahi
Stream. Climb steeply to Forest Rd.
Withey’s Track – 1 hr 15
min. Named after Bill Withey, steam hauler operator for the Kauri
Timber Company. Links with the Pack and Tramline Tracks, a
roundabout hike from Whangaparapara. Follow Tramline Track from
Whangaparapara to signpost. Climbs ridge steadily on left before
dropping to Wairahi Stream, following this up to junction with Pack
Track. Allow extra time for photo stops.
Te Ahumata – (White Cliffs)
– 1 hr. Old mining road between Whangaparapara saddle and Blind Bay
Rd. From Whangaparapara Rd, a gradual climb to junction marked by 2
posts on right hand side (30 min). Rapid ascent to Te Ahumata Trig.
An interesting variety of "bonsai-like" forms of native plants to be
seen. Return to junction and either turn right and proceed to Blind
Bay Rd (views of Kaitoke and Claris area) or left to return to
Whangaparapara Rd. Warning: Beware of mine shafts in area – keep to
track. Warning: Beware of mine shafts in area – keep to the track.
Kiwiriki Track – 4 hr.
Much of this track follows the old riding track from Port FitzRoy to
the Wairahi Valley. At signpost on Forest Rd near Kaiaraara Creek
the track rises gently to Bush’s Beach Track junction (30 mins), a
side trip of 5 mins to beach. Ten minutes to junction with Line W
Track, then descends cross Coffin’s Creek Houroaroa. Climbs steeply
and follows the dividing ridge. Veers right, and drops steeply to
valley floor and signposted track junction, at which point a 15min
shoreline side trip to head of Kiwiriki Bay can be made. Continue
along main track to cross Kiwiriki Stream. The picnic area provides
a welcome rest. Track climbs the valley and central ridge to Forest
Rd at Maungapiko (1 hr 30 min).
Maungapiko – 10 min. A
short steep climb up Maungapiko from Forest Rd summit for expansive
views up and down the island’s west coast and beyond.
"Line W" Track – 20 min.
An alternative route to or from Forest Rd and Kiwiriki Track. From
Kiwiriki Track climbs steadily to Kaiaraara Plateau and Forest Rd.
Harataonga – Okiwi Coastal Track
– 5 hr. An easy grade, following an old coastal road. From
Harataonga campsite head west across stream and paddocks, through
gate and follow track. Magnificent coastal views. Track ends at
Aotea Rd at south end of Okiwi. Signposted at Aotea Rd entrance.
Beware of sheer drops!!
Forest Rd – 5 hr. The old
Forest Rd links Whangaparapara and Kaiaraara Huts. Many of the
tracks in the central area lead from or to this road. Built in the
early 1950s by the NZ Forest Service to provide access for fire
control and official operations. The only vehicle access to
Whangaparapara until the 1970s. From north the Forest Rd begins at
the road end of Aotea Rd and travels through to Whangaparapara Rd.
An easy grade, through a fine example of regenerating coastal
forest. Caution walkers: this is a mountain bike route.
Information kindly supplied by DOC Port FitzRoy Area Office